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Four new sporting events added to the 2018 winter Olympics

Pyeongchang, South Korea where the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to take place on Feb. 9. Photo Credit: IOC/CHUNG SUNG-JUN

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The 2018 Winter Olympics began on Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang S. Korea, and four new events were added to the program: big air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass-start speed skating, mixed doubles in curling.

The International Olympic Committee said the changes made to the program were based on “added value; youth appeal; attractiveness for TV, media and the general public; gender equality; minimum impact on the number of events and/or quotas; and infrastructure and operational cost and complexity.”

In big air snowboarding, athletes drop themselves down a large ramp and attempt to perform the highest-scoring individual trick possible.

The ramp at Pyeongchang stands at 49 meters high with a maximum slope angle of 40 degrees, making it the biggest big air ramp in the world. The massive ramp will give the athletes more air time to execute higher-scoring tricks.

Freestyle skiing includes six individual events: aerials, halfpipe, moguls, ski cross, and slopestyle.

According to the official Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics website, https://www.pyeongchang2018.com, “Freestyle skiing is an artistic competition performing aerial acrobatics while freely gliding down a slope, and because of its diversified nature, an analogy is often drawn with a circus on the snow.”

In mass start speed skating, 28 skaters race for 16 laps in an open 400m track with no designated lanes. There are three intermediate sprints every four laps; at each intermediate sprint, the first three skaters will receive 5, 3, and 1 points. At the last sprint, the first three skaters will gain 60, 40, and 2 points. The first three athletes to cross the finish line win the race.

For mixed doubles curling, a team is made up of two players: one male and one female. The goal for each team is to deliver 5 stones per end. The teams are given 22 minutes of strategy time. The player who delivers the team’s first stone of the end must deliver the team’s last stone of that end.

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Four new sporting events added to the 2018 winter Olympics