Germany's Jakob Lange (C) poses as winner with second-placed Germany's Mach David and third-placed Austria's Thomas Rettenegger at a Cup part of a 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games test event in Chongli county, Zhangjiakou city, China's Hebei province on December 4, 2021. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

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With Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics just around the corner, athletes are training hard and the rest of us are waiting to follow our national teams contesting for the medals. There will be 109 events in the winter Olympics spreading over 15 disciplines and seven sports.

Biathlon
11 medal events

Biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. It is regarded as a race, and the participants are skiing on cross-country ski trails. The distance is divided into shooting wheels. The shooting round itself is not timed, but depending on the competition, missed shots will cause additional distance or time to be added to the total time of the contestant.

The biathlon competition consists of contestants skiing through a cross-country trail system. The total distance of the system is divided into two or four rounds of shooting, half lying prone and the other half standing. Based on shooting performance, additional distance or time will be added to the total ski distance / time of the contestant. The athlete with the shortest total time wins.

In each round of shooting, the biathlon athletes must hit five targets, otherwise each missed target will be punished. Penalties could vary  depending on the competition rules and could be:

  • Skiing around a 150-meter penalty loop: Depending on the weather and snow conditions, it takes an elite biathlon athlete usually 20-30 seconds to complete this.
  • Addition of one minute to the total time of the skier.
  • Use extra cartridges (placed in the shooting range) to hit the target; only three such extras are available per round, and a penalty loop must be performed for each remaining target.

In order to track the progress and relative status of the contestants throughout the competition, the split time (intermediate time) will be recorded at several points along the ski trail and after each round of shooting is completed.

Bobsledding

Bobsleigh is organised in two disciplines of Bobsleigh and Skeleton.

Bobsleigh
4 medal events

Also called Bobsled, is a team winter sport that involves making timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sleigh.

Bobsleigh teams compete to complete a downhill route in the fastest times. An aggregate time from several runs is used to determine the winners. The four-man event has been featured since the first Winter Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The only exception was the 1960 games in Squaw Valley when the organising committee decided not to build a track to reduce costs. The two-man event was introduced at the 1932 games and a two-woman event was first contested at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The 2022 Winter Olympics bobsled competition will be held at Xiaohaituo and Luge track, one of the Yanqing cluster venues. From February 4 to 20, 2022, a total of four sled races will be held.

Skeleton

Skeleton is a winter sliding sport, in which one person rides a small sled, called a skeleton sled, on a frozen track, face down, head down. The sport and sled may have been named after the skeletal appearance of the sled.

Unlike other sliding sports such as bobsled and sleds, competitions always involve solo riders. Similar to the sled, but unlike the luge, the race starts from the open gate at the top of the track. The skeleton sled is thinner and heavier than the luge sled, and the skeleton allows the rider to control the sled more precisely. Skeleton is the slowest of the three sliding sports, because the skeleton’s face-down, head-forward riding posture is less aerodynamic than the Luge's face-up, foot-first riding posture.

Previously, skeletons appeared in the Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1928 and once again 1948. It was permanently added to the Olympic events of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and women's competitions were also added at this stage.

In elite competitions, riders experience accelerations of up to 5 g and reach speeds of over 130 km/h (81 mph).

Skeleton for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held at the Xiaohaituo bobsled and luge track in Yanqing District, China. These events are scheduled for February 10-12, 2022. There will be two skeleton races in total, one for men and women

Curling
3 medal events

Curling is a sport in which the player slides a stone on an ice track to a target area, which is divided into four concentric circles. It is related to bowls, petanques and shuffleboards. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite rocks, also called stones, over the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones, and each player throws two stones. The goal is to accumulate the highest score of a game; at the end of each round, the stone closest to the center of the house scores, and when both teams throw away all the stones, the game ends. A game usually consists of eight or ten ends.

The player can induce a curved path by making the stone slowly rotate as it slides, which is called curling. The path of the rock may be further affected by two sweepers with brooms or brushes, who will accompany it as the rock slides down the sheets and sweep the ice in front of the rock. "Sweeping the stone" reduces friction, which makes the stone go straighter and travel a longer distances. Choosing the ideal path and stone placement for each situation requires a lot of strategy and teamwork, and the skill of the curler determines the degree to which the stone achieves the desired effect. This gave Curling the nickname "Chess on Ice.”

