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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

A Brief Guide to Every Sport in the Winter Olympics

The Olympics will resume on February 4 in Beijing (and 50 miles north in Yanqing and 100 miles north in Zhangjiakou), just six months after the flames are extinguished in Tokyo.

Here’s a look at every game that will be contested at the Games in China.


Awarded 11 Gold Medals

Mikaela Shiffrin, who won gold medals in 2014 and 2018, would go for a third or maybe more. He is still at the top of his game, and in November he set a career record for World Cup victories in the single discipline, slalom. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova and Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami and Michelle Gisin will also contest.

In the men’s events, France’s Alexis Pinturault has one silver and two bronze at the Games, but will seek gold No. 1 as the defending World Cup champions.

Topics include downhill, the fastest event; Super-G, with more twist added; giant slalom, turning still more; and slalom, the slowest and most technical event. There is also a combined event (downhill and slalom) and a mixed-gender team slalom event.


11 gold

Test the endurance of cross-country skiing and rock it every few kilometers by stopping athletes to shoot rifles at targets. Too many misses, and skiers will have to take penalty laps. Germany, France, Sweden and Norway should dominate the medals.

Joining the four-man, two-man and two-woman events is a race for only one: the women’s monoboob. This year the first world champion was crowned: Kelly Humphries, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Canada, now representing the United States. But Humphries still awaits US citizenship to compete in Beijing.

Humphries is also the world champion in the two-woman bob, with Lolo Jones as her pusher.


12 gold

Norway dominates the sport, but the United States won its first gold medal in 2018 when Jesse Diggins and Kikkan Randall won the sprint relay. Diggins will return in 2022. Revered Norwegian Marit Björgen has retired from Olympic competition after winning eight gold medals in three sports.

For many Americans, who seem to be embracing granite rocks and curling brooms every four years, a highlight of the 2018 Games was the American men led by John Shuster, who won the gold medal after a somewhat shaky 5-4 start. were moving forward. Swedish men and Swiss women have been the most successful since then, and Canada is always a contender.

The deep Russian team took the top three places in the women’s competition at the last World Championships, with 17-year-old Anna Shcherbakova now at the top.

American Nathan Chen did a terrifying short four years ago that got him out of contention. But he won his third world gold medal this year, and a potential duel with Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, the 2014 and 2018 Olympic champion, could be the highlight of the Games.

In the doubles event, Sui Wenjing and Han Kang could lead the host nation to gold. Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov are the world champions in ice dance.


13 gold

There are six disciplines. In aerials and the new big air event, skiers launch themselves off the ramp and do flips and spins. In the halfpipe, they perform in a U-shaped bowl, and in slopestyle, they ski down a course with rails and jumps. In muggles, they ski over a bumpy road and are judged on turns, jumps and speed.

The only event to be timed rather than judged is the ski cross, in which skiers race against each other in groups of four.

Canada won four gold medals at the previous Games; No other nation had more than one. That team is led by reigning Olympic champion Mogul superstar Mikel Kingsbury.

After missing out in 2018, NHL players will return to games, assured of a star-laden field. The United States (Patrick Kane and Austen Matthews), Canada (Sydney Crosby and Conor McDavid) and Sweden (Niklas Backstrom and Victor Heidman) may be the strongest teams on paper.

China will also participate in the men’s event, despite concerns that the team is not strong enough to be competitive.

In the women’s event, Canada and the United States have won all six gold medals since the sport was added, and five of the six silver medals. Finland, Russia and perhaps Switzerland are likely to be vying for bronze.


4 gold

The Germans have won 34 of the 48 gold medals in the sport over the years, including seven of the last eight.

In case you can’t remember, luge is the first leg sledding race; The skeleton is headfirst.

To win at the Nordic combined, athletes must be great at two different events: cross-country skiing and ski jumping. After years of Norwegian domination, Germany won all three gold medals at the previous Games.

Nordic combined is the only Olympic sport without a women’s event, but that could change in 2026.

And here is the headfirst sledding event. The United States has fared much better here, winning three of the 12 golds awarded so far. (The Americans have never won luge gold.) Germany, Austria and Russia are the countries to watch this year.

It’s a sport that beats athletes, thanks to the g-forces and vibrations that rattle sledgers.

Men jump in “normal hill” and “big hill” competitions, while women’s jumpers, who only joined the Games in 2018, are restricted to normal hill. A mixed-gender team competition is also being added this year.

Some have said that the top of the ski jumping tower, where athletes wait before a long journey, is the quietest place in the Games.


11 gold

Many events are similar to freestyle skiing: big wind, halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboard cross (instead of ski cross). There is also a one-on-one giant slalom competition.

One of the stars of the 2018 competition, American halfpipe gold medalist Chloe Kim, will be back to defend her title, with an appearance on “The Masked Singer” under her belt. Three-time gold medalist Shaun White plans to make a comeback at the age of 35 as well.


23 gold

Long-track speedskating, in which athletes usually race two races at once against the clock, is dominated by the Dutch. He won seven out of 14 gold medals in 2018 and eight out of 12 in 2014. The United States, behind world champions Joy Mantia and Brittany Bowe, will be looking for their first gold medal since 2010.

The short-track, with many skaters racing, and occasionally colliding, on a tight course, gave China the only gold of the 2018 Games. South Korea would also be a major contender. Although the United States picks up medals here and there, Apollo Ohno has not won gold in 2006 and 2002.

World Nation News Desk
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