One of the things I like about the Olympics is getting the chance to see the sports that aren’t ever broadcast on mainstream television. It’s strange to see the country shift, and all of a sudden appear to care deeply about sports like the bobsled, luge, and speed skating. Of course skiing and snowboarding are the heavy hitters that make us watch, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Have you ever found yourself watching the pre-taped segments explaining what curling is only to realize you yourself have no idea what the rules are? In honor of these less popular events, here’s are my favorite non-mainstream sports in the Winter Olympics.
Sports of the Winter Olympics Worth Watching
Thanks to the movie Cool Runnings, there will always be a special place in my heart reserved for the bobsled races. Seriously though, the world record for fastest bobsled is 201 kilometers per hour. I don’t feel comfortable driving that fast, let alone flying down an ice covered concrete track on a 400 pound metal sled with 4 other guys.
For the athletes who feel that bobsleds offer just too much protection, there’s the luge. This sport would be really easy, except for the fact that it’s insanely difficult to control. These athletes fly on their backs while laying on sleds reaching speeds of over 80 miles per hour. If that isn’t scary enough, there’s the skeleton, which is just like the regular luge, except you lay on your stomach and go down head first. The first person to do this was either the world’s greatest thrill seeker, or had recently escaped from an insane asylum. Now that I think about it, probably both.
You have to respect any sport that has origins in military exercises. Norwegians love cross country skiing, so it was only a matter of time before this training exercise evolved into a sport. In 1861, governing officials saw it as a great way to practice national defense at a local level. Most people think of cross-country skiing as being relaxed and tranquil, but this sport is far from that. Imagine pushing yourself as hard as you physically can. Your heart rate is up, the air is filling your lungs, and your legs are burning. Now imagine, all of a sudden you have to stop, lay down on the snow and shoot a target that is 150 meters away with a .22 caliber rifle. If that doesn’t sound almost impossible to you, you’re either in incredible shape, or not imagining correctly.
What’s your favorite non mainstream or canceled Olympic Sport?