What’s That Olympic Sport Called Again?

Whats_That_Sport

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Every two years we turn on our t.v.’s to some surprisingly obscure Olympic sports. Here’s what you need to know to keep you entertained from curling to trampoline.

Winter:

  1. Biathlon
  2. Combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.

    How it works:
    Cross-country ski trial broken up into
    2 or 4 shooting positions
    half prone
    and half standing

    5 targets per shooting position
    Every missed target = penalty

    Penalty =
    Extra 150 meter ski loop
    Add 1 minute to the skiers time
    Or, use one of three “extra” cartridges.

    Countries most popular in:
    Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United States.
    Originated in Norway in 1861
    This sport was originally an exercise for Norwegian military.

  3. Luge, Bobsleigh, Skeleton
  4. Three steering mechanisms for the same sport
    tracks= concrete covered in ice;
    one straight section
    one “labyrinth” or three turns in quick succession
    1200-1300 meters long and 15 curves
    “Peterson turns” including a 180 degree turn, and a 270 degree bank angle.
    120 km/h and up to 5 g’s.

    Bobsleigh:
    How it works:
    Crews of two or four:
    Feet forward head up
    Steering mechanism at the front.
    Sled dimensions of up to 12.5 ft. (4 person crew)
    Or 8.9 ft. (2 people)
    Weight limits of 1388.9 lbs (4-man crew)
    859.8 lbs (2-man crew)
    Or 749.6 lbs (2-woman crew)
    –>
    Crew pushes the sled 50 meters then jumps in.
    –>
    Going for the fastest time.

    Luge:
    The fastest and most dangerous of the sliding sports.
    Record: 95.69 mph by Manuel Pfister of Austria
    1 or two person sleds
    Feet first, head up.
    Steering: Flexing one sides calf and exerting pressure with the other shoulder.

    Skeleton:
    One person, face down and forward.
    Steering: Torque provided by head and shoulders.

    Year of first competitions–1882 (Skeleton), 1883 (Luge), 1884 (Bobsleigh)
    Location originated: Switzerland

  5. Curling, “Chess on Ice”
  6. One large granite “stone” is cast across the ice.
    Teams of 4 take turns guiding the stone towards a target.
    Players “sweep” in front of the stone at the direction of the skip

    Sweeping:
    (1) reduces friction that slows down the stone
    (2) reduces the curl (spin) of the stone

    Year originated: Late Middle Ages
    Location originated: Scotland

    Summer Sports:

  7. Modern Pentathlon
  8. 5 parts:
    fencing
    200m freestyle swimming
    show jumping
    pistol shooting combined with 3200 meter cross-country run

    Designed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics.
    meant to simulate the experience of a 19th century cavalry soldier behind enemy lines.

    How it works:
    Competitors ranked for performance in first three disciplines
    And given start times for the final combined event.
    For shooting and running:
    (50 seconds to hit 5 targets) 4 times throughout the run.
    Winner is whoever crosses the finish line first.

  9. Dressage, “Horse Ballet”
  10. Goal: Allow the horse to perform under saddle with the degree of athleticism and grace it would naturally show in the wild.

    Pyramid of horse training:
    Rhythm and regularity–Keep rhythm with pure walk, pure gait, or pure canter.
    Relaxation–relaxed blowing of nose, relaxed chewing on bit, legs swinging like pendulums
    Contact–the pushing power of the horse
    Impulsion–flow of pushing power from back to front is even, relaxed.
    Straightness–The body and legs follow a straight line, keeping the horse in perfect balance.
    Collection–shorter strides of greater energy and activity.

    Performance ranked from 1-10
    Based on presentation of a variety of gaits, transitions between gaits, and even pirouettes.

    1.) Piagge, a calm, composed, elevated trot in place.
    2.) Collected gaits, the horse rests on its hind quarters more, elevating itself as it continues the routine.
    3.) Pirouettes, 180’s, 360’s, or 720’s turn in place.

    Origin year: Ancient Europe–>Renaissance (classical dressage)–>Competitive dressage

    Early Masters:
    Xenophon, Greek General (427-355) wrote On Horsmanship
    William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle (1592-1676) –Master of Horse for Charles II of England.
    FranÁois Robichon de La GuÈriniËre (1688-1751)–Taught the classical position still used today.
    Egon von Neindorff (1923-2004)–author of The Art of Classical Horsemanship

  11. 3000 Meter Steeplechase
  12. How it works:
    3000 meter track
    immovable obstacles
    (they don’t fall over when hit like track hurdles)
    (36 inches for men)
    (30 inches for women)
    Each circuit has 4 obstacles
    and 1 water barrier.
    Each race is 7 circuits.
    Can jump over obstacles by any means
    (ex:foot, hand, tripping, climbing.)
    The fastest time wins!

  13. Trampolining
  14. Gymnasts coordinate 10 contacts with the 14 by 7 foot trampoline.
    with Feet, seat, front, and back.
    Beginning and ending with feet.
    Variety of twists
    and somersaults
    (lateral and longitudinal movement)

    Three basic shapes of moves:
    1.) Tucked: with knees clasped to chest by hands
    2.) Piked: with hands touching close to feet and both arms and legs straight
    3.) Straddle: legs creating a triangle with hands on ankles.

    Ranked from 1-10 based on:
    1.) Incomplete moves
    2.) moving too far from the center
    3.) Degree of difficulty

    Let the Games Begin!

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