What Are Winter Olympics Sports?

A comprehensive list of all the winter olympic sports, including a description of each event.

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Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. It is a popular sport in many countries, especially Canada, where it originated.

The game is played by two teams of four players each. Each team has eight stones, which are made of granite and have a smooth, polished surface. The aim of the game is to score points by getting your stones closer to the center of the target area than your opponent’s stones.

The playing area is called the ‘sheet’ and is usually rectangular in shape. It is surrounded by a raised border, called the ‘hack’, which players use to push off from when delivering their stones. The target area is also known as the ‘house’. It is marked out with a series of concentric circles and is surrounded by a 12-foot (3.7-meter) circumference line, called the ‘tee-line’.

Players take turns to deliver their stones towards the target area. Each stone must be allowed to travel at least 16 feet (4.9 meters) before it comes to rest. Once all eight stones have been delivered, the team with the stone closest to the center of the house scores one point for each stone that they have closer than their opponents’ closest stone. This process is repeated until one team has scored enough points to win the game, which is typically ten points.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a sport that is played on ice, with players using hockey sticks to direct a puck into the opposing team’s net. The game is typically played between two teams of six players, although variations of the game can be played with fewer or more players. Ice hockey is a popular sport in many countries, and the sport is one of the main attractions of the Winter Olympics.

Figure Skating

Perhaps the most traditional of all winter sports, figure skating has been a part of the Olympics since the very first Games in Greece in 1896. The sport is divided into four main disciplines: men’s and women’s singles, pairs skating, and ice dancing. In all disciplines, skaters must complete a series of compulsory figures – geometric patterns that are skated on one foot – as well as a free skate program.

The free skate program may include jumps, spins, lifts, and other complicated maneuvers, and is set to music. Skaters are judged on their technique, artistry, and interpretation of the music. Figure skating is one of the most popular Olympic sports, and its athletes are among the Games’ biggest celebrities.

Speed Skating

Speed skating is a Winter Olympic sport that has been around since the games began in 1924. It is a timed race where athletes skate around an oval track. There are many different speed skating events, including the long track, short track, and mass start.

Some of the most popular speed skating events are the 500 meter, 1000 meter, 1500 meter, and 5000 meter races. The longest race is the 10,000 meter, which is held only at the Winter Olympics.

Speed skating is a very popular sport in countries like the Netherlands, South Korea, and Canada. Many speed skaters start out as inline skaters or hockey players.

Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the sport of sliding down snow-covered hills on skis with fixed-heel bindings. It is distinct from cross-country skiing and ski jumping, which are more common in countries farther north with longer winters and more snow.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is one of the oldest forms of skiing, believed to date back as far as 6,000 years. It was originally created as a method of travel in snowy conditions and eventually evolved into a competitive sport. Cross-country skiing is typically done on flat terrain, though it can also be done on hilly terrain. The skis used in cross-country skiing are much longer and narrower than those used in other forms of skiing, such as downhill skiing.

Cross-country skiing is an aerobic activity, meaning that it raises your heart rate and gets your lungs working. It is also a very efficient way to travel in snowy conditions, as the skis act as snowshoes, allowing you to move over the snow without sinking down into it.

Ski Jumping

Ski jumping is one of the most popular sports at the Winter Olympics. Athletes compete by jumping off a ski jump, flying through the air, and landing on a downhill slope. The athlete with the longest jump is the winner.


Snowboarding was introduced as a sport at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. There are two disciplines in snowboarding – the half-pipe and the giant slalom. In the half-pipe, riders perform tricks as they go back and forth across the U-shaped pipe. In the giant slalom, riders race down a course with gates that they must go around.


Bobsled is a winter sport in which teams of two or four teammates make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked iced tracks in a Gravity-powered sled. The timed runs are combined to calculate the final score.

Bobsled has been an Olympic sport since the first Winter Olympics in 1924. It was featured in the 1928, 1948 and 1952 Winter Olympics as a demonstration sport, and then became an official medal sport in the VIII Olympic Winter Games in 1968.

Bobsled was invented in the late 19th century by Englishmen who were members of the New Bobsled Club at St. Moritz, Switzerland. American William Astor President Roosevelt popularized the sport when he took a ride down an iced track during a visit to St. Moritz in 1903.


Luge (/ljuːʒ/) is a timed racing sport in which one or two sledders lie on their backs with their feet pointing downhill, racing against others down an icy track. The aim is to reach the finish line in the shortest possible time.

Luge is one of four Olympic sliding sports, along with bobsleigh, skeleton and tobogganing (earlier known as toboggan). It is governed by the International Luge Federation.

The word luge comes from the French word luge meaning “sledge” or “small sled”, from the Latin word lugum meaning platform or carriage. A luger’s sled is also called a luge.


Skeleton is a winter sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled, called a skeleton bobsled, down a frozen track while lying face down. It is considered one of the most dangerous sports in the Winter Olympics, due to the high speeds reached and the relatively unstable sled. Despite these risks, skeleton has grown in popularity since it was reintroduced as an Olympic sport in 2002.

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