1. Ice climbing
Though it narrowly missed making the bill for the upcoming Olympics (yes, really), you’ll still be able to get your climbing fix, as many of the would-be climbers are headed to Sochi anyway. During the two-week lineup of events around the Olympics, they’ll be participating in a demonstration they hope will secure the sport in winter games to come.
2. Whitewater kayaking
The water may be colder, but with so much paddle-love in the Summer Olympics (in events like slalom whitewater canoeing / kayaking and flatwater sprints), why not rep a little in the winter too? Plus, let’s be honest, downriver racing is totally the badass big brother of the sport, and we could always use a little more badass at the Winter Olympics.
This is a real sport. Yes, a real sport. There’s even the United States Snowshoe Association. It’s a competition in which people, wearing snowshoes, race on foot. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to walk in snowshoes, but with the equivalent of tennis rackets tied to the bottom of your feet, it’s a lot like trying to gracefully walk anywhere with scuba fins on. Now imagine running.
Okay, perhaps it’s just me, but there seems to be a certain lack of animals at the Olympics. I like the idea of man and beast training together, forming partnerships and giving it their all…but then again, I (an adult male) still cry when watching Balto. The animated one. For those of you unfamiliar with the painfully obscure sport, skijoring is essentially skiing while being pulled by dog or horse. I dare you to tell me you wouldn’t watch that.
Sure, this sport bears a strong resemblance to hockey, which is already an Olympic sport, but with tiny triangles instead of the usual curved end of the hockey stick, and sneakers instead of ice skates, this sport was made for the enthusiast hoping for an accident (or at least, lots and lots of falling).
6. Snowball fighting (yukigassen)
With a professional league of its own (and major teams in Canada, Japan, the US, and Sweden), this cross between “capture the flag” and “snowball fighting” is one sport that has definitely earned its place at the Olympics. Get on it, official-event-decision-people!
7. Ice fishing
It’s a competitive race to catch the biggest fish in the shortest time. I always thought a sport that inspires drinking for spectators and participants alike would be a welcome addition to any major sporting event. The closest a viewing party for the Olympics can approximate a Super Bowl party seems like a win to me.
8. Ice carving
I could see how it might be difficult to find an objective criterion for judgment of such an event. Perhaps, if every participant had to recreate the same object in the shortest amount of time? Could you imagine teams speed-carving their best 1/33rd-scale replicas of Cristo de la Concordia in Bolivia?
9. Cross-country snowboarding
There’s cross country, and and there’s snowboarding, both of which have approximations at the Olympics already (and of course, cross-country skiing), so why not the combined sport? Watch above as two passionate cross-country snowboarders tell you why the sport is awesome, with liberal use of the word “scooch.”
10. Synchronized snow angel-ing
Seriously, who doesn’t think this would be awesome? Teams of men and women in special suits, diving to and fro in the snow, making patterns in it with their bodies. The spectacle!
11. Human curling
Inspired by this now infamous BIC commercial, this sport to me seems to demand more teamwork and self-sacrifice than perhaps any real sport on the current Winter Olympic roster.