Haven’t trained 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for the last 4 years? Worry not! Everyone can enjoy the Winter Olympics this year, whether it's watching it on TV or getting out there and trying some of the sports yourself!
At the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix in 1924, only 11 women out of 258 Olympians competed in just two sports: women's figure skating and mixed pairs.
In 2018, women make up nearly 50 per cent of the participants competing in 102 events and all 15 Olympic sports except for Nordic Combined (cross-country skiing and ski jumping). While we celebrate these elite athletes’ accomplishments and the commitment it takes to become an Olympian, here's a look at how “everywoman” can enjoy Olympic sports and a recap on what sports are showcased at the Winter Olympics:
Winter Olympic Sports
- Ice Sports:
Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton, Ice Hockey, Curling, Ice Skating, Short Track Skating and Ice Dancing
- Alpine, Skiing and Snowboarding events:
Alpine Skiing, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding
- Nordic events:
Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined
Everywoman Winter Sports
Like the idea of gliding across a sheet of ice? You're not alone! Since the first Winter Olympics, fans and amateur athletes have been fascinated and motivated by the seemingly effortless movements of figure skaters and ice dancers. If it's chilly enough to make an outdoor ice rink, many of us skate outdoors, while in warmer climates, indoor skating rinks offer both leisure skating and athlete training.
And if you live in a cold climate, nature provides many opportunities to experience outdoor Olympic-like sports for several months of the year. Turn Bobsled, Luge or Skeleton into good ol' tobogganing or a nature preserve, golf course, or field into a Nordic sport (also known as cross country skiing).
Indoor artificial snow slopes, snow domes and ice skating rinks have also made traditional winter sports like skiing, tobogganing and hockey available around the world and in all seasons for athletes and the everywoman to enjoy.
Meanwhile, if you're lucky enough to live in a city where the Winter Olympics have been held, such as Calgary, Salt Lake and Sarajevo, recreational tracks are available for the public to use at former Olympic sites. These specially-designed sports complexes are where everywoman can experience the speed and thrill of careening down an icy trail or skate on Olympic-sized rinks, while indoor 'dry slopes' are available during the off-season and in areas that don't have snow or hills, so you can develop your skills year-round.
If you prefer team sports, women's ice hockey continues to gain popularity as an Olympic sport as well as a recreational one, and curling's fan base has grown since it returned to the Olympics in Nagano in 1998.
If you're more fan than Olympian, you can get into the Olympic spirit by watching the movie I, Tonya, which brings one of the biggest Olympic ice skating rivalries and scandals to the big screen.
One way or another, everyone has the chance to experience the energy of the Olympics. We're excited to discover the stories behind women who became Olympic athletes, and watch Olympians from across the globe prove their skills and determination to bring home a medal – wherever they live!
The 2018 Winter Olympics run from February 9-25. Find out when your favorite events are scheduled here! #bAnOlympian
Catherine Russell is Būband's Content Manager