What’s that Olympic Sport called again?

olympic rings

February 6, 2014 (ISN) – Every two years we turn on our t.v.’s to some surprisingly obscure Olympic sports. Here’s what you need to know to keep you entertained from curling to trampoline. Just what is that Olympic sport?

what is that sport smallWinter:


Combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.

How it works:

Cross-country ski trial broken up into 2 or 4 shooting positions, half prone and half standing 5 targets per shooting position

Every missed target = penalty

Penalty = Extra 150 meter ski loop

Add 1 minute to the skiers time or, use one of three “extra” cartridges.

Countries most popular in: Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United States.

Originated in Norway in 1861 – This sport was originally an exercise for Norwegian military.

Luge, Bobsleigh, Skeleton

Three steering mechanisms for the same sport

tracks= concrete covered in ice; one straight section, one “labyrinth” or three turns in quick succession, 1200-1300 meters long and 15 curves

“Peterson turns” including a 180 degree turn, and a 270 degree bank angle. 120 km/h and up to 5 g’s.


How it works:

Crews of two or four: Feet forward head up, steering mechanism at the front.

Sled dimensions of up to 12.5 ft. (4 person crew) or 8.9 ft. (2 people)

Weight limits of 1388.9 lbs (4-man crew) 859.8 lbs (2-man crew) or 749.6 lbs (2-woman crew)

Crew pushes the sled 50 meters then jumps in. Going for the fastest time.


The fastest and most dangerous of the sliding sports. Record: 95.69 mph by Manuel Pfister of Austria

1 or two person sleds. Feet first, head up. Steering: Flexing one sides calf and exerting pressure with the other shoulder.


One person, face down and forward. Steering: Torque provided by head and shoulders.

Year of first competitions–1882 (Skeleton), 1883 (Luge), 1884 (Bobsleigh). Location originated: Switzerland

Curling, “Chess on Ice”

One large granite “stone” is cast across the ice. Teams of 4 take turns guiding the stone towards a target.

Players “sweep” in front of the stone at the direction of the skip


(1) reduces friction that slows down the stone

(2) reduces the curl (spin) of the stone

Year originated: Late Middle Ages. Location originated: Scotland

Summer Sports:

Modern Pentathlon

5 parts: fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting combined with 3200 meter cross-country run.

Designed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, meant to simulate the experience of a 19th century cavalry soldier behind enemy lines.

How it works:

Competitors ranked for performance in first three disciplines and given start times for the final combined event. For shooting and running:

(50 seconds to hit 5 targets) 4 times throughout the run. Winner is whoever crosses the finish line first.

Dressage, “Horse Ballet”

Goal: Allow the horse to perform under saddle with the degree of athleticism and grace it would naturally show in the wild.

Pyramid of horse training: Rhythm and regularity–Keep rhythm with pure walk, pure gait, or pure canter.

Relaxation–relaxed blowing of nose, relaxed chewing on bit, legs swinging like pendulums. Contact–the pushing power of the horse. Impulsion–flow of pushing power from back to front is even, relaxed.

Straightness–The body and legs follow a straight line, keeping the horse in perfect balance.

Collection–shorter strides of greater energy and activity.

Performance ranked from 1-10. Based on presentation of a variety of gaits, transitions between gaits, and even pirouettes.

1.) Piagge, a calm, composed, elevated trot in place.

2.) Collected gaits, the horse rests on its hind quarters more, elevating itself as it continues the routine.

3.) Pirouettes, 180′s, 360′s, or 720′s turn in place.

Origin year: Ancient Europe–>Renaissance (classical dressage)–>Competitive dressage

Early Masters:

Xenophon, Greek General (427-355) wrote On Horsmanship

William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle (1592-1676) –Master of Horse for Charles II of England.

FranÁois Robichon de La GuÈriniËre (1688-1751)–Taught the classical position still used today.

Egon von Neindorff (1923-2004)–author of The Art of Classical Horsemanship

3000 Meter Steeplechase

How it works:

3000 meter track, immovable obstacles, (they don’t fall over when hit like track hurdles)

(36 inches for men), (30 inches for women)

Each circuit has 4 obstacles and 1 water barrier.

Each race is 7 circuits. Can jump over obstacles by any means. (ex:foot, hand, tripping, climbing.)

The fastest time wins!


Gymnasts coordinate 10 contacts with the 14 by 7 foot trampoline. With Feet, seat, front, and back.

Beginning and ending with feet. Variety of twists and somersaults (lateral and longitudinal movement).

Three basic shapes of moves:

1.) Tucked: with knees clasped to chest by hands

2.) Piked: with hands touching close to feet and both arms and legs straight

3.) Straddle: legs creating a triangle with hands on ankles.

Ranked from 1-10 based on:

1.) Incomplete moves

2.) moving too far from the center

3.) Degree of difficulty

Let the Games Begin!