Home / Sports / Big air, fast games and crowded tracks: the new Winter Olympics events explained – National

Big air, fast games and crowded tracks: the new Winter Olympics events explained – National

Ever watch a curling fit and want it used to be quicker? Or snowboard soar used to be upper? Or speedskating race integrated extra prime-pace covert shoving?

Then you must be excited for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Four new events make their debut in PyeongChang in February: mass get started speedskating, large air skiing, a group match in alpine snowboarding, and blended doubles curling. Each of them resembles an present Olympic match, simplest amplified.

Here’s a have a look at each and every:

Mass get started speedskating

Canadian competition: Ivanie Blondin, Keri Morrison, Olivier Jean

Olivier Jean (L) of Canada and Andrea Giovannini (C) of Italy lead the Mass Start race at the ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Calgary, on Dec. three, 2017.

EPA/MIKE STURK

Mass get started speedskating isn’t completely new: it used to be in the Olympics as soon as prior to in 1932, however it hasn’t been again since till now.

Mass get started is simply what it feels like. Sixteen skaters all get started directly and proportion the monitor for 16 laps. In that method, it seems to be much more like the rough-and-tumble quick-monitor races than maximum lengthy-monitor events.

The most sensible 3 skaters throughout the end line make it to the podium.

For the leisure, it will get somewhat sophisticated. There are 3 “sprint laps” in the race. The winner of each and every dash lap is awarded 5 issues. There are 3 issues for 2nd position and one level for 3rd. These issues get added in combination to get a rating for each and every skater, which then determines their rank.

This is the place the technique is available in. Every racer clearly needs to win, mentioned Canadian nationwide speedskating trainer Mark Wild. But a lot of the most sensible athletes will grasp again somewhat to start with, now not successful the intermediate dash laps, in order that they are able to save their power for the end and an opportunity at the podium. So they will not be forward till the very finish.


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But with 16 skaters whipping round the monitor at speeds of over 50 km/h, there’s an opportunity of a impressive wipeout and harm. “It’s about as non-contact as basketball is,” he mentioned.

“You do have some hands-on, but anything blatant would cause you to be disqualified.”

A large wipeout hasn’t came about but, he mentioned, but when it does, the skaters are secure. Everyone has to put on a helmet and minimize-evidence gloves in case of collision or any individual skating over their palms with an additional-lengthy, further sharp speedskating blade.

They additionally put on a minimize-evidence undersuit, with bolstered patches “over the major arteries” mentioned Wild, like the thighs, neck and underarms.

It’s a “thrilling” game to observe, he mentioned, and unpredictable with a large push at the finish. “There’s so much happening out there, that nothing is written until those three skaters cross the finish line.”

“Sixteen people going by at 55 kilometres an hour, it’s like watching rush hour traffic on the 401,” – except for, clearly, a lot quicker.

Big air skiing

Canadian competition: Mark McMorris, Max Parrot, Laurie Blouin, Tyler Nicholson, Spencer O’Brien, Sebastien Toutant, Brooke Voigt

Keita Inamura of Japan competes in the Snowboard & AFP Freeski Big Air Finals all over the Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort on August 30, 2015, in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Big air skiing all comes down to at least one soar. Snowboarders drop down a protracted ramp to a large, prime soar, and carry out impressive methods all over the more or less two seconds they’re in the air.

They’re scored in line with problem, amplitude, execution and touchdown, mentioned Canada Snowboard efficiency pathway supervisor Adam Higgins. “It’s a very big spectacle and everything happens in one spot. So it’s very easy to follow and get a good understanding of how it can go.”


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In initial rounds, each and every snowboarder is given two probabilities to land a unmarried trick, and assists in keeping the upper rating. In the finals, each and every athlete plays 3 jumps and will have to get a minimum of two other methods.

And they’re large jumps. The ramp in PyeongChang is the greatest in the international, with a complete top from begin to end of 49 metres. The athletes themselves in most cases move about 20 to 30 toes above the deck all over their soar, mentioned Higgins.

