The Winter Olympics began in 1924 and have been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. Like its summer cousin, there are some events that capture the imagination of sports fans more than others. These events attract the most viewers and get the most amount of broadcast time on television.
It would be wise to say that of the 15 events featured at the Winter Olympics, the following are the most popular:
Always a fan favorite, figure skating has a number of categories for which enthusiasts eagerly watch every spin on the ice. The categories are:
-Singles (men and women): Skaters perform beautiful turns and jumps to the rhythm of the music.
-Dance on ice: mixed couples perform to music. An important aspect of this discipline is that the man should not lift his partner above his shoulders.
-Pairs: Similar to ice dance in that it involves couples.
In the men’s event, the USA has always done well, winning more gold medals than any other country. The costumes are as much part of the allure of this event as the grace displayed by the figure skaters.
Alpine skiing (Slalom)
Added to the 1936 Winter Olympics in Germany, the sport has a number of categories that are easy for fans to understand. Its hair-raising turns and super-fast speeds have made it one of the most popular events at the Winter Olympics. Skiers are known to reach speeds of nearly 80 miles per hour.
One of the characteristics that makes this event so popular is that skiers, despite their speed, must traverse a series of gates while traveling through what is called a vertical drop. If a gate is missed, the competitor has to go back up and go through the gate or face disqualification. This event is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Alpine skiing includes:
-Super G (aka Super Giant Slalom)
Both male and female events have the same appeal to viewers. Not surprisingly, the top three countries over the years have been Austria, Switzerland, and France.
Dizzying jumps and turns keep onlookers enthralled as they watch skiers perform almost incredible feats. Aside from the beauty of the man versus nature display, viewers hold their breath at the indescribable spills that are part of freestyle skiing.
Men’s ice hockey
This event may well be the most popular of the winter games. He has not lost favor since the start of the event. In fact, this is just one of the six original sports that started the Winter Games.
This event became an official game at the 1998 Winter Olympics. Prior to this, it was a demo game, also known as “Ice Chess” due to its use of strategy. There are two events, men’s and women’s, although a failed offer was made to add a mixed doubles category for the upcoming 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada.
Bobsled or Bobsleigh is also quite popular and always attracts a sizeable audience. It has been a part of the Winter Olympics since the beginning. The three events are the two-man, two-woman, and four-man races, and the four-man event is generally the most popular.
Overall, the honor of winning the most gold medals at the Winter Olympics goes to Norway, followed by the United States of America. The Winter Olympics, while not as popular as the Summer Olympics, have grown steadily over the years to capture a sizeable audience.