The Winter Olympics’ 5 Weirdest Sports, Explained

Life Hacker has compiled a cheat sheet for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang by breaking down the weirdest sports being featured this year. Here they are:

  1. Mass Start Speed Skating. Making its debut in Pyeongchang, this event features a bunch of skaters trying to draft behind one another and change position on a course that’s too small for all of them.
  2. Biathlon. The Biathlon is part cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. The event’s roots are outdoor skills that were once crucial for survival in snowy winter climates like Scandinavia.
  3. Curling. The game, which is of Scottish origin, involves players sliding granite stones along sheets of ice toward a target made of four concentric circles.
  4. Moguls. The name of the event comes from the course itself, which is heavily “moguled”–or built with a series of artificial bumps that resemble the mounds formed when skiers push snow as they make sharp turns down a slope.
  5. Ice Dancing. Generally speaking, ice dancing has more in common with ballroom dancing than figure skating. For the 2018 Olympics Short Dance, each team has to do the same rumba step sequence, and the Latin theme must be reflected throughout the entire program.