Most underrated Winter Olympics sports

Joel Devick

Sports Blogger

@joelyranch3r

 

It’s Olympics season again, but this year, the cold-weather sports are taking center stage. Many spectators focus their attention on big-name sports such as figure skating, bobsleigh and skiing and snowboarding competitions. Here are several other less-hyped but equally exciting events that will take place in Pyeongchang this month.

Speedskating

Hans Splinter/Flickr

Whether it’s long track or short track, the fast-paced and ridiculously close races that happen in speed skating are some of the most nerve-racking events in the Winter Games. Team USA no longer has Apolo Anton Ohno on the short track, but J.R. Celski is capable of bringing home a gold medal. Record holder Shani Davis is one of the most notable names on the long track circuit, let alone Team USA, and will compete again this year.

Biathlon

Rifle shooting on its own is pretty boring. Cross-country skiing on its own is also pretty boring. Combine the two, and you’ve got a compelling competition that is, though there isn’t much of an unpredictability factor because the Scandinavians usually dominate it, a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Skeleton and Luge

Bobsleigh gets a lot of attention on the frozen track, and rightfully so. Skeleton and luge, though, are arguably more dangerous and much more frightening to watch. In skeleton, an athlete rides headfirst down the track. Luge is done feet first, but both can reach ridiculous speeds. Imagine hurtling down an icy, half-mile-to-mile-long slide on a tiny sled at up to 80 miles an hour in a compression tight bodysuit. Luge includes solo and tandem competitors, while Skeleton is done with only one rider.

ozone@ocolly.com

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