The Games explained

  • Sport guide – Ice Hockey: fast, furious and intensely physical Olympic Winter entertainment

    Ice hockey is the Olympic Winter Games’ prime team sport and, for many fans, the event’s biggest draw. Fast, furious and intensely physical, it’s a true clash of nations. The game was properly developed in Canada in the 1870s. It was contested at the summer Olympic Games in 1920 before switching to the winter event

  • Doubling up, mass starts and big tricks – four new events get Games-time in PyeongChang

    PyeongChang 2018 is set to play host to four new Olympic Winter Games events: curling mixed doubles, speed skating mass start, an alpine skiing team event and snowboard big air. For the curling, one male and one female competitor will make up each team, playing with six stones rather than the traditional eight, with the

  • Sport guide – Freestyle Skiing: style and substance meet in a high-octane Winter Games spectacular

      Tricked out Freestyle Skiing is a high-octane, high-speed combination of mind-blowing tricks and absolute precision, ensuring it is one of the biggest draws at any Olympic Winter Games. Having been a demonstration sport at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, freestyle skiing was officially added to the programme for Albertville 1992. It is hardly surprising

  • Sport guide – Figure Skating: a defining Olympic sport of grace, skill and artistry

      Where sports and art merge Figure skating was the first winter sport to be contested at an Olympic Games, but it actually featured at the London 1908 and Antwerp 1920 Olympic Games before transferring to its more familiar season at Chamonix 1924. For many spectators, it remains the iconic Olympic Winter Games event. While

  • Sport guide – Curling: a sedate but nerve-tingling journey of technique and tactics

    While many winter sports are high-speed, high-altitude and even high-risk, curling stands alone as something more sedate, cerebral and intricate – and none the less enjoyable as a spectator event for it.   A sport over 500 years in the making Originating in Scotland in the 1500s, it has been played internationally since the 19th

  • Sport guide – Cross-Country Skiing: a Winter Olympic all-terrain test made in the military

    Gliding through forests, speeding downhill, battling uphill and powering across flat sections – cross country skiing is a true test of athleticism, endurance and race management.   From humble origins to show-stopper Having been used for millennia as a mode of transportation in countries with regular snowfall, Norwegian military units first began staging races in

  • Sport guide – Bobsleigh: an iconic Winter Games sport for the fast and fearless

      Fast and Furious Thundering down a track at close to 150kph is not an activity for the faint of heart: bobsleigh is the fastest, and also one of the most thrilling, of winter activities. It’s been a part of the Olympic Winter Games since the event’s inception at Chamonix 1924 (with the exception of

  • Sport guide – Biathlon: a rare combination of shooting and skiing rooted in tradition

      Shoot to thrill Few sports require as rare a combination of skills as biathlon. Its athletes need to be super-fit in order to compete across a demanding cross-country skiing course, but also possess enough mental calmness to fire a shotgun accurately at a range of tricky targets. It’s a discipline rooted in Scandinavian tradition

  • Sport guide – Alpine Skiing: bravery at breakneck speed with a stylish twist

    Alpine Skiing is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous, dramatic and hotly-anticipated sports on the programme at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Requiring skill, bravery and inch-perfect technique – and featuring stomach-churning speed, miraculous stamina and the occasional spectacular crash – it has all the elements of great, modern sport.   Maximum Speed The

  • Sport guide – Speed Skating: a pure and plain test of supreme fitness on ice

      Speed skating is one of the purest tests of fitness in winter sports, contested by athletes with similar physical abilities to middle-distance runners. The Basics Like timed cycling events in the Olympic velodrome, it’s all about pacing laps correctly in order to post the fastest time against an opponent who starts on the other