Power Ranking the 10 Best 2014 Winter Olympic Sports
Power Ranking the 10 Best Winter Olympics Sports
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are in full swing after a breathtaking but interesting opening ceremonies. It is true that the opening ceremonies really set the tone for the rest of any games. Sochi has been dealing with criticism since it was first announced that the city was hosting the games. Thankfully, the athletes are not letting the criticism of the city and living quarters slow them down one bit.
Since the Winter Olympics first started back in 1924, the games have grown from the original seven to now 15 events. The events for this year’s games are as follows: Figure Skating, Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Freestyle skiing, Hockey, Cross-Country Skiing, Nordic Combined, Biathlon, Freestyle Skiing, Ski Jumping, Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton, Short Track, Speed Skating and Curling.
Team USA and Russia will be going head-to-head in many of the gold medal events, but Canada and Norway will also be looking to prove their dominance. Norway currently leads the medal count with four total medals, two of which are gold. The U.S. Women's hockey team made quick work of Finland today by defeating them 3-1 in the first preliminary game, while the Russians have set an almost untouchable lead in Figure Skating.
It is only day one, but things have already begun to heat up in numerous events. The great thing about the Olympics is that there is something for everyone. Regardless if you play any of the sports featured in the Olympics or if you are just a lover of seeing the world’s best perform at the highest level, there is always something for everyone.
What has yet to be determined is which sports are the best overall, both being able to compete in and just in general. Here for you now is my power rankings for the top 10 best sports at the Winter Olympic Games.
Baxter Colburn is a Winter Olympics writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Baxstar20, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.
10. Alpine Skiing
Led by American great Bode Miller, the event of Alpine Skiing is bound to be one you will not want to miss. It provides a sense of the unknown, because of how fast the skiers have to travel down the mountain, virtually anything could happen. Historically, the Austrians have taken home the most medals in the event with 105; Switzerland and France round out the top three with 56 and 43 total medals won, respectively.
Whether you have watched the movie “Cooling Running’s” or not, the sport of Bobsledding is somewhat of a mystery. It is interesting how between two and four people jump into a very tiny sled and try to race down an icy track as fast as possible. The event will feature a team from Jamaica this year. It would really be something if the team was able to place. Switzerland leads all countries with 31 all-time medals in the event, with Germany (21) and USA (20) bringing up the second and third places.
8. Ski Jumping
Switzerland’s Simon Ammann headlines this game’s most accomplished in this sport, as he is currently just two medals away from being the most decorated ski jumper in Olympic history. The sport as a whole is something that sure makes you wonder how badly a person’s knees hurt after flying through the air for a long period of time, then landing hard on your skis, or maybe I just need to hit the gym more and stop complaining. Either way, these athletes have to have a tremendous amount of balance and precision in order to land these dangerous jumps. It certainly keeps your attention as a viewer. Norway leads the all-time list with 29 total medals, with Austria and Finland coming in and second and third with 23 and 22 medals, respectively.
If there was one sport in the Olympics that looked the scariest, but also a complete adrenaline rush, it would be the Luge. The speed that these athletes go down the track is incredibly risky to their health, but also totally worth the risk. This sport has always been dominated by both the Germans and Austrians as both have 31 and 18 medals, respectively. Felix Loch is the favorite for these games and go figure, he is German.
6. Speed Skating
It has only been one day’s worth of competition, but the Netherlands already has won three different medals. The Dutch skater Sven Kramer has already set the tone for his country as he dominated the field during the 5000m, setting an Olympic record with six minutes and 10.76 seconds. So much can go wrong with flying around the rink, but for those who can keep it all together make the sport exactly what it is: A full-on sprint across ice that takes absolute precision and an immense amount of speed.
5. Freestyle Skiing
This form of skiing has grown from three categories to five: aerials, moguls, ski cross, ski half-pipe and slopestyle. With the finals of moguls already in the books, it can be said that this year’s group of athletes has tremendous amounts of talent. Being able to perform the multiple different tasks that go into these events is incredible impressive, especially being on skis the entire time. Each of these events will keep fans glued to their respective television for hours on end.
4. Figure Skating
I think this picture above speaks for itself; this event has exploded in popularity over the past 20 years. The Russians (pictured above) are the team to beat in this Olympic Games. Being able to combine ballroom dancing with ice skating is truly incredible. If you ever get a chance to check out the highlights from these events, especially the Russian routines, it will be worth your time.
Personally, this is my favorite sport in the Winter Olympics. It may seem like a very odd and complicated game to try and figure out, but once you understand it, it is hard to break away from playing or watching it. The Norwegians have already made a fashion statement with their outfits the team will be wearing during competition. If you are ever given a chance to play Curling, I strongly recommend it.
This is definitely the one sport most, if not all Olympic fans will be watching. There are so many different dynamics to this sport that it makes it hard take your eyes off the event. Shaun White will be the primary focus to continue his reign of dominance of the pipe. This is another sport that if you ever get the chance to try, I strongly recommend it. USA, Norway and Canada all have a medal after today’s slopestyle final, which American Sage Kotsenburg took home gold.
Hockey has become an Olympic favorite ever since the “Miracle on Ice” back in 1980 when Team USA defeated Russia 4-3. Since those games, women’s hockey has become a more prominent fixture. USA and Canada have continued to build a strong rivalry in both men and women’s hockey. Each team will bring their A-game this Olympics and both times these two teams play each other, you will not want to miss out on any of the action.
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