The Winter Olympics are back this year. We introduce you to the sports that will be played on snow and ice in Russia and where the Indian contingent will be when the contests are in session
About the games
The Winter Olympic Games is a major international multi-sport event for winter sports. It is organised every four years in even-numbered years and alternates with the Summer Olympic Games which is also organised on a similar cycle. The first Winter Olympics were organised in France in 1924.
2014 Winter Olympics
The 2014 Winter Olympics will be held from 6 to 23 February in the Russian city of Sochi. Sochi will be the first Russian city to host an Olympic game since the breakup of the USSR. The mascots for the game will be a polar bear, a snow hare and a snowboarding leopard.
The 2014 Winter Olympics will have 15 disciplines in 7 sports. The following are the sports and the disciplines which will be competed in during the course of the games:
Skating: The skating competitions in this year’s Winter Olympics will include figure skating, speed skating and short track speed skating.
Skiing: The skiing competitions in this year’s Winter Olympics will include alpine skiing, crosscountry skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding.
Bobsleigh: This is a sport which involves racing down an ice track in a sled. The person or team with the quickest time is declared the winner. The two disciplines of the sport in the Winter Olympics will be bobsleigh and skeleton.
Biathlon: A dual discipline sporting event that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
Curling: A sport where stones are slid across a sheet of ice towards a designated target area to score points by landing the stones within concentric circles demarcated on the floor.
Ice hockey: A team sport where points are scored by passing a hard rubber puck into the opponent’s goal maximum number of times within the stipulated game time.
Luge: An extremely high-speed sport where competitors slide downhill on an ice track and win by recording the fastest time.
Officially, India will not be competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Although three Indian athletes have qualified to participate in the games, the Indian contingent has been disqualified because the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for nonadherence of rules and corruption. The IOC agreed to lift the suspension once the IOA held elections to appoint a new secretary-general. However, the IOA has scheduled the elections for 9 February, two days after the opening ceremony of the games. Due to this, India will not be represented by an Indian contingent at the 2014 Winter Olympics and the Indian athletes will not be allowed to compete under the Indian flag. They will participate as Independent Olympic Athletes under the Olympic flag instead.
The Indian athletes who will be competing are Shiva Keshavan in luge, Himanshu Thakur in alpine skiing and Nadeem Iqbal in crosscountry skiing.
2014 Winter Paralympics
In accordance with the agreement between the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, Sochi will also play host to the 2014 Winter Paralympics. The games will be held in the city from 7 to 16 March. The sports to feature in the games will be alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. The mascots for the games will be Ray of Light (Fire Boy) and Snowflake (Snow Girl).
• Sochi will be the warmest city to have hosted a Winter Olympic Games with an average February temperature of 8.3 degrees
• It will be the most expensive Olympics in history with an estimated cost of 51 billion USD.
• The Winter Olympics have never been held in the southern hemisphere.
• After the Winter Olympics, a Formula One street circuit will be built at Sochi to host the Russian Grand Prix from 2015 onwards.
• The traditional Olympic torch relay for the 2014 Winter Games will be the longest in the history of the Olympics with a 40,000 mile journey over the span of 4 months. It is also the first time the torch has ever passed the North Pole and the first time it has been in space.
• The most successful country in the history of Winter Olympics is Norway with 263 medals.
Volume 3 Issue 8