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Winter Olympics Sports and Events:

Winter Olympic Medals

There are fifteen winter Olympic sports and within each sport there are various events. This is a vocabulary builder designed to help you  understand more about the wonderful winter Olympics.

 

 

 

 

  1. Alpine skiing:  This is the sport of downhill skiing; as opposed to cross country skiing (also called Nordic).  This sport consists of the following alpine skiing events: slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom and the downhill. You Alpine skiingcan learn more about alpine skiing in this lesson (alpine skiing at the Olympics)
  2. Biathlon:  In the Olympics, the Biathlon is the sport which combines rifle shooting and cross country skiing.

    biathlon

    biathlon

  3. Bobsleigh: This is a sport in which teams of two or four people ride very fast down an ice track in the sled. The ice track goes down the side of a mountain, and it is full of twists and turns.
  4. Cross country skiing:  This sport is a Nordic style of skiing (boots are not fixed to the skis, only the toe portion is) which involves long distance, kind of like long distance running, but on Nordic skis.
  5. Curling: This is played by sliding large stones across the ice surface toward the circle on the other end. Each team wants to get the stones closest to the center of the circle, and knock the other team’s stones away from the center.

    curling

    curling

  6. Figure skating: Involves performing skilled skating routines on ice. There are four main events in the Olympics which are, men’s single, ladies single, pairs and ice dancing.

    figure skater

    figure skater

  7. Freestyle skiing: This exciting sport originally included skiing moguls, aerials and ballet skiing.  It now includes several events, and no longer includes ballet skiing. The events in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi will include, moguls, aerials, ski cross, boarder cross, ski half pipe and snowboard half pipe and slope style.

    Freestyle Aerials - upside down twist

    Freestyle Aerials

  8. Ice hockey: This is a sport played on ice. It involves two teams who use a hockey stick to shoot a puck into the net of the other team. 
  9. Luge: This is similar in concept to the bobsleigh, in that it is a small sled which slides down an ice track with twists and turns. These can be one or two person sleds. This is known as the fastest and most dangerous of the sliding sports in the Olympics. 
  10. Nordic combined: This sport combines cross country and ski jumping. 
  11. Short track speed skating: This is a team sport of 4 or 6 skaters which skate on a short oval ice track. 
  12. Skeleton: this is similar to the luge sled, but it is for one person. The athlete slides down on his stomach, and head first, unlike the other sliding sports in which they go feet first. 
  13. Ski jumping: This is where skiers, on Nordic type skis, slide down a large, and log ramp and jump into the air. 

    ski jumping

    ski jumping

  14. Snowboard: This sport involves riding down a hill on a snowboard. It is much like alpine skiing, but instead of skis, on a snowboard. There are freestyle events, snowboard cross, big mountain and downhill events as well. 
  15. Speed skating: This is long distance skating, much like marathon on ice. There are various events, but in general they are much longer tracks (400 meter track) and long distance events. 

    speed skating

    speed skating

Review Questions:

  1. What are the three sliding events?
  2. What sports are comparable to long distance running?
  3. What is the fastest skiing event?
  4. What is the most dangerous sliding event?

Internet Research questions:

  1. In what city / country are the 2014 Winter Olympics?
  2. Who won the men’s freestyle moguls event in the 2010 Winter Olympics?
  3. Who is “Eddie the Eagle” and what is his sport?

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your favourite winter Olympic event (and if course, why)?
  2. Do the Winter Olympics help to promote world peace / relations?
  3. What benefits do the Olympics games provide to athletes?
  4. Do you think professionals should participate in the Olympic Games?
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