The winter season brings snow to a large portion of the United States. While the snow can make road travel a little difficult, it also opens up a lot of fun opportunities. Sports fans and athletes love to see the snow because they can finally start to enjoy their favorite activities. These are the four most popular snow sports.
Alpine skiing and snowboarding are virtually the same event except the competitors use different equipment. The goal is to race down a slope as fast as possible while sticking to a predetermined course. Failing to stick to this course will result in a time penalty or disqualification. The skier or snowboarder with the fastest time ultimately wins the event. The high speeds and excellent technique required to master alpine skiing and snowboarding is what makes it so exciting to watch.
While most snowboarding events are all about speed, slopestyle snowboarding revolves around
performing stylish tricks while traveling down the course. Rails, jumps and other obstacles are positioned on the course. A group of judges award points based on the height, difficulty, variety and originality of the tricks. The goal is to get a higher score than the other competitors. This has been an official event at the Winter Olympics since 2014.
Snow sports do not get much simpler than ski jumping, but the event is still extremely thrilling and entertaining. The skiers take off down a curved hill with a large jumping ramp at the end. The goal is to create as much distance on the jump as possible. The skiers are also scored based on their style and form as they are gliding through the air. The distance and style points are combined to determine the overall winner. Ski jumping has been an Olympic event since it was introduced in 1924.
The biathlon combines two skills into one thrilling snow sport. The competitors race on a cross country skiing course. Once they complete a lap, they must shoot a rifle at four targets. A short penalty loop must be completed for every missed target. A typical biathlon lasts for three or five laps. The biathlon has been a popular competition at the Olympics since 1960.