The curling competition for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held at the Beijing National Swimming Center, which is one of the Olympic green venues. The curling competition is scheduled to take place every day of the competition, from February 2 to 20. This will be the eighth time curling has been included in the Olympic Games.

Ice hockey
2 medal events

Ice hockey is a contact winter team sport performed on skates, usually on a skating rink, with lines and markings specific to the sport. It is one of the fastest ice team sports and belongs to the four skating team sports teams, regardless of their related variants.

In an ice hockey game, two opposing teams use ice hockey sticks to control, advance and shoot a closed, vulcanized, rubber disc called "hockey puck" into the opponent's goal. Each goal is worth one point. The team with the most goals is declared the winner. In a formal game, each team has 6 players on the ice at a time, except if a penalty is imposed. One of the six players is the goalkeeper.

The ice hockey games of the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in two venues located in the Beijing cluster. The Beijing National Indoor Stadium, which can accommodate 18,000 people, is one of the so-called Olympic green stadiums. Wukesong Stadium, which can accommodate 10,000 people, will also be used, both of which were built for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Twelve teams will participate in the men's competition and ten teams will participate in the women's competition for the first time.

Luge
4 medal events

The sled is a small single or two-person sled in which the athlete sleds lying on its back (face up) with the feet going first. Lugers use their calf muscles to bend the slide of the sled or apply opposite shoulder pressure to the seat to steer. The single race sled weighs 21-25 kg, and the double race sled weighs 25-30 kg.

Lugers can reach speeds of 140 km/h. Before the 2010 Winter Olympics, Austrian Manuel Pfister reached a top speed of 154 km/h on the Canadian Whistler circuit. Lugers competes with chronographs in one of the most precisely timed sports in the world. Differences of a thousandth of a second could determine the winner.

The luge competition of the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held on the Xiaohaituo luge and luge track, one of the Yanqing cluster venues. From February 4th to October 10th, 2022, a total of four sled races will be held.

A total of 116 places have been allocated for sledding, which is 4 fewer than the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Skating

Skating is organised in 3 disciplines, Figure skating, Short track speed skating and Speed skating.

Figure skating
5 medal events

Figure skating is a sport performed by individuals, pairs or groups on ice. The Olympic events are men's singles, women's singles, pair skating, and ice dancing; the four individual events are also merged into one team event, which was included in the 2014 Winter Olympics for the first time.
Skaters usually perform two programs (short program and free skating). Depending on the discipline, the programs may include spinning, jumping, field movement, lifting, throwing jumps, death spirals, and other elements or actions.

Figure skating was the first winter sport to be included in the Olympic Games at the 1908 London Olympics,.

The figure skating competition for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held at the Beijing Capital Stadium in China. These five events will be held from February 4th to 20th, 2022.

Short track speed skating
9 medal events

Short track speed skating is a form of competitive ice speed skating. During the competition, multiple skaters (usually between four and six) skated on an oval ice track 111.12 meters long. The skating rink itself is 60 meters long and 30 meters wide. It is as large as an Olympic-size figure skating rink and an international-size ice rink. Related sports include long track speed skating and inline speed skating.

The 2022 Winter Olympics short track speed skating event will be held at the Beijing Capital Stadium in China. These events are scheduled to take place from February 5th to 16th, 2022. A total of nine short track speed skating games will be held.

In July 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) formally added a mixed relay event over 2000 meters, and the total number of events increased to 9. Due to the addition of events, the competition schedule has been increased from five days to six days.

A total of 112 places have been allocated for short track speed skating (52 for men and women), which is 8 less than the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Speed skating
14 medal events

Speed ​​skating is a form of competitive skating in which contestants wear roller skates to compete with each other within a certain distance. The types of speed skating include long track speed skating, short track speed skating and marathon speed skating. In the Olympics, long track speed skating is often referred to as "speed skating", while short track speed skating is called "short track".

The sport is very popular in the Netherlands, Norway and South Korea. There are top international skating rinks in many other countries, including Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Belarus and Poland.

The 2022 Winter Olympics speed skating event will be held from February 5th to 19th, 2022 at the National Speed ​​Skating Stadium ("Ice Belt") in Beijing, China.​​​ This will be the 24th time in the Winter Olympics (17th women's time). There are 14 competitions, including 7 men’s and 7 women’s; the same 14 events as in 2018.
In order to achieve more gender equality, the maximum quotas for men and women are the same. There are 83 speed skaters for each gender (100 men and 80 women in 2018), and the total quota is reduced from 180 to 166.

