Which Winter Olympic sports do you love to watch?

streeter88

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I was looking to see where the nearest track was for you to see the sliding sports, and well, you're a long way away being in Australia. I love watching them on TV. It's not as great an experience when you're watching in person, unless you've got video monitors. Otherwise it's setting up on one of the curves or at the finish, and just watching somebody fly by you for a second or two before they're at the next curve. And that's assuming the sun shades aren't down.

I feel a lot of sympathy for the southern hemisphere athletes that compete in winter sports, at least the ones played outside. But especially those that do bosbled, skeleton and luge. Every single track is in the northern hemisphere, so when they compete and train, it's winter. When they go home to make money, it's winter.
I grew up in western MA, so I got a lot of exposure to winter sports, but the nearest bobsled track was in Lake Placid, so have never seen it in person. I did spend most of my school years in and around alpine ski programs so I have a good idea of both the rigors of training in the off season and the thrill of competing in season.
My kids now ski and snowboard, and we are quite limited in the season here, as it is a 3-6 hour drive depending on where you live, so we get maybe 10-15 days skiing per year. Likely they will not be in a race club, although the little one is fearless and I would love to get her more snow time. Just not feasible when our jobs are in the big city.
Thanks for thinking of me though.
 

Fratboy

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Figure skating of all varieties. Duh. I also love the XTREEM stuff too: snowboarding, half pipe. Bobsled and Luge are also tons of fun. There's nothing more Winter Olympics than hearing those cowbells during bobsled and luge runs!
 

steeplechase3k

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I'll watch some alpine skiing particularly the bigger hill stuff, I might watch some x-country skiing, biathlon and speed skating (both kinds), but I really can't make myself care about the Winter Olympics beyond that.

I really don't like ANY sport that is almost only judging, so I don't care about the figure skating and a lot of the trick skiing stuff.
 

TheRealness

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Hockey is the biggest for me, and I love the USA/Canada women’s teams rivalry. The men’s is wide open which might make it more interesting, but getting to watch Ryan Donato play on the international stage will be a lot of fun. He’s got 20 goals in 19 game for Harvard and is straight dominant down there.

Then I like watching pretty much anything else, especially all skating events (speed and figure, and the alpine skiing and x games events.

The cross country and biathalon stuff is boring.

I love the olympics though. I’d really like to go to one sometime for the entire two weeks.
 

Fred not Lynn

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I love the olympics though. I’d really like to go to one sometime for the entire two weeks.
Mark off February 2026 and/or 2030 on your calendar. One or both of those OWG will likely land in one or both of Calgary and/or Salt Lake City...

(And bring your gear - there’s always a shinny looking for a goalie...)
 

WalletTrack

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Downhill-Franz was the second greatest Olympic Moment ever witnessed.
Figure skating-edge of disaster factor when the competitors launch into air to land triple "whatevers" is mind boggling.
Plus-confession? Never Trusted the Soviet Pairs.
And not over the Dorothy Hamill crush.
 

SumnerH

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Hermann Maier’s comeback to win 2 golds at Nagano after his brutal crash in the downhill final was pretty great.


And it’s probably his 2nd-greatest comeback; he nearly had a leg amputated after a motorcycle crash, and returned to winning international titles afterward.
 

simplyeric

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As more of a general thread, I'll kick this one off...I'll watch a lot of curling, and of course ice hockey. I'll find time to watch a fair amount of alpine skiing, particularly the men's downhill (as the traditional curtain-raiser for the Games). I used to watch a decent amount of ski jumping through the World Cup season, and while that's no longer the case, I'll try to catch the finals if possible. And my wildcards every year are always the ski cross and especially the snowboard cross, which feel like sports created to become a video game crossovers and in which anything and everything can happen in any given race.

What do you fancy?
Yeah like that time with the Jamaican bobsled team?
 

simplyeric

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Goddam, I was a kid watching on a black & white TV but I still remember it: Fran’s Klammer’s winning downhill run at the 1976 Olympics.

My dad used to talk all the time about watching a Downhill event back in the day, I think in the 60's? But it was a situation where the they still didn't have the whole route covered by cameras, so there was still areas where you couldn't see the guy.

So there was this one area, no coverage, where a bunch of people fell. And everyone would sit breathless waiting to see if they skier would come zipping out, or come out slowly (having fallen) or not come out and some other guy would ski out to let him know there had been a fall, or whaatever.
So there was this guy, and he was just barreling down, maybe he was the favorite or whatever, and when he went in I guess he was going so fast that people just assumed he'd take a fucking yard sale, so there's a hush over the crowd (my dad is watching on TV mind you) and then "woosh" the guy comes shooting out of the trees and the crowd explodes and he wins, and then the credits roll. Or something.

I mean, that's how he described it. I don't think he'd be able to describe it to me now, but I'll ask. But there's something fun about the uncertainty of that era of coverage that you don't get now.