That a lot air can imply a coarse touchdown. “Of course, people get hurt doing this sport,” he mentioned. Canadian megastar Mark McMorris broke his femur all over a touchdown in California in 2016.

But even with the dangers and accidents, the athletes stay coming again, he mentioned. “These guys love jumping.”

“The feeling you get when you’re flying through the air, it’s part of the adrenaline and the attraction of snowboarding. It’s close to flying.”

Mixed doubles curling

Canadian competition: Kaitlyn Lawes, John Morris

Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnitsky of the Russia 1 Team compete in opposition to Magnus Nedregotten and Kristin Moen Skaslien of Team Norway in the ultimate of the Sochi International Mixed Doubles match of the 2017/18 World Curling Tour (WCT) at the Ice Cube curling centre.

Valery SharifulinTASS by way of Getty Images

Mixed doubles curling is “a lot faster” than the curling you could be used to observing on tv, mentioned nationwide blended doubles trainer Jeff Stoughton.

“It’s quick. So it’s not like you can go to your fridge and grab a beer and sit back on your couch and pick up where you left off.”

The ends move by way of briefly and the whole recreation is done in about an hour and a part, as a substitute of the 3 or extra hours for the standard recreation.

Each group has simply two gamers: a person and a girl. There are 8 ends, with simplest 5 rocks thrown consistent with finish. Each finish starts with two desk bound rocks in play – one as a centre guard, and one at the again of the 4-foot circle of the space. The group with the hammer chooses which matches the place, which additionally impacts who throws first. These further rocks can rely for scoring.


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One participant throws the first and 5th stones, and the different throws the 2nd, 3rd and fourth ones. Generally, Stoughton has his feminine participant get started and end the finish, with the guy in the heart. “There’s no slight to the women here but the men can throw it harder just because they’re a little bit bigger so they have that ability to clean up the house if things get in trouble. It’s a little bit easier if they’re throwing the two, three and four rock,” he mentioned.

Having simply two other people doing the whole lot makes the recreation extra tough, he mentioned. “Each player not only has to call the game for the other person, they sometimes have to sweep for the other person or for themselves, they have to execute the shot, and then they just do it all over again really quick. So there’s not a lot of downtime for either player.”

A pass over can totally flip round an finish, he mentioned. “That’s the key to this one: just don’t miss.”

He likes Canada’s podium probabilities despite the fact that. Aside from fielding two former Olympic gold medallists, there are simplest 8 international locations competing in the Olympic event – for 3 medals. “It’s a good number. I like the odds. But you’ve still got to execute.”

“All eight teams probably think and feel that they can get on the podium.”

Alpine snowboarding group match

Canadian competition: To be introduced in overdue January

Stefan Luitz of Germany competes all over the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals Nation Team Event on March 17, 2017, in Aspen, Colorado.

Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

The new group match in alpine snowboarding additionally has males and girls competing in combination. Two males and two girls for each and every nation take turns snowboarding head-to-head down a brief route.

The skiers move two at a time down matching classes, each and every aiming to get to the backside prior to their competitor. If one nation wins extra of those races than the different, then they win the fit. If they win two each and every, then the winner is determined by way of time.


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“It’s all timed, but basically it’s really spectator-friendly because you can see people racing right beside each other. So whoever gets down faster wins,” mentioned Canadian skier Erin Mielzynski, who has competed in the group match at the international championships.

In a in most cases solo game like alpine snowboarding, a group race supplied one thing new for her: camaraderie. “It’s amazing to race as part of the team,” she mentioned.

“When you stand there and you might have butterflies in your stomach, it doesn’t matter because you share them as a team.”

She’s generally been the first skier down the hill, so she’s ready to observe her teammates do their runs in the back of her. “It’s pretty great to go through the finish line and watch the rest of your team, and you celebrate as a team. You lift each other up, and that’s something I’ve been missing my whole life and I’m so happy that it was added this Olympics.”

© 2018 Global News, a department of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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