Finally, the Games have arrived.
3,000 athletes from 88 countries officially kicked off the Winter Olympics last Friday, Feb. 7, with the Opening Ceremonies. There has already been fierce competition in the first several days. There have been triumphs: 15-year-old Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya, who some are calling the Russian doll. And there have been upsets: Americans Bode Miller and Hannah Kearney. As always, the Olympics are proving to be quite exciting. But this year is especially thrilling because of the 12 new events introduced.
According to NBC, “the International Olympic Committee added the events to provide a newer, fresher and more youthful flare to the Games, including many X-Games equivalent events for 2014.”
We’ve already seen a couple of the new events — Americans Jamie Anderson and Sage Kotsenburg both took gold in the first-ever Olympic Snowboard Slopestyle, while the American figure skating team took bronze in Figure Skating Team.
There are still eight events that we have not yet seen, though. And before they are aired, here is a basic rundown of what to expect:
Women’s Ski Jumping: You know when the men go down a long hill, jump off of it, fly with their legs stretched and then land? Well, now you’ll be seeing girls do that, too. America is expected to win big in this event with Sarah Hendrickson and Lindsey Van.
Biathlon Mixed Relay: Two women and two men make up one team in this event that combines cross-country skiing and shooting. The women ski the first two legs while the men race the last two. Each person shoots twice and the lowest combined time wins.
Ski Halfpipe (Men and Women): As one article on NBC put it, “Picture Shaun White doing flips, jumps, twists and turns on a snowboard — now picture him doing the same maneuvers on skis.”
Ski Slopestyle (Men and Women): If you saw Snowboard Slopestyle, this will be look very similar, except the athletes will be on skis. It is a downhill course with obstacles, including hills and rails.
Snowboard Parallel Slalom: NBC’s explanation is simple — “Two snowboarders race side-by-side down identical courses. There are no judges scoring. First one down wins.”
Luge Team Relay: This relay is made up of three teams — a doubles sled, a women’s single sled and a men’s single sled — and the fastest combined team wins.
With so many more events to go, including these new ones, it looks like the Games can only get better.