The 2022 Olympics are underway from Beijing, China, and along with the international pageantry come the traditional events that fans have come to know and love; hockey, curling and figure skating, just to name a few.
However, this year’s games will introduce the world to seven brand new events.
Here they are, along with some details about each:
Mono bob for women
As the name suggests, this event features a single female participant tasked with quickly navigating a sled down the windy, icy trail all by herself.
The event joins the already existing traditional bobsleigh events: four-man, two-man and two-woman. As such, the Beijing Games mark the first time female bobsleighers have had two medal chances, allowing them to be won even with men.
In the women’s monobob event, each participant’s sled is identical, eliminating any design advantages.
Big air skiing men and women (two separate events)
For the real daredevils out there, freeskiers will take to the skies of Beijing in an event designed to amaze the public – and judges – with their most creative, challenging, heart-in-your-throat tricks. In both men’s and women’s events, Olympic participants launch themselves off a ramp, aiming to perform a single, impressive trick on each run before landing cleanly.
The skiers start on top of a 50 meter high slope and are judged on five factors:
In the Olympic final, the participants will complete three runs, with their total score coming from the two best attempts.
The maximum score for each run is 100 points.
Mixed team relay in short track speed skating
Think of a lightning fast, student, relay race. Now put it on ice. That’s essentially what this new skating event is as teams of four (two men and two women) race against each other over a 2,000-meter (18 laps) course.
The Olympics already have a men’s speed skating relay (5,000 meters) and a women’s relay (3,000 meters); However, this year’s Games will be the first time a mixed-gender event will be offered.
The competition starts with each female skater racing for two and a half laps, followed by each male skater completing the same distance. That brings us to 10 laps. The female skaters of the teams go again, each for two laps. Now we’re at 14. Finally, the male skaters from each team sprint out two laps each, bringing the total number of laps covered to 18.
The first team to reach the finish line wins, with medal positions expected to be decided in just fractions of seconds.
Mixed team ski jumping
It started with ski jumping for men, in 1988.
Female ski jumpers joined the fun at the 2018 Olympics 20 years later.
Now a third opportunity to earn medals has been added to the discipline as teams of four – two men, two women – compete on ski jumps with a start from 98 meters.
The event follows a female-male-female-male format, with the athletes being judged individually on elements such as style and distance. Each skier’s score is added up to produce the team total. Look. Out. Below.
Mixed team snowboard cross
In a modern version of “last down is a rotten egg”, this event consists of teams of two, one woman, one man, racing from a starting gate atop a mountain to the finish line below.
It’s pure speed, with various obstacles and tests of ability – falls, turns, jumps – scattered throughout the course.
The man starts and only when he reaches the bottom can the starting gate reopen so that his female teammate can begin her descent. The team whose woman reaches the finish line fastest wins and is therefore NOT a rotten egg.
Mixed team freestyle skiing from the air
Never before has freestyle skiing in the air been a team event. That all changes this year in Beijing, where teams of three join forces to reach new heights and land in the medal stand.
Athletes take a leap and fly into the air, where they will complete a collection of twists and turns, flips and spins, before finally, and hopefully, landing at the bottom of the ramp.
Each three-person team must have at least one man and one woman, and the skiers’ combined marks will make up the team’s total score.