statue at olympic training center location in Colorado Springs
Lifestyle, Outdoor Adventures

5 Fun Facts about the Winter Olympics

2022 Winter Olympics have arrived! Who is excited to cheer on and celebrate the greatest athletes from all over the world gathering in one place, Beijing? We are pretty excited, so excited that we pulled together 5 Ways to Celebrate the Winter Olympics!

One of the major reasons we love watching the Olympics is the athletes. Every four years we hear stories of athletes fighting through adversities, injuries, rough backgrounds, and their transformation into greatness. Each athlete becomes a role model for our children and even ourselves. They train hard and love their communities harder.

Colorado Springs is the official U.S. Olympic & Paralympic City.

Did you know that Colorado hosts the official USA Olympic & Paralympic training site?

In 1978, The U.S. Olympic & Paralympics relocated from New York to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Many of the winter sports are headquartered at the training center including USA Hockey and Figure Skating. The facility is surrounded by 160 miles of park trails and 105 miles of urban trails, which many athletes frequent, you may even see them scrolling through Garden of the Gods Park, located nearby. With the facility located at 6,035 feet in elevation, it makes it an ideal high-altitude training location.

Pikes Peak towers 14,115 feet and is the host of many endurance athletes. Have you seen any running, hiking, or cycling to the summit?

Each year, 130,000 people tour the Training facility. Olympians, Paralympians, and those training to become Olympians train year-round, you may even get to see some on your visit! Tour one of the handful of velodromes (indoor cement cycling track) in the country, where cyclists practice.

Learn more about Olympic City USA.

Downtown Winter Fest

February 5 : 11am-5pm
Cost: FREE

Start of your Winter Olympic activities at the Downtown Winter Fest! This event is free to the public, and is located at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum. Enjoy live music, sport & culture demonstrations, and watch the competitions on the jumbotron!

Cheer on TEAM USA!

Tour the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum

There is so much to see, learn and experience at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, with more than 12,000 US athletes and over 100 years of history, you are bound to be inspired. Explore galleries about the Hall of Fame, training, technology’s role in the athletes and so much more. Visit the website to purchase tickets for the whole family!

In addition to the museum itself, you can enjoy endless Beijing Olympic fun. From February 5th through March 13, you and your family can enjoy athlete meet & greets, Winter Games themed tours, Scavenger hunts, Athlete autographs and so much more. For a full list of events, visit the Beijing Winter Fest Event schedule.

There are 15 Winter Sports Represented at the 2022 Olympics

The first official Olympic Winter Games was hosted in Chamonix, France in 1924 with many of the same events today! That year 260 athletes from 16 nations completed in 9 events, the United States received 4 metals while Norway lead with 17.

Original 9 events included:

  • Bobsleigh
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Nordic combined (ski jumping + cross-country skiing combined)
  • Curling (wasn’t made official until 2006)
  • ice hockey (originally part of the summer games)
  • Figure skating (originally part of the summer games)
  • Speed skating
  • Military Patrol (precursor to the biathlon)
  • Ski jumping

2022 events include:

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Biathlon
  • Bobsled
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Curling
  • Figure Skating
  • Free Skiing
  • Speed Skating
  • Hockey
  • Luge
  • Nordic Combined
  • Short Track
  • Skeleton
  • Ski Jumping
  • Snowboarding

 

1964 Military Intervention

Weather is always a threat to the Olympic Games. In 1928, there was a heatwave driving temps over 70 degrees during the cross-country race. According to the History Channel, the 1964 games were threatened by a lack of snow in Sochi, Russia. Instead of changing locations, the Austrian military climbed nearby snow-capped mountains. They carted more than 50,000 cubic yards of snow to the ski courses and 20,000 blocks of ice to the luge and bobsled tracks.

 

Introducing Snowboard cross mixed team.

Snowboarding was officially added to the Winter games in 1998. Since then we have added Snowboard cross, slopestyle, Parallel Slalom and Big Air. This year, Snowboard cross mixed team is added for the first time.

Snowboard cross mixed team is made up of two snowboarders – male & female. The male competes first, once he crosses the finish line, the time advantage transfers to their female teammate. The first female to cross the finish line wins the race. Boarders are used to competing alone, but this event allows them to become a team. This adds bigger challenges to the events, responsibility that can strengthen your character and a dynamic like never before.

Be sure to check out this new event at this year’s Games.

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