Showing posts with label Winter Sport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter Sport. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Scandals of the Winter Olympic Games

Doping in Russia - Photo: Wikipedia
The Winter Olympic Games are highly anticipated as they bring the best athletes from all over the world to compete. While there is plenty of publicity that surrounds the Winter Olympic Games, some of it isn’t the type of attention that organizers want. The Olympic Games are to be a symbol of peace among countries and good sportsmanship. So when scandals emerge about cheating it really affects the overall perception that people have about the Olympics as a whole.

These types of scandals have been going on since the early days of the Winter Olympic Games though. In 1948 it was discovered that someone had tampered with the bobsleds of the USA team. It is a good thing it was discovered before the event because those responsible had loosened the bolts that hold the steering mechanisms in place. This would have resulted in a serious accident occurring. Those responsible for this act were never caught though and it left 1948 with some uneasy feelings in place. 

Germany did very well in the 1964 Winter Olympic Games. However, two people were stripped of their gold medals as it was discovered they were categorized as professionals. In 1968 it was discovered that East Germany had been heating up the runners on their sleds in the luge competition in order to beat the competition. 

Even if you don’t follow figure skating, chances are you know the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan story that unfolded during the Winter Olympic Games in 1994. At one time these women had been friends on the ice but that quickly changed when Kerrigan was hit in the knees with a metal baton during a practice session. As a result, she wasn’t able to perform and Harding was given her place on the Olympic team. 

It was discovered that Harding’s ex-husband and a friend had planned the attack. Harding admitted she knew afterward but that she didn’t report the information. Kerrigan was able to perform at the 1992 Olympic Games and she walked away with the silver medal. She had the support of the entire world behind her it seemed due to what she had been through in order to even perform at the games. 

Hosting the Winter Olympic Games is quite an honor and one that brings plenty of attention and revenue to the area. In 2002 a scandal was discovered involving bribes paid for Salt Lake City, Utah to host the Winter Olympic Games. These bribes include numerous ski trips, real estate deals, and cash. Even though the scandal was investigated and several people resigned from the Winter Olympics Committee, the games still took place in Salt Lake City, Utah that year.

The area of figure skating was plagued once again in 2002 at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. It is believed that some of the judges had been bribed to give high scores to the Russian team in exchange for their team getting high scores in another event. Everyone agreed that Canada should have gotten the gold medal. Eventually, they were given the gold but the Russian team was not stripped of theirs.

Coaching is an essential part of any good Winter Olympic team, and the reputation of these coaches is very important. Tim Nardiello is a coach for the USA team but he has been placed on leave. There are allegations of sexual harassment that have been filed by several females under his direction. The issue is being carefully investigated and the results of that will determine if he is reinstated as a coach for them or not.

Officials have worked very hard to make changes to how scores are calculated for the Winter Olympic Games. This is to make sure the weight of only one judge doesn’t affect the overall outcome of the results. They also continue to test all athletes to make sure they haven’t been using drugs to enhance their performance. The reputation of the Olympic Games is on the line each time such scandals arise, and with the power of the media these days you can be sure it will be National news. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Game of ICE HOCKEY

Ice Hockey - Photo: Pixabay
The game of ice hockey is very fast paced and full of action. As the players glide effortlessly across the ice in order to control the puck and score points, it gives the illusion that this is a very easy sport. However, that is quite far from the truth because you have to develop excellent skating skills and you need to know the game of hockey inside and out.

Both men and women enjoy playing ice hockey and there are a minor league and major league teams out there. Ice hockey is even a team event in the Winter Olympic Games which are held every four years at a location that changes each time. To help reduce the number of injuries sustained during ice hockey players have to wear helmets and padding. This is a contact sport that still results in some interesting injuries though in spite of quality safety equipment being used.

Professional ice hockey is considered to be one of the most violent sports out there. While the number of hits that take place among the players has tapered off over the years, there are still plenty of fights that continue to take place out there on the ice. Many people will tell you that is one of the reasons why they enjoy watching it so much. 

For their participation in various penalties such as shoving, tripping, and other types of interference during the game players have to spend time in the penalty box. Generally, this period of time is two minutes for each infraction called by the referees but the amount of time can be up to four minutes. 

Even though these time periods are very short, they can result in the other team scoring. 
This is because the player on the other team gets a free shot of the puck towards the goal without anyone defending it due to the penalty call. Still, players often engage in any types of behaviors they can while playing ice hockey in order to gain control of the puck for their team.

