Winter Olympics’ newest events

Maya Lapp, The Eagle Staff Writer

As soon as the Olympics begin each couch potato becomes the expert of every Olympic sport- but this year there are twelve more events and an entire extra day of competition to pretend we specialize in. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed to add X-Game-like events to make the Olympic Games a more exciting occasion. Many of these are sports that send the competitors flying though the air into flips that make even viewer unsteady of their feet. There also has been a larger focus on team or relay events, which gives the competitors a chance to not only fight for themselves but also for their country. The following are the twelve new events that Olympians will be competing in this winter in Sochi, Russia.

Women’s Ski Jumping. Any watcher of the Olympic commercials this year will know via Visa that this is the first year that “women get a chance to fly”. Men have competed in ski jumping since the very first winter Olympics in 1924 and this will be one of the few Olympic skiing events in which the women use the same slope as the men- a detail they lobbied for resiliently. Each competitor jumps four times and is judged on the distance they achieve and their style in the air. The jumper who acquires the highest cumulative score after all four runs is the new Olympic champion. This event is also a part of the Nordic combined, which is a combination of Ski Jumping and cross-country skiing.

Snowboard Parallel Slalom- Men and Women. This is strictly a speed event. Two snowboarders fly down identical slopes and the first to the bottom wins. Simple. No judges. No disputes. The fastest down is Olympic champion.

Ski and Snowboard Slopestyle- Men and Women. These four events have the participants showing their style as they make their way down a slope that consists of rails, boxes and other terrain park material at the top as well as three huge jumps at the bottom. The athletes must prove their skill at different maneuvers as they make their way down the slope, focusing on landing difficult tricks as well as changing up the drills so they show their skill in variety. Skiers often end up going landing jumps and skiing down backwards, which is why they use twin tip skis to help them land blindly.

Biathlon Mixed Relay. This sport is especially popular in Europe, a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. This event is a relay, the two women each racing a 6 km keg first, followed by the men with their 7.5 km run. Each must shoot twice, five shots in prone and standing positions, with a penalty lap for each miss. The team that has the lowest time after every member finishes wins the race.

Figure Skating Team Event. Each figure skating team consists of six skaters for four rounds of competition- the men’s singles, women’s singles, pairs and dance. The pairs and dance categories consist of one male and one female skater. Each round they are scored on the difficulty and execution of their moves and the cumulative score decides the placing of the teams. Many of the skaters found that this helped them to familiarize themselves with the setting and calm anxieties of competing on Olympic ice.

Skiing Half Pipe- Men and Women. If you enjoy watching Shaun White throw himself into the air feet above his other competitors and are disappointed in his lack of metal this year there may be another event you wish to see. This year both men and women skiers have a chance to emulate the maneuvers snowboarders have been performing for years as they slide down the half pipe. The final’s format is much like snowboarding, with twelve competitors with two runs each. The winner must have the best single run out of all of the competition.

Luge Team Relay. This is also a mixed gender event with three legs of the race- the women’s single sled, men’s single sled and doubles sled- that are added together to decide the final victor. There is a touch pad at the end of the route that must be activated in order to open the gate for the next teammate. If you miss its goodbye gold medal!