RANKED: Winter Olympic Sports

RANKED: Winter Olympic Sports

With the 2022 Winter Olympics just a few weeks away, it’s almost time to cheer on all the amazing athletes in your favorite winter Olympic sports. It’s something that only happens once every four years and is celebrated by countries all over the world, so yeah, it’s kind of a big deal!

There was quite a bit of speculation about whether or not this year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing would happen, but here we are just a few weeks from the opening ceremony. The games are set to begin on February 4, 2022 and run through February 20, 2022 in Beijing, China. 

It’ll be the first time in Olympic history that a city has hosted both the Winter and Summer Olympics. Despite several countries taking part in a diplomatic boycott of the games, including the United States, athletes from those countries are still allowed to participate for a Gold Medal. 

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Ranking the 2022 Winter Olympic Sports

RANKED: Winter Olympic Sports
kovop58 / Shutterstock

The 2022 Winter Olympics will feature a record 109 events across 15 disciplines in seven main winter Olympic sports – including biathlon, bobsledding, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating, and skiing. For reference, the 2018 Winter Olympics had 102 events – an increase of seven events.

The new winter Olympic sports that were added this year include men’s big air freestyle, women’s big air freestyle, women’s monobob, mixed team freestyle skiing aerials, mixed team ski jumping, mixed team snowboard cross, and mixed relay short track speed skating. 

Countries that won’t participate in this year’s Winter Olympics, despite participating in 2018, include Bermuda, Kenya, North Korea, Tonga, Singapore, Togo, and South Africa. Countries that will participate include Peru, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, American Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how we rank the 2022 Winter Olympic sports and what to expect from each discipline in Beijing. 

15. Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is set to begin on February 5, 2022 and will end on February 20, 2022. It has been featured in the Winter Olympics since 1924 and has continued to grow ever since. Although it originally included just two events, there will be a total of 12 events in 2022. 

Throughout the history of the Winter Olympics, Norway has been the best country with 47 gold medals and 121 total medals. Sweden, the USSR, and Finland have also seen a lot of success. This year, you’ll want to keep an eye on Sweden as they have put together a dominant team. 

14. Figure Skating

Figure skating is set to begin on February 4, 2022 and will end on February 20, 2022. It has been featured in the Winter Olympics since 1924, but was originally a part of the Summer Olympics back in 1908. There will be a total of five events at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. 

Historically, the United States has dominated the sport with 15 gold medals and 51 total medals. Russia, the USSR, Austria, and Canada have also had success in the sport. This year, you’ll want to keep an eye on Hanyu Yuzuru (Japan), Nathan Chen (USA), and Uno Shoma (Japan). 

13. Biathlon

The biathlon event is set to begin on February 5, 2022 and will end on February 19, 2022. It has been featured in the Winter Olympics since 1960 with just one event, but has grown to include 11 events since 2014. Germany and Norway have dominated the event since 1984. 

Germany enters 2022 with 19 gold medals and 52 total medals since 1960, while Norway has collected 16 gold medals and 41 total medals. Russia, France, and the USSR have also enjoyed success in the event. Expect Norway, Sweden, Germany, and France to perform well in 2022.

12. Speed Skating

Speed skating is set to begin on February 5, 2022 and will end on February 19, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1924 and it’s the largest sport at the 2022 Winter Olympics with 14 total events. Sven Kramer will be competing in his fifth Olympic Games. 

Since it was added to the Olympic roster, the Netherlands has dominated the sport with 42 gold medals and 121 total medals – 37 more medals than the next closest. The United States, Norway, and the USSR all have at least 24 gold medals and 60 total medals since 1924. 

11. Short Track Speed Skating

Short track speed skating is set to begin on February 5, 2022 and will end on February 16, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1992, though it was a demonstration sport in 1988. There will be a total of nine events in the sport with the mixed team relay making its debut.

The sport has been dominated by South Korea, which has collected 24 gold medals and 48 total medals. China is the only other country with double-digit golds (10), but is tied with Canada with 33 total medals. The United States comes in fourth with 4 gold medals and 20 total medals. 

10. Nordic Combined

Nordic combined is set to begin on February 9, 2022 and end on February 17, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1924 and combines both cross-country skiing and ski jumping. There will be three events at the 2022 Winter Olympics, all of which featuring men. 

Since 1924, Norway has dominated the sport with 13 gold medals and 31 total medals. Germany, Finland, and Austria have also found success, but none of them have more than five gold medals and 15 total medals. Expect Norway and Germany to perform well in 2022. 

9. Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing is set to begin on February 6, 2022 and will end on February 19, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1936 and will feature 11 events – downhill, Super-G, giant slalom, slalom, alpine combined, and mixed team – for the second straight Winter Olympics. 

