New events appear at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Alexis Stoffers, Writer

     The Winter Olympics are an exciting time for athletes around the world; they provide a chance for countries to compete against each other in a friendly yet ambitious manner while showing off their patriotism. This year, four new events have been added to the dynamic queue–seriously, they are worth talking about. With snowboard big air, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and team alpine, there is something for everyone. Confused? Don’t be–it’s easy to love these fast-paced competitions.

Snowboard big air

     Instead of jumping multiple times and performing a variety of tricks in one run like in slopestyle snowboarding, snowboard big air allows athletes to jump a single time and catch enough air to perform one breathtaking trick. As such, the jumps are higher and more intense than ever seen before in the Winter Olympics. Athletes get three attempts to make the biggest impression on the judges, and their two best scores are added together for their final score.


Mixed doubles curling

     A new twist has entered the world of curling: mixed doubles. A traditional curling team has four players that work together to deliver their stone closest to the center of the house (a target on the ice). However, in mixed doubles, the curling team consists of only one female teammate and one male teammate. As a result, each player has to work even harder and gets even less time to rest while playing. Instead of playing ten ends like a traditional match, mixed doubles curling has only eight ends; so, each mixed doubles match lasts only a little over an hour–half the time of a traditional match but every bit as intense!



Mass start speed skating

     There is certainly plenty to watch during both the male and the female mass start speed skating events. Instead of pairs racing on the ice in conventional speed skating, the mass start allows up to 24 skaters to begin at one time. Racing for a total of 16 laps, skaters need to maintain acute focus due to three intermediate sprints placed strategically throughout the 16 laps that allow them to gain sprint points. Those sprint points help determine the final standings of non-podium winners; meaning, gold, silver, and bronze are still awarded to the top three finishers. Clearly, this event is a fast favorite due to its speed and complexity.


Team alpine

     Although alpine skiing is traditionally individual, the new team alpine event will allow skiers to use teamwork and communication in a new way. Two countries, each with two female team members and two male team members, compete in parallel slalom races at a time, pairing off so that female competes against female and male competes against male. The team’s scores are then added together and compared against the other country, with timeliness breaking any ties. Watching these athletes work together towards medaling will surely be far from boring during the Winter Olympics this year.