(that being said, full coverage of the entire course is awesome)
 

simplyeric

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Downhill-Franz was the second greatest Olympic Moment ever witnessed.
Figure skating-edge of disaster factor when the competitors launch into air to land triple "whatevers" is mind boggling.
Plus-confession? Never Trusted the Soviet Pairs.
And not over the Dorothy Hamill crush.
Katerina Witt.
I remember watching once when one of the announcers mentioned how unusual her form was, and the other announcer just casually stepped into it and said something to the extent of "well yeah of course it's because of her build. She'...um..[realizing he had gone to a point he maybe didn't want to go]..her center of gravity is high". I'm totally paraphrasing, as I don't recall the phrase he used. But what he was getting at was that Witt apparently was a much more robust and frankly chesty woman than you ever see in figure skating.

Anyway, that's all. I like most of it. I used to hate figure skating, but for some reason I've found interest in it. I mean, they're intense and skilled athletes, and I kinda don't care about the voting, and then sometimes you just see something whacky or dumb or "ouch" and it's fun.

I like the half pipe stuff, the downhill, the jumping and biathalon and other cross country skiing, and all the sled events.

I don't actually "care" that much about any of them, but they're fun. I'll root for underdogs, even sometimes against the US. But only just...Latvians (my heritage), warm weather countries, David v. Goliath situations, or any time a Finn is up against a Russian in the Biathalon.

(edit: sorry for the triple posts...I should lay off the coffee)
 

Schnerres

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It´s the biathlon and the nordic combination, where in both events there´s two very different sports added into a great race. That´s like having Usain Bolt run 100m and then play chess/throw darts a minute later.
Or run 10.000m and then shoot free-throws in between. Great drama as well.
 

BigMike

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It´s the biathlon and the nordic combination, where in both events there´s two very different sports added into a great race. That´s like having Usain Bolt run 100m and then play chess/throw darts a minute later.
Or run 10.000m and then shoot free-throws in between. Great drama as well.
Should just make it one event and require jumping and shooting, and cross country skiing.
 

Fred not Lynn

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I would love to see a multi Winter sport event with very traditional parts - normal hill ski jump/Giant Slalom/1500m Long Track speed skate/luge and ending with a Gunderson start 10k cross country ski...

(Gunderson start means a head start for the points leader and everyone else goes based on how much time that they need to make up - so the first to cross the finish line is the Overall champion)
 

Ale Xander

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Also need a shooting component
say 4 shots instead of 5, and a double axel for the 5th.

Person who finishes last, gets to wrestle a polar bear for their life.
 

Fred not Lynn

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Also need a shooting component
say 4 shots instead of 5, and a double axel for the 5th.

Person who finishes last, gets to wrestle a polar bear for their life.
It would probably be that topless Tongan guy. And I’m pretty sure he would beat the bear...
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I don't like figure skating. Don't like the scoring, don't like the anxiety and discomfort I get expecting people to fall. I don't like it. But for whatever reason I get a HUGE kick out of the couples skates where the guy just LAUNCHES his partner into the air as high and far away from himself as he can, and she just lands like nothing.

Speed skating, though, makes me wish I were Dutch. I would watch speed skating year round. I can just tell it's one of those sports where how easy they make it look 100% belies how difficult it is and how hard their bodies are working, especially when they're making those controlled slingshots around the curve. Sven Kramer skates like his four grandparents were a gazelle, a bear, a Viking, and Patrice Bergeron.

I'm also biased for these guys because Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen are the first Olympians I can remember watching.
 

BigMike

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Biathlon for me.
I like Biathalon in theory, but the way it is implemented drives me a bit nuts. I have such a hard time figuring out who the leaders are, and then you often have case where the winner finishes before half of the competitors have started,, and I know this can happen with other sports like alpine races, or even speed skating. where the numbers just make sense for simple folks like me.

Speed Skating is awesome, Kramer is just a joy to watch skate
 

Deathofthebambino

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Anyone else watching the women's slope style qualifying runs right now? This course appears too big for a lot of these girls. Nobody has made it through all three jumps clean yet. Not even close, and a few of them either bailed out before jumping or bailed out when they realized how high they were, leading to some pretty ugly landings.
 

swiftaw

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Anyone else watching the women's slope style qualifying runs right now? This course appears too big for a lot of these girls. Nobody has made it through all three jumps clean yet. Not even close, and a few of them either bailed out before jumping or bailed out when they realized how high they were, leading to some pretty ugly landings.
Its not qualifying, this is the final.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Anyone else watching the women's slope style qualifying runs right now? This course appears too big for a lot of these girls. Nobody has made it through all three jumps clean yet. Not even close, and a few of them either bailed out before jumping or bailed out when they realized how high they were, leading to some pretty ugly landings.
Looks like the whole run basically comes down to how successful the first jump is. Being able to complete the 2nd jump, never mind the 3rd, is entirely dependent on maintaining speed after landing the 1st. Short it just a little bit (like this last run) or land a bit sideways, and there's not enough momentum to carry through the rest of the course.