Skiing

Skiing is organised in six disciplines; Alpine skiing, Cross-country skiing, Freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, Ski jumping, and Snowboarding.

Alpine skiing
11 medal events

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the sport of sliding down a snow-covered slope on skis with a fixed heel fixture. Unlike other types of skiing (cross-country, Telemark or ski jumping), which use free heel fixing.

Since 1936, alpine skiing has been an event in the Winter Olympics. In 1886, a game corresponding to modern slalom was introduced in Oslo

The 2022 Winter Olympics alpine skiing competitions will be held at the Xiaohaituo Alpine Ski Resort in Yanqing District, China. The competitions will be held from February 6th to 19th, 2022.

Cross-country skiing
12 medal events

Cross-country skiing is one of the original Winter Olympic sports, having been first contested at the inaugural Winter Games in 1924.
The only cross-country events held at those Games in Chamonix were the men's 50km and 18km competitions, but there will be 12 events in the competition in Beijing, with 36 medals to be won. The longest will be the 50km Mass start Free.

Even though Norway is a strong bet for winning most of the games, Finland has also good cross-country skiers and pretty good chances of winning medals in some of the events.

The 2022 Winter Olympics cross-country skiing competitions will be held at the Kuyangshu Nordic Center and Biathlon Center in Zhangjiakou, China.

Freestyle skiing
13 medal events

Freestyle skiing is a ski event in the Winter Olympics, including air skiing, big shot skiing, cross skiing, half-pipe skiing, slope skiing and big sky skiing. It can be composed of skiers who perform aerial flips and spins, and can include skiers sliding rails and boxes on their skis.

Freestyle skiing combines speed, showmanship and the ability to perform aerial manoeuvres whilst skiing.

The 2022 Winter Olympics freestyle skiing competitions will be held in Zhangjiakou Yunding Snow Park and Beijing Shougang Aviation. These events are scheduled for February 3-19, 2022. A total of 13 freestyle skiing events will be held.

In July 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially added three events to the Olympic Games: the men’s and women’s large aerial event, and the mixed group aerial event.

Nordic Combined
3 medal events

Nordic Combined is a winter sport where athletes participate in cross-country skiing and ski jumping competitions.

The Nordic combined for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held at the Kuyangshu Nordic Center and the Biathlon Center. These three events are scheduled to be held from February 9th to 17th, 2022.

Ski Jumping
5 medal events

Ski jumping is a winter sport. The goal of the contestants is to jump the farthest after sliding off the specially designed curved slope on the snowboard. In addition to the length of the jump, factors such as the player's aerial style will also affect the final score. Ski jumping was first held in Norway at the end of the 19th century, and later spread throughout Europe and North America in the early 20th century. Together with cross-country skiing, it forms the traditional group of Nordic skiing disciplines.

A ski jumping site, usually called a ramp, consists of an in-run, take-off platform, and a landing ramp. Each jump is evaluated based on the distance traveled and the style of execution. The distance score is related to the construction point (also known as K point), which is a line drawn in the landing zone as the "target" reached by the contestant.

Each judge can grant up to 20 points for style. Over the years, jumping technique has evolved, from parallel ski jumping with arms forward to the "V-shape" widely used today.

Ski jumping has been included in the Winter Olympics since 1924.

The 2022 Winter Olympics ski jumping will be held at the Kuyangshu Nordic Center and Biathlon Center in Zhangjiakou, China. The competition will be held from February 5th to 14th, 2022.

In July 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially added mixed team events to the Olympic Games, increasing the total number of events to 5.

Snowboarding
11 medal events

Snowboarding is an entertaining and competitive activity that involves going down a snow-covered slope on boards that are almost always attached to the rider’s feet. It is included in the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics.

The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the United States in the 1960s, became a sport in the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998.

The snowboarding events of the 2022 Winter Olympics are planned to be held in Zhangjiakou Yunding Snow Park and Shougang Aviation in Beijing, China. These events are scheduled for February 5-15, 2022. A total of 11 snowboard events will be held.

In July 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially added the mixed-group snowboard crossover event to the Olympic event, increasing the total number of events to 11.

A total of 238 places have been allocated for snowboarding, which is 20 fewer than the 2018 Winter Olympics.

HT