NOTSportsCenter’s Guide to Sochi 2014


Bundle up, boys and girls. The Winter Olympics are almost here. Since most of you will be forced to stay inside due to adverse weather conditions such as frigid temperatures reaching as low as -17º in Minneapolis and 43º in Tampa, we are here to help. Following is some insight on the events you will be seeing at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia this February.

This is essentially ballroom dancing on ice while wearing skates, so naturally most Russians assume it is a sport full of homosexuals. Sochi officials are actively trying to find a way to have this event cancelled and replaced with bear wrestling.

Here is the Winter Games’ most star-studded event – the equivalent to the Summer Olympics’ basketball tournament (except it is actually competitive). Anticipated results have Canada winning the gold, Russia earning silver, Sweden getting the bronze and Team USA imprisoned by the Russian government as payback for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”.

Ever since the speed skating portion of the Games added short track – wherein skaters compete side-by-side, elbow-to-elbow while racing around the track as quickly as possible – there has been increased interest amongst American fans. In much the same way they watch NASCAR for the crashes, they hope for the same in the short track competition except instead cars bursting into flames, there are sharpened foot knives carving in random directions.

It’s shuffleboard, albeit with a large stone slid towards the target and brooms used to clean the ice in its path. The natural advantage United States women’s teams have in their ability to use a broom is unfortunately countered by their struggles in handling stones that weigh in excess of 38 pounds.

This event combines ski jumping and cross country skiing. Unfortunately, these competitions do not happen simultaneously like some sort of arctic steeplechase.

Like peanut butter and jelly or Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, there is no more natural pairing than skiing and shooting a gun. Of course, if all the peace-huggers out there have their way, this event will turn into cross country skiing combined with 3 day sit-in protests by the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

Skiing across long distances. This event is so boring that Olympics organizers over the years have created other competitions combining it with more exciting events like ski jumping and gun shooting.

Once upon a time, officials from U.S. Olympic Committee and major Olympics sponsor McDonalds were determined to find a way to grab more cash from the coveted 18-35 year old pothead demographic during the Winter Games. As a result, they convinced the IOC to incorporate these X-Games style competitions. Additionally, 2018 could see Parkour on Skates introduced as an exhibition event.

If you haven’t gotten enough of seeing someone hurtle out of control downhill at breakneck speeds from watching Miley Cyrus’ career, check out these events.

Skiing down a track and jumping off a ramp as high and as far as one can go. The winners will be whichever athletes can jump far enough to actually escape Russia without being shot down by the Russian Air Force’s fleet of MiG-31 fighter jets.

Bobsled features 2 or 4 athletes climbing into a tube-shaped sled to race down an icy track. This year, we get the return of a much improved Jamaican bobsled team, which will provide our first chance to see a group of black men traveling that fast in an all-white environment since 1960’s Alabama.

More sledding, though with up to 2 men or women on sleds that more closely resemble the classic Flyer sleds of our youth. Skeleton features a single athlete racing down a track head first and is named because the winner is determined by whomever is the last racer to not have broken any part of their skeleton. Luge, on the other hand, has singles and doubles competitions and features athletes racing feet first. The term “luge” is French for “I’m not stupid enough to do this head first”.

For more on the Winter Olympics, follow @NOTSCOlympics, which will be kicking off this year’s Games by live tweeting the Opening Ceremonies.

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