News Olympique

Winter oLympics

Winter Olympics 2020

*Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were postponed for the first time in their history. The Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will now be held on 23 July 2021.

Fifty-seven years* after having organised the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organisers of the event in 2021, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative ever organised, and will rest on three fundamental principles to transform the world: striving for your personal best (achieving your personal best); accepting one another (unity in diversity); and passing on a legacy for the future (connecting to tomorrow)”.

Aligning with the reforms advocated by Olympic Agenda 2020, the Tokyo Games will use as many existing competition venues as possible, namely those built for the Games in 1964, such as the prestigious Nippon Budokkan for judo, the Baji Koen Park for equestrian events, and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium for handball. The Tokyo National Stadium, where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and athletics competitions will be staged, will be completely revamped and replaced by a new arena.

Japan has been an Olympic land since the Summer Games of 1964, which were the first to be staged in Asia. In 2021, the country will host its fourth Games, if we include the Winter Games of 1972 in Sapporo and of 1998 in Nagano.

Past Winter Olympic Games

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EVENTS AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS

Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing events are the backbone of the Winter Olympic Games. Men’s and women’s divisions compete in a variety of events, from the massive downhill runs to the technical slalom courses, with several permutations in between.

Ski Jumping

Ski jumping is a thrilling, death-defying event in which winners routinely soar distances well in excess of 600 feet. Besides scoring for distance, competitors must also accrue style points in order to win the medal, which are based on steadiness, positioning, and landing. One of the most infamous ski jumpers was Vinko Bogataj, whose ill-fated jump got him a starring role in the introductory sequence to ABC’s Wide World of Sports as the “Agony of Defeat Guy.”

Bobsleigh

Also called the “bobsled,” the bobsleigh event consists of two- and four-person teams steering a sleigh down a winding, icy track. The fastest time wins. In 2002, women’s bobsleigh was introduced for the first time.

Skeleton

As in the luge event, skeleton racers take turns individually careening down a frozen track on a small sled. The biggest difference between luge and skeleton is that skeleton racers go down the course headfirst, after a running start.

Curling

Curling has become a fan favorite since its introduction as an official Olympic sport in 1998. Teams slide heavy stones across the ice toward a target, with the aim of stopping the object as close to the center of the target as possible. A head-to-head team competition, the curling event starts with a round-robin tournament before heading into brackets for the medal round.

Biathlon

The only sporting event to combine cross-country skiing with target shooting, the biathlon is a truly unique sport. Competitors must complete a race course in as fast a time as possible, while also performing feats of marksmanship along the way. Poor aim results in penalties to one’s race time. Biathlon has Nordic roots, so it’s no surprise that Scandinavian countries tend to dominate the medal count.

Speed Skating

As in the luge event, skeleton racers take turns individually careening down a frozen track on a small sled. The biggest difference between luge and skeleton is that skeleton racers go down the course headfirst, after a running start.

Ice Hockey

Always one of the most popular events at the Winter Olympic Games, the ice hockey competition changed forever when, in 1998, professional players were allowed to compete. Today, it’s an all-star affair, with the world’s best players competing at the very highest level. We may never see another “Miracle on Ice,” but you can be sure that you’ll see some fantastic hockey in every game.

Snowboarding

Snowboarding’s first appearance as an official Olympic sport was at the 1998 event in Nagano, Japan. Today, boarders from all over the world compete in several boarding competitions: The snowboard cross is a four-person race with jumps and turns, the halfpipe is a tricks competition with judges awarding style points, and the parallel giant slalom is a one-on-one race through identical slalom courses.

Cross-Country Skiing

Older than downhill skiing, and with deep routes in the Nordic countries, cross-country skiing is a grueling race that takes many forms at the Olympic Games. In individual start races, racers compete against the clock. In mass start races, the first skier across the finish line wins. There is also a relay race, and a race called “pursuit,” in which the style of course changes completely at the halfway point – the racers even change their skis!

Figure Skating

Always one of the most watched events, figure skating is a balletic and acrobatic show, featuring world-class men and women performing astonishing feats on ice, skating both as singles and in pairs. Judging is always tense and occasionally controversial, leading to some of the most dramatic moments in Olympic Games history.

Nordic Combined

As its name implies, the Nordic combined is a hybrid event, with a ski jump followed by a cross-country race. The results of the jump form the basis for the race seeding. There are both individual and team Nordic combined events.

LUGE

The luge is a sled that racers ride down the mountain at breakneck speed, sometimes as fast as 87 miles per hour (140 kilometers per hour). Besides men’s and women’s races, there are also doubles events, with two people lying on the same sled.

Freestyle Skiing

Freestyle skiing is a gymnastic, aerial show. Skiers go off jumps to perform stunts like somersaults and twists, or take on mogul courses where it’s a challenge just to stay upright, let alone do tricks. A recent addition in the freestyle category is the “cross,” a race that incorporates lots of jumps and turns, inspired by the snowboard cross event.