How many sports are in the Winter Olympics? What are they and are there any new events for Beijing 2022 Games

The early events of Curling are already underway as the Winter Olympics stages 15 Sports in Beijing 2022

The Beijing Olympics will have its opening ceremony in just two days time and 50 Great British athletes are ready and waiting to make their impact on the slopes and rinks around China.

Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou will all be staging different events of the Games with the three zones specialising in a specific sector of the Winter Sports.

Since its first Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France, the Winter event has been continuously updated and developed with new sports and events coming and going.

This year 15 sports will be held at the three different venues with several events taking place within each sport.

Great Britain will be sending athletes to compete in all 15 sports and have been one of the few core countries to have sent athletes to every single Games in the event’s nearly 100 years history.

Bronze medallist Eve Muirhead will return to the rink
Bronze medallist Eve Muirhead will return to the rink
Bronze medallist Eve Muirhead will return to the rink

Lizzy Yarnold has been Britain’s most successful athlete at the Winter Olympics having won the Gold Medal for the skeleton in both 2014 and 2018, first joining the team in 2010.

Scotland’s Eve Muirhead will lead the pack of British athletes as she heads to China off the back of a bronze medal for Curling in 2018 while fellow skeleton athlete Laura Deas will hope she can secure that top spot medal now Yarnold has retired.

So in what sports will all the athletes be competing and how many of them are new?

Which Sports are being staged at the Winter Olympics?

There are three main categories of Sports taking place in Beijing this year. The three categories are Ice Sports, Alpine, skiing and snowboarding events and Nordic events.

There will be a total of 15 sports in total.

Which sports are in the Ice Category?

  •  Bobsled - women’s monobob, two-man, two-man, two woman, four-man 
  • Luge - men’s singles, women’s singles, mixed doubles, mixed team relay
  • Skeleton - men’s,  women’s
  • Ice hockey - men’s, women’s 
  • Figure skating - men’s singles, women’s singles, pairs, team, ice dancing 
  • Speed skating 
  • Short track speed skating - 500m, 1000m, 1500m, relays
  • Curling - men’s, women’s, mixed doubles 
Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson in March 2021
Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson in March 2021
Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson in March 2021

Which sports are in the ‘alpine, skiing and snowboarding’ category?

  • Alpine skiing - downhill, super-G, giant slalom, Super combined, mixed team 
  • Freestyle skiing - aerials, moguls, ski cross, ski halfpipe, ski slopestyle 
  • Snowboarding - parallel giant slalom, halfpipe, snowboard cross, big air, slopestyle 

Which sports are ‘Nordic Events’?

  • Biathlon - individual, sprint, pursuit, mass start, relay events 
  • Cross-country skiing - individual sprint, team sprint, freestyle, pursuit, classical, relays
  • Ski jumping
  • Nordic combined 
The GB Alpine team in South Korea in 2018
The GB Alpine team in South Korea in 2018
The GB Alpine team in South Korea in 2018

Which Sports are new in 2022?

The skeleton was the latest addition to the Winter Olympics in 2002 and since then, no new sport has been added.

However, various events have been added within each category and discipline with seven new winter events taking place this year.

These new events are:

  • Women’s monobob (bobsled) 
  • Freestyle skiing big air (men’s)
  • Freestyle skiing big air (women’s)
  • Mixed team events in short track speed skating team relay 
  • Mixed team events in ski jumping 
  • Mixed team events in freestyle skiing aerials 
  • Mixed team events in snowboard cross

Which sports no longer appear at the Winter Olympics?

In the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924, Military Patrol was a medal sport and reappeared in 1928, 1936 and 1948 as a demonstration sport.

It preceded the biathlon and consisted of cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering and rifle shooting.

After Chamonix, the sport was never a medal sport.

In the Summer Games in 1908, men’s ‘special figures’ (a subset of figure skating) debuted once and only once.

In 1924, 1932 and 1936 there had been a sport called Alpinism. Medals were awarded for the ‘most notable alpinism feat accomplished during the previous four years’ so there was no specific competition at any of the Games.

When is the first event in Beijing 2022?

There have already been early rounds of curling on Wednesday 2 February 2022 but the Games will commence with the Opening ceremony on Friday 4 February 2022.

Go to our article on How to watch the Winter Olympics to find out more.

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