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Four Bizarre Events in the Winter Olympics

By Williams & Brown LLP on February 17, 2014

Texas Personal InjuryThe Winter Olympics at Sochi is well underway, and viewers from all over the world are taking in the many exciting spectacles it has to offer. You can watch Shaun White and other snowboarders perform high-flying feats and incredible death-defying tricks. If you prefer something a little bit more elegant, catch the figure skating events in which ice skaters show off both incredible grace and astonishing power on ice. Whatever you decide to tune into, you are sure to catch some godlike displays of physical ability, strength, and finesse.

And then there are those few sports that perplex viewers more than they excite them, the handful of somewhat obscure winter sports that make many people wonder who thought of them in the first place and how they even made it into the Olympics. Here are the four most bizarre Winter Olympic sports in past and present games.

Bandy

Bandy didn’t make it into the Sochi Winter Olympics this year, and the reason seems pretty apparent. Originally conceived as a demonstration sport in the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics, bandy can be best described as hockey played under the rules of soccer and with a ball instead of a puck. This sport is less strange than it is redundant. Why do we need another winter sport that involves people on ice trying to hit something with a stick? We’ve already met that quota with ice hockey. Perhaps the Olympic Committee made the right decision in passing this sport up. But what about the weird sports that actually made the cut?

Biathlon

The start of the biathlon is tricky. It appears to be like any other skiing event, perhaps cross country or some other kind of endurance run. But then the skiers stop and do something that makes many viewers scratch their heads: they take out a rifle and shoot at a target five times. Then they continue skiing. And the cycle repeats itself several times. So, basically, it’s cross country skiing combined with a shooting contest. Who keeps on coming up with these seemingly senseless sports combinations? Well, on to the next one.

Skeleton

What’s with the strange name? A skeleton evokes images of death and reminds one of the frailty of the human body against the elements. It’s certainly not something you would want associated with a sport that you enjoy. Well, watch it for yourself, and everything will make sense. Skeleton involves riding belly down on what looks like half a sled at high speeds down a track of hard, cold ice. Did I mention that this is all done face-first? Oh, and there are no brakes. Pure, unadulterated craziness. Actually, it sounds pretty entertaining, well, at least much more entertaining than …

Curling

So one person slides a big stone with just the right amount of pressure down the ice toward a target, then a duo of fellow teammates, each with ice brooms, start frantically sweeping the ice in front of the stone down the lane, and all the while, a fourth person close to the target is yelling instructions at the sweepers … but to what purpose? This author cannot say.

Whatever quirky antics you choose to follow this Winter Olympics, the Texas personal injury attorneys at Williams & Brown LLP hope you enjoy it while it lasts!

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