Image Via Getty
Unlike the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympic Games are a global event! You know what that means, right? Instead of a bunch of people sitting around drinking Budweiser and yelling at a TV screen, you've got a bunch of people sitting around drinking international beers yelling at a TV screen (in multiple dialects). It's basically what American sporting events would be like if you added a little culture. Of course, we can't very well end the article right then and there, even if we summed things up beautifully.
In the spirit of educating our readers, we pulled some commonly asked questions about the Winter Olympics (specifically, Winter Olympic sports) as a means of making sure that you don't sound like a complete idiot in various social settings over the next month. For example, do you know where Pyeongchang is? We bet you're about to guess China or Japan because you're basic and (possibly) uneducated. It's South Korea, pal. If you can't even accurately name where the Olympics are being held, we think it's best you keep reading, OK?
When Are The Winter Olympics?
The Winter Olympics are next year — just kidding! We wanted to make sure you were paying attention. Competitions of the Olympics will officially kick off tomorrow, February 7, at 7:05 PM Eastern Standard Time. That doesn't really concern viewers though. You won't be able to catch the game on TV until Friday, February 9, with the opening ceremonies being from 6-8:00 AM EST.
If you don't have access to a television, no worries! You can stream them live here. Got to love modern technology, right? The games will end on Sunday, February 25, with closing ceremonies beginning at 6:00 AM EST.
What Are Winter Olympic Sports?
Any information regarding either the Winter or Summer Olympics can be found on the official Olympics website, but, because we know most people are too lazy to research for themselves, we did the leg work for you, you're welcome.
Alpine Skiing — for men's, women's and mixed events, click here.
Biathlon — for men's, women's and mixed events, click here.
Bobsleigh — for men's and women's events, click here.
Cross Country Skiing — for men's and women's events, click here.
Curling — for men's, women's and mixed events, click here.
Figure Skating — for men's, women's and mixed events, click here.
Freestyle Skiing — for men's and women's events, click here.
Ice Hockey — for men's and women's events, click here.
Luge — for men's, women's and mixed events, click here.
Nordic Combined — for men's and mixed events, click here.
Short Track Speed Skating — for men's and women's events, click here.
Skeleton — for men's and women's events, click here.
Ski Jumping — for men's, women's and mixed events, click here.
Snowboard — for men's, women's and mixed events, click here.
Speed Skating — for men's, women's and mixed events, click here.
How Many Winter Olympic Sports Are There?
In the event you can't count, the list above reads that there are 15 Winter Olympic sports. That said, the odds of you knowing what all 15 actually are, well, that's slim to none. It's OK, remember, our job here is to make you sound smart, or at the very least, not dumb. We refuse to explain what snowboarding is, that's just too mainstream. If you don't know what that is, you're on your own. However, below we'll explain the lesser known events.
Biathlon — A winter sport combining both cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
Skeleton — A winter sport that involves a person riding a small sled (known as a skeleton bobsled) down a frozen track while lying face down.
Nordic Combined — A winter sport combining cross-country skiing and ski jumping.
Curling — A winter sport where players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is divided into four concentric (sharing the same center) circles.
Luge — A luge itself is small one-or-two person sled that's ridden feet-first. The luger steers the luge by using their calf muscles.
For a proper visual of all 15 events, check out the video below! The four above are by the far the most confusing. If you can speak on any of them at a cocktail party, you're going to look like a certified genius, we promise.
Which Winter Olympic Sport Is The Most Popular?
See, this question is tricky because it depends on how you define "popularity" in the Olympics. If you're basing popularity on what's most well-known/familiar in America, we'd say snowboarding, ice hockey, and figure skating. That said, Sports Illustrated explained which events are most popular based on viewership — snowboard halfpipe, bobsleigh, alpine skiing, skeleton, short track speed skating, ice hockey, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ski jumping.
Most recently, Google compiled the uniquely viewed sports by country, over the past 12 months. From that, we can gather the most popular Winter Olympic sport based on country.
Image Via Google/YouTube
Is anyone surprised to see that America's favorite is ice hockey? We sure aren't! Alright, guys, that about sums it up! Using this comprehensive you'll be able to carry a conversation with anyone, anywhere about the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. One more time for posterity — where is Pyeongchang?
Lead Image Via Getty