Since 1936, no country has come close to dethroning Austria at the sport. They have collected 37 gold medals and 121 total medals. Although Switzerland has 21 gold medals, they only have 66 total medals. The US, France, Italy, Germany, and Norway have also found success. 

8. Freestyle Skiing

Freestyle skiing is set to begin on February 5, 2022 and will end on February 14, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1992 and has quickly grown to include 13 events – men’s and women’s Big Air and mixed team aerials are both making their debut in 2022. 

Since 1992, Canada and the United States have dominated the sport. Canada has 12 gold medals and the US has nine gold medals, but both countries are tied at 25 total medals. Switzerland, Belarus, France, Australia, Norway, and China have also fared well in the sport. 

7. Bobsleigh

Bobsleigh is set to begin on February 13, 2022 and will end on February 20, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1924 and while it normally features three events, we’ll be seeing the debut of the monobob-Women’s event in 2022 – making it the fourth bobsleigh event. 

Since 1924, the sport has been dominated by Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. Germany has the most gold medals at 13, but Switzerland has the most total medals at 31. The United States and Germany both have 25 total medals, with the US collecting seven golds. 

6. Luge

Luge is set to begin on February 5, 2022 and will end on February 10, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1964 and will feature four events for the second straight Olympic Games – the 2018 Winter Olympics saw the debut of the team relay, which is making a return.

Germany has dominated the sport since its inclusion, winning 18 gold medals and 37 total medals. Of course, that’s not including the 44 total medals won by East Germany, West Germany, and the United Team of Germany. Italy and Austria have also found success at luge.

5. Skeleton

Skeleton is set to begin on February 10, 2022 and will come to an end two days later on February 12, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1928. With just two events – men’s singles and women’s singles – the skeleton is the smallest sport at the Olympics. 

The sport is similar to the luge, but athletes lay down face-first. The United States and Great Britain have dominated the sport – both have three golds, but the US has eight total medals to Great Britain’s nine total medals. Canada, Russia, and Switzerland have also found success. 

4. Ski Jumping

Ski jumping is set to begin on February 5, 2022 and will come to an end on February 14, 2022. It has been a mainstay in the Winter Olympics since 1924, though women have only recently (2014) been featured in the sport. For the first time, the sport will feature five events in 2022.

Since the sport’s inclusion at the Winter Olympics, Norway has dominated with 11 gold medals and 35 total medals. Finland is the only other country with double-digit golds (10) and has 22 total medals. Outside of them, Austria has collected six gold medals and 25 total medals. 

3. Curling

Curling is set to begin on February 2, 2022 and will end on February 20, 2022. It was first featured at the Winter Olympics in 1924, but wasn’t included in 1928 and was only a demonstration sport in 1932. It reappeared as a demonstration sport in 1988 and 1992. 

The sport finally made its return to the Winter Olympics in 1998 and has been included ever since. Although there’s not a lot of history, the sport has largely been dominated by Canada (six gold medals and 11 total medals) and Sweden (three gold medals and eight total medals). 

2. Snowboarding

Snowboarding is set to begin on February 5, 2022 and will end on February 15, 2022. It has been featured at the Winter Olympics since 1998 and will feature 11 events in 2022 – including the official debut of mixed team snowboard cross. It’s one of the most-watched events. 

The sport has been dominated by the United States since 1998, winning 14 of the possible 40 gold medals and 31 of the possible 120 total medals. Switzerland, France, and Canada all have double-digit total medals, but only have 16 combined golds and 37 combined total medals.

1. Ice Hockey

When you think of the Winter Olympics, ice hockey is the first sport that comes to mind. It’s set to begin on February 3, 2022 and will come to an end on February 20, 2020. Despite it being the most popular sport, fans won’t get to see any NHL players compete due to COVID-19. 

Ice hockey has been featured in the Winter Olympics since 1924, though it originally appeared in the 1920 Summer Olympics – women didn’t start competing until 1998. Canada, the USSR, and the United States have dominated the sport, winning 36 of the possible 72 total medals. 

Which Winter Olympic Sports Are Your Favorite?

The Winter Olympics in Beijing is set to be an exciting one, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and diplomatic boycotts resulting in several changes to tradition. There are still plenty of talented and hard-working athletes ready for their chance to shine on the world’s biggest stage. 

Although many people are going to be glued to the ice hockey and snowboarding events, it’s important not to forget about all the other winter Olympic sports that will be featured in 2022. There’s a lot to take in and a lot to marvel at, even if you’re not a loyal fan of that particular sport.

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With that said, which winter Olympic sports are you most excited to watch in a few weeks? With the opening ceremony set to begin on February 4, 2022 at Beijing National Stadium, China, it’s time to clear your schedule to ensure you don’t miss out on your favorite winter Olympic sports.

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