Top 5 Winter Olympic Sports
*Note: No sport involving judges or a scoring system based on subjective observation were considered for this list.
Ultimate game of shuffleboard. Curling is likely the only Winter Olympic event with spectators who falsely presume they could jump off the couch and be just as proficient at gliding the granite across the ice. Curling requires finesse and teamwork. Watching folks passionately sweep ice to alter the stone's path is one of the marquee events in the Olympics.
(Learn about the biathlon here: Top 5 Most Challenging Sports) In addition to being the Winter Olympics most difficult event, the biathlon holds the title of most diverse. Athletes are required to cross country ski, stop and shoot rifles, continue skiing up mountains, stop and shoot rifles again using a different body position, then ski even more. Biathlon looks exhausting because it is. For this reason, biathletes have the greatest recorded VO2 maxes in the world.
#3 Alpine Skiing
What a sight to see. Though, like grand prix, downhill skiers whiz by in a barely detectable blur. Alpine skiing involves four different ski disciplines: downhill, super-G, giant slalom, and slalom. While the downhill and super-G races focus on speed, the slalom and giant slalom races target precise turning ability. Watch the clock because these races are separated by hundredths of a second.
#2 Speed Skating
Round and round they go, where they stop...nobody knows. Okay, maybe we know where they stop, but watching the journey is no less exciting. Unlike a book or a movie, the end of these races cannot be spoiled. Speed skating is even less predictable than the weather in south Florida. The skaters fly around the track at speeds often reaching 40 mph. For perspective, 40 mph is nearly twice as fast as the fastest hockey players who also spent their entire lives on the ice. Watching skaters turn with one blade on the ice and maintain these breakneck speeds enhances the excitement of speed skating.
#1 Ice Hockey
As described in Top 5 Most Challenging Sports, Ice Hockey is fiercely competitive and even more impossible to pick up as a hobby unless someone spent a lifetime on ice skates. Hockey represents the ultimate team sport. Teams compete with multiple rotations of five. This constant rotation keeps the skaters fresh, making sure fatigue never interferes with effort or skill. From skating 25 mph with sticks, stopping on a dime and shooting at guarded nets to skating 15 mph backwards, hockey games are jam packed with excitement. There's a reason this event concludes the Olympics – it's that special.