Maggie A's Meanderings




 March 2, 2014

Olympic Winter Decathlon

Watching the winter Olympics, I got to wondering why there isn't a Winter Decathlon, the way there is a Summer Decathlon. The individual winter sports are the "Four Ss": Skiing, Snowboarding, Skating and Sliding. If I were putting together a decathlon event for the winter, I would include.....

No.CategoryEventWhy This Event?
1.Alpine SkiingDownhillConsidered by many to be the premiere skiing event of the Olympics which is funny because the first Winter Olympics didn't have Downhill or even have Alpine skiing. (The first Winter Olympics in 1924 had Nordic skiing. Alpine skiing debuted at the 1936 Olympics.) But with the highest speeds of any of the skiing events, it's the most exciting of the Alpine skiing events.
2.Freestyle SkiingAerialsWatching daring young men and women fly through the air with the greatest of ease.....though sometimes the landing are pretty hard. And any decathlon has to include the "air" events.
3.Nordic SkiingCross-Country Skiing
Mass Start Free*
(Men - 50km, Ladies - 30km)
If you want to reign supreme at the Winter Olympics you should have to prove that you can literally go the distance. And Mass Start is so much more interesting than people going around in grooves like they're in a ride at an amusement park.
4.Nordic Skiing Ski Jumping
Normal Hill
Because after seeing "The Agony of Defeat" for so many years, I still find it hard to believe people voluntarily do this and no pushing or guns are involved.
But, really, it's the oldest "air" event and has been in the Winter Olympics since the first one.
5.SnowboardSnowboard CrossBack when snowboarding first became popular, snowboarders were infamous for cutting off and crashing into other people. With Snowboard Cross you have an Olympic event that institutionalizes such behavior and gives medals for it.
6.SnowboardSlopestyleCombines running an obstacle course with the same aerial tricks you see in halfpipe.
7.Speed Skating5000mAgain proving that you can go the distance, this time on skates.
8.Short Track500mThis event can be the most chaos you can see at any Olympic event in 45 seconds. 
9.SlidingLugeNot much choice.....there are only two individual sliding events since there's no such event as one man bobsleigh.
When I first read about bobsleighing, it was all about how dangerous the sport is. Then I first watched Luge which is bobsleigh, but without the bobsleigh.
10.SlidingSkeletonAnd I thought the lugers had a death wish. Then I saw the aptly named Skeleton where you go down the track head first. Easily the most suicidal of any Olympic sport. The next step will be to wax up your Teflon coated uniforms, getting a running start and just throw yourself down the track.
* All events identical for men and women except Cross-Country which has different distances.

The men and women who can do all of that are the masters of winter sports, able to ski, snowboard, skate and slide, both on the ground and in the air, for short and long distances. As for the winners, they aren't just the masters of winter sports,  they're Monarchs of the Mountain and Gods of the Winter Olympics.

Winter Decathlon sign - skiing, sliding, skating, snowboard, mountain, crown

Read my other piece on the Olympics, "My Take on Certain Olympic Events."

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