The game of ice hockey is generally played in three periods, each lasting 20 minutes in length. If the game is tied it can go into overtime in order to determine the winner. For professional ice hockey, one 20 minute time period is placed on the clock. The game continues until the 20 minutes ends without any scoring or when one of the team's scores. Amateur games may decide to leave the game as a tie or follow the professional rules.

Ice hockey games can also be found being played by kids on frozen ponds during the winter months. This can be a great way to pass the time and to have fun during the colder time of year. However, it is vital to make sure the ice is solid as it can crack from the weight of the players on it. This can result in serious injuries or even death due to drowning. 

Proper safety equipment should also be used for this type of ice hockey because it is still a dangerous sport. Even though most people that engage in ice hockey on the frozen ponds don’t engage in the violent behaviors of the professionals, there are still plenty of risks. Getting hit with a hockey stick or falling down can all be serious if you don’t have the right equipment to protect yourself. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hosting the Winter Olympic Games

2010 Vancouver - Photo: Wikimedia
Hosting the Winter Olympic Games is something that is a tremendous honor, but there is quite an investment that has to take place on the behalf of the host city. This is why Denver, Colorado declined to host the 1976 Winter Olympic Games. The voters of the city decided not to approve a $5 million bond in order to pay for updates, improvements, and promotions for the Winter Olympic Games. 

Yet the initial investment for getting ready to host the Winter Olympic Games is something that many areas are willing to do. The amount of revenue they reap during the Olympic Games as well as after that due to the publicity for their city more than pays for the initial cost to get ready for the event. A large portion of the money they earn comes from the television rights to air the Olympic events from their city.

Those cities that want to host the Winter Olympic Games have to place a bid for it. The committee will then review each bid and narrow the options down to three or four. From there a full evaluation of the city will be conducted in order to determine where the best possible location will be. 

It is very common for cities that want to host the Winter Olympic Games to submit a bid each time they are open until they are awarded the honor of hosting the event. If they aren’t accepted because they don’t have the facilities to successfully host the games then they continue working on constructing them and having them in place before the next bidding session. 

Allowing the Winter Olympic Games to take place in various locations around the world offers more of a universal theme to the concept of the Olympic Games. Since it doesn’t always take place in the same country it doesn’t seem to belong to any one of them but to all of them collectively. It is a great experience though to have the Winter Olympic Games hosted close to where you live. This allows you to go to many of the events and see them live rather than just on TV.

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games will be held in Vancouver, Canada. This will make the third time that Canada has had the honor of hosting the Olympics and the second round for the Winter Olympic Games. It is estimated that it will cost Canada approximately $1.4 billion to host this event. $200 million of this budget will be directly spent on security measures for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Processing is already underway for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games as well which will be held in Sochi, Russia. This is an amazing feat when you consider only 20 years ago Russia was considered to be a very isolated and different form of government than others around the world. 

Yet Russia has plenty to do before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. More than $580 million will be spent on construction, to lay more than 2,000 miles of fiber optics for communication, and building four hydropower stations in order to ensure there is sufficient electricity for the event. Expansions of the railway and various airports are also part of the construction process to ensure they can handle the capacity of people coming in for the event. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter Olympics

8th Winter Olympic Games, Squaw Valley, Califo...8th Winter Olympic Games, Squaw Valley, California, February 18-29, 1960
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are plenty of different sports to keep your attention if you are watching the Winter Olympics. They take place every four years at different locations found around the world. Some of the most exciting events of the entire Olympics take place during the winter games. The most popular winter sports events that get watched are the skiing competitions and the skating events.

There are ten different events that take place for both men and women to compete in for the Alpine skiing competition. Cross-country skiing is offered as an individual and as a team event with competitions spanning over several different distances ranging from 15 km to 40 km.

Freestyle skiing allows those in competition to be judged on their style, their stunts, and the level of difficulty that they are able to offer during their routine. Ski jumping allows contestants to race down hills and then see how far they can jump in the air across an area. The way in which the land is also judged. The Nordic combined is a skiing event that offers a combination of cross-country skiing combined with jumping.

Snowboarding was added to the Winter Olympic Games in 1998 and continues to be one that many people love to watch. These events require the individual to use a board strapped to their feet without any poles as you would use in regular skiing. The individual controls the direction of the snowboard with their feet and body.