And yes, the wind seems to be a constant factor so far at these Games.
 

cromulence

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This is totally insane - why couldn't they delay it any further? It's so early in the games. I've never seen anything like this, and some of the falls are scary.
 

streeter88

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I watched the men's event yesterday, and none of them completed more than 1 of their 3 runs either. Kind of the nature of the event. That said, there were valid concerns yesterday too that the course as designed would end up being too big for the women.

And the wind has forced the cancellation of every other outside jumping or speed event since yesterday (DH, GS among them).
 

Deathofthebambino

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I've seen every single run to this point, and I would lean towards the fact that course is too big for some of these women, more so than the wind being a problem. Half of these girls just can't get the necessary speed to make it passed the knuckle on a lot of these jumps, even the ones that are getting into a tuck and taking off from the higher end of the jumps.

Isn't there also a bit of downgrade in the quality of the competitors in the Olympics from say, the X games, due to the qualification from other countries? I thought I heard there were like 3-4 American women at home that would be legitimate medal contenders, but they can only send so many to the Olympics, etc.
 

cshea

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They can’t seem to get enough speed to carry the 2nd jump. They are landing on the flat area and wiping out. That girl just had as clean a run as I’ve seen and she just barely made it on the second jump.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Why should she get a rerun for quitting halfway through when everybody else tried to plow through it and failed?
 

Catcher Block

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They can’t seem to get enough speed to carry the 2nd jump. They are landing on the flat area and wiping out. That girl just had as clean a run as I’ve seen and she just barely made it on the second jump.
Austrian girl overshot her landing by a good 20 feet, and nearly still landed it. Wind pushed her way out there.

Also talking about giving some girl a re-run because she bailed out before her second jump, which is bullshit. Everyone else tried and fell.
 

Deathofthebambino

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If they try to go easy, they don't make it passed the knuckle, and if they go fast, they get so high that they lose it in the air and bail out.
 

21st Century Sox

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My niece is very close with Jamie Anderson, she is a great kid. Happy for her, too bad the conditions made for a tough competition.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Chloe Kim looked like she was barely trying, doing a safe qualifying run, and is still better than everyone else that's gone so far.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Worried about this Norwegian team. Awful lot of airtime given to the relationship issues that have stemmed from their curling partnership.
 

JimD

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I love the Winter Olympics much more than the summer games. Other than the Miracle on Ice I sort of vaguely remember the winter games growing up. The Calgary games were the first where I spent serious time watching on TV and I've been hooked ever since. Love speedskating (long track), the hockey, the downhill events, bobsled and luge, ski jumping. I only started getting into the Nordic events the past few times (maybe because they were harder to find on NBC) and love watching these now.

Similar to some others here, I'm not really into the figure skating and the X-games events - I admire the incredible athleticism of the former and the crazy daredevil skills of the latter but the judging aspect is just so frustrating to watch. As many times as I've watched figure skating with my wife, I just can't see what the judges are looking at. It's just so hard to appreciate onscreen the difference between merely Olympic-level greatness and some incredible (I guess) jump or move that makes Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir ooh and ahh. It's like something awesome just happened and I feel kind of dumb that I can't see it myself.

Speed skating, though, makes me wish I were Dutch. I would watch speed skating year round. I can just tell it's one of those sports where how easy they make it look 100% belies how difficult it is and how hard their bodies are working, especially when they're making those controlled slingshots around the curve. Sven Kramer skates like his four grandparents were a gazelle, a bear, a Viking, and Patrice Bergeron.
Yeah, this. Attending a Winter Olympics some year is on my bucket list because I want to go and just be around the Dutch fans at the oval during one of those events.
 

Fred not Lynn

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Yeah, this. Attending a Winter Olympics some year is on my bucket list because I want to go and just be around the Dutch fans at the oval during one of those events.
Don’t waste your time and money going to the Olympic Games for that - find a World Championship or World Cup at the Thialf stadium in Heerenveen...it will cost a lot less and be much more Dutch.
 

Dollar

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I like Biathalon in theory, but the way it is implemented drives me a bit nuts. I have such a hard time figuring out who the leaders are, and then you often have case where the winner finishes before half of the competitors have started,, and I know this can happen with other sports like alpine races, or even speed skating. where the numbers just make sense for simple folks like me.
That's because you were watching the Sprint, which is without a doubt the worst of the biathlon events. Watch today's Pursuit finals, or the Mass Start that comes up next weekend, and you may have a much different opinion.
 

nolasoxfan

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I like Biathalon in theory, but the way it is implemented drives me a bit nuts. I have such a hard time figuring out who the leaders are, and then you often have case where the winner finishes before half of the competitors have started,, and I know this can happen with other sports like alpine races, or even speed skating. where the numbers just make sense for simple folks like me.

Speed Skating is awesome, Kramer is just a joy to watch skate
Last night’s biathlon pursuit races (both M & W) were outstanding. Compelling storylines; staggered, helter-skelter starts; close & exciting races; and superb commentating (Chad Salmela was fantastic in the color/support role). Far and away my favorite Winter Olympic sport.

Hell, I might consider taking up the sport if I didn’t hate Winter so much.