2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi, Russia
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According to historians, the Olympic Games can be traced back to ancient times in Greece, precisely in 776 B.C. and included events such as running, jumping, throwing the discus, and equestrian events. The Games continued for 12 centuries until Emperor Theodosius decided to ban them. In 1896, the Olympic Games began again in Athens, Greece, starting a new era, but these Games were every four years and included only the Summer events. The first Winter Games began in 1924 in Chamonix, France and continue on today.
This winter in Sochi, Russia the twenty-first Winter Olympic Games will take place with fifteen events including Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Cross Country, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Luge, Nordic Combined, Short Track, Skeleton, Ski Jumping, Snowboard, and Speed Skating. The top five events of the Games from first to last include . . .
1. Freestyle Skiing- This event was brought to the Olympics of 1988 in the city of Calgary in the province Alberta, Canada. Both men and women compete in this event with a certain type of skiing that involves many events within itself including: moguls – when the skier descends down the slope, skiing over mounds of snow in a pattern- ski cross – a skier speeds down a 1000 meter long slope filled with obstacles and turns, aerials – a skier will come across two ski jumps and be judged on take-off technique, jump form, and landing, ski halfpipe- skiers perform tricks such as twists, somersaults, grabs and flips on a halfpipe, and ski slopestyle – skiers will perform on the slope with several obstacles such as rails, quarter-pipes, jumps.
2. Alpine Skiing- This became an events in the year 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. There are five events that make up Alpine skiing including: downhill – skiers try and reach the highest speed possible while skiing down the longest courses, achieving speeds up to 120 km/h, slalom – skiers must ski down a course marked with flags and gates in which are spaced very close together, giant-slalom – alike to the slalom, skiers must ski down a slope with gates and flags that are closer together, super-giant or Super-G – this events incorporates obstacles in both the speed of downhill and the obstacles of the giant-slalom.
3. Luge- This event, called the luge, which actually means sled in French, first developed in Switzerland in 1879, and then made it’s debut in the Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria during 1964. The Luge is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous events in the Games, while it entails sliding down a special track of frozen ice on a sled at high speeds, individually or with a partner. There are individual competitions – men and women compete for the fastest times, and relay competitions – the relay is organized as women’s singles first, men’s single second, and a double last. Whatever team is fastest will win.
4. Snowboarding- This event made its debut in the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. There are five events that make up Snowboarding including: the halfpipe – athlete performs on a halfpipe-shaped course doing aerial tricks, parallel giant slalom – two athletes compete on side by side courses and the best scorer wins, snowboard cross – the snowboarder must complete a course filled with obstacles such as moguls, banks and jumps, slopestyle – the athlete will perform on a technical course filled with rails, quarterpipes and jumps, parallel slalom – two snowboarders will descend down equally difficult courses marked with red and blue flags. Whichever athlete makes it down the course the fastest without breaking any course rules is the winner.
5. Figure Skating- This event – one of the oldest – was brought to the 1908 Olympics in London, England. There are certain events that make up Figure Skating including: men’s and women’s singles – these programs should include a short one with 7 compulsory elements and a free program including jumps, spins, and steps, mixed-pair skating – performing lifts, throws, spins, and synchronized jumps, ice dancing – the skater uses their vocals as well as background music and performs the song with the emotion and feeling in which the song evokes.
Go Team USA!