In the skating categories of the Winter Olympics, figure skating is watched by millions of viewers. There are individual and team events which have both been plagued with controversy over the years. In 1992 Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and injured while practicing for the Olympics. It was later determined that a rival, Tonya Harding, had launched the plan with her boyfriend to get Kerrigan out of the way for the competition.

In 2002 there was controversy surrounding the judges as the Canadian team had a flawless routine but the Russian team walked away with the gold. Rumors that some judges had been paid off quickly circulated and eventually the Canadian team was offered a gold medal. However, the accusations could not be substantiated enough to justify the removal of the gold medal from the Russian team.

The event of speed skating in the winter Olympics is one that has gained the attention of the audience in recent years. This involves individuals and teams racing around the ice at neck-breaking speeds. There is plenty of action though to keep you on the edge of your seat as they skate around the track.

Ice hockey is always a fun sport to watch, and there are events in the Winter Olympics for both men’s teams and women’s teams. Canada holds the record for the most gold medals in this event with 13. There is plenty of stiff competition in the ice hockey games though so make sure you tune in to cheer on your favorite teams.

The fastest sport in the Winter Olympics is the Luge. This event involves one or two people on a small sled that quickly descends down the course. The riders control the speed and the movement of the sled with their bodies so they have to exhibit strength in their calves and their shoulders in order to be very fast.

The bobsleigh events are very similar but there are events for a full five-person team as well as a two-person team. They sit upright for this particular event in the Winter Olympics while they lay down for the Luge events.

The next Winter Olympic Games will be taking place in 2010 and will be hosted by Canada. You will be able to watch all your favorite sports as the teams from around the world compete to take home the gold medals in the various individual and team sports.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Winter Sports - Skiing

Skiing - Photo: Pixabay
Skiing is a sport wherein the skiers glide over snow with the help of skis made out of wood planks or fiberglass strapped to the feet. Over the period of years have been many alterations to the original sports like the cross-country variant and downhill variant. The alterations are Alpine Skiing, Telemark Skiing, and Nordic Skiing. Skiing is also used by the military as a means of transportation and training in ski warfare.

Originally skiing was used as a means of transportation in an ice-packed area. Sondre Norheim, from Norway, was the father of modern skiing as he developed slalom form of skiing in the 19th century. His ideas were later worked on and Telemark Skiing was developed in the 1970s. Mathias Zdarsky from Austria invented the Alpine or downhill skiing. He developed the firmer bindings to help skiers to better anchor their feet. Sometime after that, Hannes Schneider of Austria invented the Arlberg technique, according to which the body is rotated to steer the skis. 

Not only there are different versions of skiing, but also there are many competitions, which are held every year for the fans of skiing. Skiing is a big part of the Winter Olympic games, too. The regions, which are ideal for skiing, are some parts of Scandinavia and Alaska. Many of the ski resorts have been constructed in these areas and some of them are specifically meant for Alpine Skiing.

The visitors have to buy warm clothing, ski, ski poles, and ski boots. After getting all dressed up, the skiers can take the gondola lift or the chairlift to reach the summit. From there the skiers ski downwards along a marked path called piste or trail or slope. If the skier is interested in off-piste skiing, he can take the unmarked area and ski in between trees, which is also known as glade skiing. 

Skiing outside the boundaries of the resort is called out of bounds skiing and is not allowed in some resorts. This can be very dangerous as there can be a possibility of falling avalanches, which can be a threat to life. Its advisable to take avalanche training, carry necessary equipment and to hang out with experienced skiers. In case of emergency, insurance is a must otherwise the cost of search and the skier himself should bare rescue service. It is highly recommended that the skiers inform the ski patrol before going out to ski and check out for bad weather.

It takes a long while to master the art of skiing and the help of ski schools can be taken to overcome this. Initially trained instructors ask the leaner to keep the skiing speed low. The terrains and steep slopes are better avoided. Advanced skiers are made to ski on steep terrains and the risks taken are much more dangerous than the beginners.  

Two basic types of downhill skiing are alpine skiing and telemark skiing. Telemark skiing involves flexible ski boots and the heels aren't locked to the skis. Alpine skiing involves harder ski boots.  

Even people with disabilities with the help of outriggers have practiced downhill skiing; sit skis, ski tip retention devices, ski guides, colored guide bibs and audible clues. The dangers that can be faced in these sports are avalanches, collisions, hypothermia, and other illnesses and sometimes even death.