The 2014 Winter Olympics have got underway in Sochi and its the one time in four years that we in South Africa get to watch some of the lesser known winter sports. While we get to see things like speed skating, ice skating, ice hockey and even slalom there are 3 specific events that stand out in my mind.
The Biathlon comes in 5 different categories, the 10km, 12.5km pursuit, 15km mass start, 20km and 4×7.5km relay. The 10 km is my favourite, so Ill explain it briefly. Each competitor does 5 laps that are each four kilometres. The biathlete will then shoot four times totaling 20 targets. For each miss the competitor will have to ski an additional 150m loop before continuing. Bjoerndalen from Sweden is the man to beat as he has just won his 12th Olympic medal in winning the 10km at Sochi. The win is his 7th Olympic gold medal of his career. He will be the favourite to add to this tally in the 20km as well as the team relay with his fellow Norweigans.
Of course any person who has watched the cult hit movie Cool Runnings will be a fan of the sport of Bobsleigh. There are two formats in the Winter Olympics, the two man and the four man. Germany have been the dominant force over the last few years winning gold in the two man and silver in the four man in Vancouver in 2010 and winning the double gold in Turin and Salt Lake City. Its an incredible sport which has been host to some incredible crashes as speeds reach excessive limits in the quest to win gold. Its awesome.
As a big fan of lawn bowls, this is the awesome Winter Olympics equivalent. Teams are made up of five members. The Roaring Game, as it is commonly known due to the sound of stone floating across the ice, is a game that makes house work seem fun as team mates “clean” the ice in order to speed up and slow down the stone. Its an incredible sport to watch with some incredible chants.