You might ask; but how can they hold the WINTER Olympics in a place like this? Russia’s one and only seemingly out of place tropical getaway, littered with cruise liners and beer guts in banana hammocks. Last time I checked they weren’t water skiing in the last Winter Olympics. Well, fret not fellow snow lovers, for this same Sochi is but a hop skip and a jump from some pretty spectacular peaks. When you take a look from a birds eye, you can get a sense of the bigger picture.
So, now you can might have a sense of the powdery potential Sochi holds in her stoic peaks. With less than 100 days to go before the games kick off on February 7, you should have a sense of what new and exciting events you’ll be catching couch side. This year there’s a few new installments that are definitely worth checking out!
1. Men/Women’s Ski Half Pipe
With snowboard half pipe being such a success in both the men and women’s category, it was a no brainer for the IOC to let the skiers get there chance at gold. Prepare to watch the worlds best go head to head on 22 foot walls of ice. Hurling themselves over 20 feet in the air and pulling off some incredibly intricate maneuvers. If this alone doesn’t get you excited for Sochi, then you might want to change the TV station to the Travel Channel.
2. Men/Women’s Ski & Snowboard Slopestyle
Half Pipe simply wasn’t enough for the Olympics, and after producing attention that only extreme sports can draw it will be joined by its Slopestyle counterpart. For those who don’t know the slopestyle competition is basically a skate park built into the snow where all of the obstacles are blown up to much bigger sizes to compensate for the increased speed the snow offers. The event incorporates a combination of jumps and rails, and the rider with the best run will emerge atop the podium. This is a much different form of competition than half pipe and a must watch for any and all skier/snowboarders as you can watch your favorite athletes duke it out on the worlds biggest stage.
3. Luge Team Relay
Remember sledding down the hill in your local park as a kid? Well these men and women took that childhood past time to a whole new level. Now they’re taking turns at a blistering 90 miles per hour on a sheet of ice, coasting on nearly inverted walls! Well Luge Team Relay is just what it sounds like. A new format in which teams are comprised of both men and women including a doubles sled and a single man and woman. The team with the combined fastest time takes home gold at Sochi. Keep your childhood dreams alive people!
4. Women’s Ski Jumping
Isaac Newton clearly never witnessed ski jumping, other he would have rethought his laws of physics. Finally after years of being excluded from the event, women’s skis will be taking flight this coming February for the first time in Olympic history. Even if you don’t enjoy ski jumping its worth watching simply because it is history in the making. It’s also pretty exciting watching just how incredibly far these athletes are capable of jumping, the current world record is 809 feet. Almost 3 football fields!
5. Biathlon Mixed Relay
Ever get the urge to go hunting on skis? Then a Biathlon Mixed Relay is perfect for you! A winter biathlon consists of two disciplines, cross country skiing and shooting. This is also a new event making its debut at Sochi, and again features a two member team combination of both men and women. The teams must complete a 4.6 mile loop and complete two shots, one standing and one in prone position. Each miss will add a penalty loop and the team boasting the lowest time will stand tallest on the podium.
It appears Sochi has a lot in store for us, and as the games get closer anticipation is building. The US Team is wasting no time doing some major marketing to get Americans excited to watch their athletes compete. The athletes hit Time Square alerting fans of the new events, and even giving them the chance to watch and compete against some of the winter athletes all in hopes of building positive anticipation for Sochi. So remember grab the sunscreen and your finest swim suit and we’ll see you in Sochi.