Hannah Parker narrows down what she thinks are the best five sports of the Winter Olympics…
Many Brits don’t find the Winter Olympics particularly exciting. Perhaps not having much British interest is a factor. Or the fact that winter sports are often fairly inaccessible for us in the UK, so we can’t appreciate just what it takes for the athletes to compete in these sporting activities. Whatever it is, people are seriously missing out!
This year, the Winter Olympics is being held in PyeongChang, South Korea so the timing isn’t great for us Brits. It means that a lot of the action will be happening through the night, however, as the action never really stops, you’ll certainly catch some of it during the day, and there’s always the highlights show in the evening. But, here are the top five events you need to watch out for:
The one event you’re likely to see a bit of British interest in is this one. It’s basically bowls on ice. One person slides a sort of heavy disk across some ice, and then a few others brush the ice with brooms to make it go faster. The aim is to get your stone closest to the middle of the circle as you can. Some may call it one of the most boring events of the winter Olympics, but when those brooms get going, it can get pretty intense!
2. Short Track Speed skating
As with many of the Winter Olympics sports, it’s super dangerous. The skaters are sliding around on very thin blades extremely close together and at an extremely fast pace. There are almost always falls. In fact, as long as you just stay on your feet, you’re bound to at least get through to the final race, and even then, an Australian, Steven Bradbury famously won gold back in 2002 purely because he was the only skater not involved in a collision.
Of all the events in which a vehicle is sliding down a frozen water slide, this one has to be the most exciting – if only because it’s the most dangerous. Rather than having the safety of at least being inside a metal shell, the skeleton is essentially laying your torso on a board while your legs hang off the edge, and then sliding down at 80-90mph. The athletes involved are ridiculously brave, and it’s always one of the most dramatic events of the Olympics.
4. Snowboarding Halfpipe
It’s basically skateboarding on the snow… With a flat board rather than wheels. The athletes slide up and down a halfpipe, jumping high into the air, grabbing their board and doing all sorts of tricks. If you find the racing a bit boring, this is definitely the one for you. There are all sorts of moves that the snowboarders pull out the bag. It’s entertaining, it’s a bit mind-boggling at times, and the falls can make you wince like you’ve never winced before.
5. Ice hockey
This is Canada’s football. They win pretty much every year, and you know what, it’s one of the only times you enjoy watching the same team win the same event repeatedly. They’re simply the best. They really are. But aside from Canada, it’s pretty brutal, with players bashing into the sides, punching each other, sliding all over the ice and all of this at a ridiculous speed. It’s a long way from the hockey we’re used to seeing in the UK, and it’s bloody well exciting!
Stand Up would like to wish all the athletes competing at this year’s Winter Olympics good luck!
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