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Prepare for a Wintry Mix … of Sports!

digital illustration of six kids playing winter sports in the snow and on an ice rink with a snowy background.

Get excited for and inspired by the 2022 Winter Olympic Games with a look at the cold-weather events they include.

By Patti Usowski, Sunday Circulation Manager, Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library

Cold Weather Fun

“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation,” said American playwright and writer Sinclair Lewis.  Why not make the occupation, or “job,” an enjoyable one by watching or participating in a winter sport?

To qualify as a winter sport, the activity must take place on snow or ice, according to Individual Sports of the Winter Games by Aaron Derr. It sure will take a lot of snow and ice to host the 109 events in seven sports at the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held Feb. 4-20, 2022, in Beijing, China!

Winter Sports in the Olympics

The first winter team sport to be held at the Olympics was ice hockey, which premiered at the 1920 Summer Olympics, as Aaron Derr notes in his book Team Sports of the Winter Games. Winter sports got their own Olympics after this event. Can you imagine playing ice hockey during the summer?

Speed skating, figure skating, curling, and ice hockey are held indoors due to the need for a controlled environment. Figure skating would be very difficult to perform outdoors while wearing a down jacket, mittens and a wool hat!

Snowboarding, the most popular winter sport in the U.S., first appeared in the Winter Olympics in 1998. New sporting events planned for the 2022 Winter Games include: women’s monobob (a bobsled for one person), freestyle skiing big air (where skiers launch off very large jumps and perform tricks in the air), mixed team aerials (where coed teams of men and women perform jumps and combine their scores), snowboard cross (where competitors race against each other down a course at the same time), and mixed relay short track speed skating.

Get in the Game

Why let Olympic athletes have all the fun? Follow their example and enjoy the fun and health benefits of winter activities! Grab those skates, sleds, hockey sticks or whichever equipment you prefer and enjoy the crisp, cold air outside or the smooth ice of an indoor rink.

Learn about Fairfax County's ice skating and hockey facilities.

And, no matter the weather, you can always head to your local library branch or FCPL’s digital collection to check out some books on winter sports and the Olympics. In the meantime, grab a pencil and find the Olympic winter sports hidden in this printable word search

Fairfax Virtual Assistant