Winter Olympic Events

800px-SnowboardingWith the Winter Olympics Games beginning this Friday, February 7th, I thought I’d talk a little bit about some of the major sports we’ll see over the two to three weeks at this sporting event. By my count (based on my calculations), there are about 15 major winter sporting events in this year’s Olympics. I won’t talk about all of them, but just mention a few.

Alpine skiing, also known as downhill skiing, is perhaps the sport people most associate with (connect to) winter. Skiers wear skis — long, thin pieces of a hard material such as metal, wood, or fiberglass — and slide very quickly down hills.

Figure and freestyle skating are usually indoor sports where skaters move over ice in graceful (elegant; not clumsy) movements doing very high and very fast turns and jumps. There are individual competitions, pair skating (with two people), and ice dancing. Since I’m pretty clumsy (not graceful) in real life, trying to dance on ice on a pair of ice skates is my ultimate nightmare (the worst thing I can imagine), but I still enjoy watching other people do it.

Now for a few less commonly talked about winter sports:

Curling is a sport where people move a stone over ice toward a target (place that you try to hit or reach) with the help of brooms (normally used for moving dirt on the floor when cleaning it) to change the stones’ direction and speed. I’ve wondered what I should be doing with that broom in my house. Now I know.

Luge is a very fast-moving sport, where one or two people place themselves in a supine position (laying down, facing the sky) and feet forward in a sled (small vehicle for moving over ice) moving on a downhill course (path). Speeds can reach nearly 90 miles (140 kilometers) per hour!

Another sport that requires sliding is the skeleton. The skeleton also involves a sled, but the athlete lays face down, head first and travels down a frozen path. This is also a very fast and dangerous sport.  Note to self (reminder for myself): Don’t buy a sled.

I’ll mention just one more sport you may see in the Olympics: the biathlon. A biathlon can actually refer to any sporting event that combines two sports (also popular are triathlon (three events), pentathlon (five events), and decathlon (10 events)). In the Winter Olympics, the biathlon involves cross-country skiing (skiing across fairly flat land, not down big hills) and rifle shooting. (A rifle is a gun you shoot from your shoulder that has a long barrel or hollow piece of wood or metal that the bullet travels through.) The athlete must cross-country ski to each target and either lay prone (on his/her stomach) or stand to shoot at it, then travel to the next target, and so on.

The other sports I have not mentioned include bobsleigh (also called bobsled), ice hockey, speed skating, ski jumping, and snowboarding, among others.

Do you participate in any of these sports? Which sports are you most interested in seeing in the Winter Olympics?

– Lucy

 Photo Credit: Snowboarding from Wikipedia

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11 Responses to Winter Olympic Events

  1. Dan says:

    Hello everyone,

    I am not watching the event. I am only going to follow the news about it.

    I am not really interested on it.

    What I wanted to say is that the other day, looking at some videos from native speakers, I heard a new word for me.

    That is “klutz” it came to mind because of Lucy is clumsy, and klutz it the same as saying clumsy, I understand.

    This woman using it, had bandages over he hand because she closed the car’s door and hurt herself.

    She said “I am klutz”.

    I was thinking that I am good at throwing snow balls in the face or in the back of the head.
    I won several gold medals at that.


  2. emiliano says:

    Dear Lucy, I like to see downhill skiing, big jumps and freestyle skating, but I like only
    to see them, to me all these winter sports are dangerous and I have never practice one
    of them.
    Here close to Madrid there are mountains with snow in winter, thousands of people
    like to go and ski every weekend but not me, I liked to go several years ago, but
    enjoyed looking at the threes with the snow over them and the other snow sights so
    beautiful and even it is nice to take pictures of people skiing or the snow lands, nothing
    more, that is enough to me.
    By the way I don´t think on watching too much the winter olympic events as Dan said
    it is not time to watch them even less knowing what is happening in countries like
    Siria were people are suffering so much, how is possible to have these kind of
    events looking as other persons are killed or have to go out their houses without doing
    anything to help them. It is clear than humans are alway the same, where has gone our
    piety, compassion or shame?, missing.
    Sorry Lucy, I don´t want to be party poopers but it is what I think about the event
    just in this moment.

    Thanks a lot. emiliano

  3. Dan says:

    Just as a reminder, I said that to me it’s all a waste of cement and money, especially right now.

  4. Tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for all information about winter sports.
    As winter sports are generally practiced by men I am not a fan of the winter sports.
    Of course, excepting the figure skating, my favourite sport.
    I’ve watched the Figure Skating Championship from Europe and such events from the U.S.A. , Canada and Russia.
    Spain has a great boyskater.
    It’s a feast for me when I can see the Figure Skating Championship.
    But a Winter Olympic Event…
    I feel a real emotion for some of the skaters.
    They work hard from four years old , and in just four minutes all their work can be a failure.
    And we can listen to much, much music and dance, dance, dance … in our mind .
    I can’t help watching.

  5. Tania says:

    Hi! I think we have to enjoy for every happy moment from our life.
    In this way we can continue, we can go ahead.
    And the Olympic Games are a joy , a relationship for the all countries.

    I like the fight with snow balls with soft snow.

  6. Øyvor says:

    Thanks Lucy!

    Norwegians are crazy about winder sport games, especially biathlon and cross country skiing, actaully we hope for gold today..=))
    So I´m going to spend some time before the TV these days for sure=)
    If you watch, notice the name Tora Berger in biathlon..she is from my little village, and sure we all hope she will do well=)

  7. Øyvor says:

    On the other hand..I think that it`s too much money spent for these games, the gap between rich and poor make me feel so sad..

  8. Tania says:

    Hi! I saw the American pair dance dancing on the “My Fair Lady” music.

    “Warm faces, warm hands, warm feet
    Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?”

    And the message of peace, of normality, of love sent by the opening festivity of the Olympic Games…

    Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?

  9. Tania says:

    Hi! All these days I am watching the Olympic Games.
    I am excited by the performance of all skaters.

  10. Mario says:

    I will watch the figure skating.
    Because Korean figure skater are anticipated to win gold medal in a row.
    Her name is YeonA Kim. She already won gold medal at last winter Olympics.
    Hercskating is beatiful and wonderful.
    I also believe that she should win gold medal at this Olympics.

    Anyway, my favorite winter sport is snowboarding.
    I usually go to snowboarding every winter.
    When I ride snowboard, I am very energetic and excited.
    It’s one of the best way to remove the stress in my life.

  11. Tania says:

    Hi! I agree with you, Mario.

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