The 2022 Olympic Games are underway from Beijing, China, and along with the international pageantry also comes the traditional events fans have grown to know and love; hockey, curling, and figure skating, 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 on each:
As the name suggests, this event features a single, female participant tasked with quickly navigating a sled down the windy, icy track all by her lonesome.
The event joins the pre-existing, traditional bobsled events: four-man, two-man, and two-woman. As such, the Beijing Games mark the first time female bobsledders have had two medal opportunities, bringing them even with men.
In the women’s monobob event, each competitor’s sled is identical, removing any potential design advantages.
Men and women’s big air skiing (two separate events)
For the true daredevils out there, freeskiers will take to the Beijing air in an event dedicated to wowing the crowd — and the judges — with their most creative, challenging, heart-in-your-throat tricks. In events for both men and women, Olympic competitors launch themselves off of a ramp, aiming to execute a single, impressive trick on each run before landing cleanly.
The skiers begin atop a run that stands 50 meters high, and will be judged on five factors:
In the Olympic final, competitors will make three runs, with their overall score coming from the two best attempts.
The max score for each run is 100 points.
Mixed team relay in short-track speedskating
Think of a lightning-quick, coed, relay race. Now put it on ice. That’s essentially what this new speedskating event is, as teams of four (two men and two women) race one another over the course of 2,000 meters (18 laps).
The Olympics have already featured a men’s (5,000 meters) and a women’s (3,000 meters) speedskating relay; this year’s Games, however, will be the first time a mixed-gender event is offered.
The competition begins with each female skater racing for two-and-a-half laps, followed by each male skater covering the same distance. That brings us to 10 laps. The teams’ female skaters go again, each for two laps. Now we’re at 14. Finally, each teams’ male skaters sprint it out for two laps apiece, bringing the total laps covered to 18.
The first team to the finish wins, with medal positions expected to be decided by mere fractions of seconds.
Mixed team ski jumping
It began with men’s ski jumping, back in 1988.
Women ski jumpers joined the fun 20 years later at the 2018 Olympic Games.
Now a third medal-earning opportunity has been added to the discipline, as teams of four — two men, two women — compete on ski jumps that feature a 98-meter takeoff.
The event follows a woman-man-woman-man format, with the athletes being individually judged on elements including 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-day version of “last one to the bottom is a rotten egg,” this event features teams of two, one woman, one man, racing from a starting gate atop a mountain, to the finish line down below.
It’s pure speed, with various obstacles and tests of aptitude — drops, turns, jumps — sprinkled in throughout the course.
The man begins, and only when he reaches the bottom can the starting gate re-open, allowing his female teammate to begin her descent. The team whose woman reaches the finishes line fastest earns victory and is thus, most certainly, NOT a rotten egg.
Mixed team aerial freestyle skiing
Never before has aerial freestyle skiing been a team event. That all changes this year in Beijing, as teams of three combine forces to reach new heights and land upon the medal stand.
Athletes propel off a jump and soar into the sky, where they will engage in a collection of twists and turns, flips and spins, before ultimately, and hopefully, sticking the landing at the slope’s bottom.
Each three-person team must have at least one male and one female, and the combined marks of the skiers will produce the team’s total score.