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2018 Winter Olympic Events to Watch

Emilia Caney, A&E Editor

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Most people love watching the Winter Olympics. The tryouts, seeing who makes what team, the competition, and finally, seeing who wins gold, silver, and bronze. First held in Chamonix, France in 1924, the Winter Olympics consisted of five main sports: bobsledding, curling, ice hockey, skating, and skiing. As time went on, more and more winter events were created and revisions were made to some of the original sports. Snowboarding, skiing, ice skating and hockey are people’s favorite ones to watch; however, the Winter Olympic aren’t just for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating.

Skeleton

Skeleton is a winter sport where the competitor rides head first and face down on a flat sled. It’s done on an ice track that allows the sled to gain speed because of the gravity. Skeleton gets its name because the first metal sleds made in 1892 resembled a human skeleton. It was first introduced in the 1928 Winter Olympics, didn’t come back for the 30’s, and was brought back in 1948. After ‘48, it was no longer considered an Olympic sport. However, in 2002 it was reintroduced with events for both men and women. Currently, the US has the most medals at a total of eight, Great Britain has six, and Canada has four.

                                                                                                   Luge

Luge is a winter sport where a single competitor, or team of two, rides a flat sled while lying feet first and face up, opposite of Skeleton. However, similar to Skeleton, the sport uses an ice track that allows gravity to increase the sled’s speed. It was first in the 1964 Winter Olympics, with both men and women events, and a doubles event for a team of two (usually men). Germany leads with 31 total medals, East Germany close with 29, and Italy with 17.

Curling

Curling is a sport where teams slide a polished stone over a rectangular sheet of ice. The goal is to place your team’s stone closer to the target than the competitors. In order to get the stone to reach where you want it to go, teammates sweep the ice with brooms to guide the stone. The friction from the sweeping creates thin water tracks that the stone can follow. This sport was first played in the Winter Olympics in 1924, was discontinued, and was played again in the 1932 Games. The Olympic Committee was unsure whether to bring it back or not, but it was officially inducted in the 1998 Olympic Games. A mixed doubles event was proposed to be added in 2010, but will not be included in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Due to this event being added, there are now three events: women, men, and mixed. Canada currently has ten medals overall in curling, Sweden has six, and Great Britain has four.

                                                                                                    Biathlon 

The biathlon is one of the most challenging Winter Olympic sports. It requires athletes to have both stamina and precision as they complete a cross-country skiing race with a rifle strapped to there back, interrupted by frequent stops to shoot a rifle at a series of targets. The biathlon was first introduced in the 1960 Winter Olympics with only a men’s event. Later in the 1980 games, they added the 6.2-mile sprint event, and the women’s event debuted in the 1992 Winter Olympics. A pursuit race (7.8 miles for men and 6.2 miles for women) was included at the 2002 Games, in which the top 60 finishers of the sprint races qualified for the pursuit event. Germany currently has the most medals at 45, Norway 2nd with 35, and Russia 3rd with 22.

  Dog Sled Racing

Dog sled racing is a winter sport in which a sled is pulled by dogs, usually, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, over ice and through snow with the person who is pulled on the sled, called a musher. Dog sled racing was included in the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, but hasn’t been done in the Olympics since. There were twelve competitors total, five from Canada and seven from the United   States. They competed with six dogs per sled. Each sled took off at three minutes apart, and times were given to the mushers at four miles, 10.6 miles, and 22.46 miles. The event was run twice over a 25.1-mile long course. Emile St. Godard from Canada came in first, followed by Leonhard Seppala from the US, and Shorty Russick, from Canada, received third. All photos via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licenses.

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2018 Winter Olympic Events to Watch