Winter Olympics: What are the Beijing 2022 winter sports? Full list of Winter Olympic sports and what they are

2022’s Winter Olympic Games have now begun in Beijing, but what sports do athletes take part in? Here’s a full list of Winter Olympic sports at Beijing 2022 and what they involve

Winter Olympics: What are the Beijing 2022 winter sports? Full list of Winter Olympic sports and what they are (Image credit: Canva Pro)
Winter Olympics: What are the Beijing 2022 winter sports? Full list of Winter Olympic sports and what they are (Image credit: Canva Pro)

The 24th Winter Olympic Games has been declared open at the opening ceremony on Friday February 4 at the Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing, China.

While some events, such as curling doubles, started ahead of the Beijing opening ceremony, there are many more still to come over the next two weeks.

Summer Olympic Games are widely known and watched for featuring dramatic sprints, athletic showdowns and field sports.

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But what are the sports featured at Winter Olympic Games?

Here’s a full breakdown of the snow and ice sports you’ll see at this year's Beijing 2022 Olympics – and a breakdown of what each Winter Olympic sport involves.

Winter Olympics sports, explained

Alpine Skiing

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Alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics sees skiers from across the world compete across 11 different events, with five men’s and women’s ski events and a mixed team event.

Alpine skiing takes place on hills and mountains with steep inclines, with competitors reaching speeds of almost 110 miles per hour as they take part in downhill and slalom ski events – navigating jumps, corners and turns on their way.

There are 33 medals up for grabs in total at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

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Biathlon

The Biathlon at the Winter Olympics, combining cross country skiing and rifle shooting, is one of the most highly anticipated sports, with 33 medals available over 11 events.

It is a relatively young Olympic sport – only making its debut at Squaw Valley Winter Olympics in California, 1960.

Male competitors compete in 10km Sprint, 12.5km Pursuit, 15km Mass Start, 20km Individual and a 4x7.5km Relay, while women compete in 7.5km Sprint, 10km Pursuit, 12.5km Mass Start, 15km Individual and 4x6km Relay events.

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There is one mixed event in the form of a 4x6km mixed relay.

Bobsleigh

Bobsleigh has featured at every Winter Olympics apart from the 1960 California games as a celebrated winter sport which sees teams compete for the fastest time on sleighs along narrow, tube-like ice tracks – with many sharp corners and tight turns.

There are four events in total at the Beijing Winter Olympics with two men’s and women’s events, including a new monobob event, with 12 bobsleigh medals to be won in total.

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Cross-Country Skiing

Unlike Alpine Skiing events, which take place as runs down steep slopes, cross-country skiing takes place across more even terrain – but still sees skiers have to push themselves along long-distance routes in a variety of runs and lengths on skis, with poles to help them along.

There are 12 cross country skiing events in total at Beijing 2022.

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Women's events are: 10km Classic, 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon, 30km Mass Start Free, Sprint Free, Team Sprint Classic and 4 x 5km Relay

Men's events are: 15km Classic, 15km + 15km Skiathlon, 50km Mass Start Free, Sprint Free, Team Sprint Classic and 4 x 10km Relay

Curling

Curling is an ice-based game in which competitors push round, flat stones across the ice to reach a mark, using brooms to sweep the ice surface ahead of the stone to make sure it heads in the right direction at the right speed.

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There are three events in the curling competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics and nine medals up for grabs, split across three events – men’s, women’s and mixed doubles.

Figure Skating

Perhaps the most popular and widely watched Winter Olympics sport, figure skating will take place in the form of five different events at Beijing’s 2022 Olympics.

Champion figure skaters from across the world are marked on their skills in performing flawless routines to music on ice, with many a turn, jump and technical twist required to get a high score.

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Men’s individual and women's individual events will be joined by pairs, ice dancing and the team event at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Freestyle Skiing

First introduced as a demonstration event at Calgary 1988, freestyle skiing is another popular Winter Olympic sport – seeing skiers perform spins, flips and ski along rails and boxes while strapped to their skis as a highly entertaining sport.

The six men’s and women's events in Freestle Skiing at Beijing 2022 are: Aerials, Freeski Big Air, Freeski Halfpipe, Moguls, Freeski Slopestyle and Ski Cross

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The only mixed event is the Mixed Team Aerials – with 13 events in total at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Ice Hockey

While there are only two Ice Hockey events at the Winter Olympics 2022, they are still perhaps the most eagerly anticipated and exciting to watch.

Two teams play in ice hockey matches, with each team consisting of six players – including a goalkeeper – who must prevent the rival team from punting the puck into their own goal.

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As the name suggests, it takes place on ice, making the usual tough and physical game of hockey that much more difficult and hard-hitting.

Ice hockey players play in lots of padding, helmets and visors.

Luge

Another exciting sliding sport at the Winter Olympics, Luge sees competitors board lightweight sleighs on their back and race along twisting ice tracks at speeds of up to 150km/h.

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Luge athletes control the speed and direction of travel by steering with their calves to complete the run in the fastest time.

There are 12 medals available in the luge competition at Beijing 2022, across women’s and men’s singles events, a mixed team relay and doubles.

Nordic Combined

This winter sport is a combination of cross-country skiing and ski jumping, taking place in the form of three men’s events at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

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These are the Individual Gundersen Large Hill/10km, Team Gundersen Large Hill/4x5km and Individual Gundersen Normal Hill/10km.

Short Track Speed Skating

There are nine short track speed skating events at Beijing 2022, with four men’s and women’s events each in the form of 500 metre, 1000 metre, 1500 metre and 3000/5000m relay for women and men respectively.

There's also a mixed team relay, with the nine events in total seeing competitors speed along set tracks to beat their rivals in crossing the finish line first.

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Skeleton

This sliding event sees competitors speed along a small, skeletal sled face down and head-first.

With just two events at the Beijing Olympics 2022, the battle to win the men’s and women’s skeleton six total medals will no doubt be fierce.

Ski Jumping

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This dramatic sport has been part of the Winter Olympics since its inaugural games at Charmonix 1924, with it only becoming a sport accessible to women from 2014. The NH Women's NH (normal hill) Individual is the only singular women’s event at Beijing 2022, while men’s events are the LH (large hill) individual and NH individual.

There is also a mixed team event.

Snowboard

A more recent addition to the Winter Olympics, Snowboarding first became an Olympic sport in 1998 and will take place at Beijing 2022 in the form of 11 different events.

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Snowboarding events will include a mixed team snowboard cross for the first time ever at this year’s Winter Olympics after previously featuring at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

There are 11 events in the snowboard competition at Beijing 2022, with five men’s and women’s events each including Slalom, Halfpipe, Big Air and Slopestyle.

Speed Skating

Speed skating at Beijing 2022 boasts the largest number of events, with 14 in total split evenly across men’s and women’s events.

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These speed skating events will take place between 5 February - 19 February 2022, with men’s events including 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, mass start and team pursuit, while women’s longer sprint events have shorter distances of 3000m and 5000m.

Full list of Winter Olympic sports at Beijing 2022

Alpine Skiing

Biathlon

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Bobsleigh

Cross-Country Skiing

Curling

Figure Skating

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Freestyle Skiing

Ice Hockey

Luge

Nordic Combined

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Short Track Speed Skating

Skeleton

Ski Jumping

Snowboard

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Speed Skating

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