The most Badass, Dangerous and Entertaining Olympic Sports
With the Olympics in full swing we’re releasing our list of the most badass, dangerous and entertaining Olympic events. Would you try any of the ones we listed?
We know what you’re thinking. The Biathlon probably doesn’t seem like one the most dangerous or entertaining winter sports. But if you don’t think it’s at least badass, think again. Cross country skiing and rifle shooting makes up the Biathlon. It originated as an exercise for Norwegian Soldiers as an alternative military training. The Norwegians also wrestle grizzly bears and learn barehanded fishing during training as well. Those crazy Norwegians!
Biathlon athletes are unstoppable in the snow. They cross 10Km of hills and flat stretches, and stop at two different shooting stations – one where they lay down and one where they stand up and hit a target 164 feet away.
Imagine if there was a hit out on you and you decided to hide out in Northern Quebec. They could track you down, crossing probably hundreds of kilometers in the snow. Once they had found you, good luck getting away from their expert sniper shots. Yeah, the other sports mentioned are more dangerous – but what is a snowboarder going to do to you? Hit you over the head with his board? Biathletes are badass because their skills translate best into real life for their future careers as secret agents. CSIS – are you recruiting from Canada’s Biathlon Olympians?
By default, Luge is the most dangerous of all Olympic sports. During the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died during his final practice run, hanging a dark cloud over the event. The Vancouver track was one of the fastest in the world and while steering was blamed for his death, it was nonetheless hard to shake it off from the sport.
Luge is timed to a thousandth of a second, making it the most precisely timed sport in the world. They reach speeds of 140Km/ hour. Have you ever even driven your car that fast? The top speed reached on the Vancouver track was 154Km/ hour. Doing that speed in Canada would get you a $500 ticket (at least), a hike in insurance costs and a print piece in a local paper about stunt driving charges. These guys are doing it wearing tight spandex suits and helmets.
Lugers steer with their legs and shoulders, flexing and exerting pressure to perform hairpin turns that would turn your hair white and cause you to call out the names of any and all available gods. Double luge requires partners to be completely in sync with each other. The combination of extra weight and extra fast speeds narrows your ability to get away with even the tiniest mistake.
Common injuries are bumps, bruises, broken bones, and concussions. Thankfully fatalities aren’t a common occurrence, but they do happen.
We’ve got to hand it to lugers – they are the bravest of all the Olympic athletes and have also turned something akin to tobogganing into the most badass, dangerous and entertaining sport to watch. And as a result, people have tuned in in droves. While viewership ratings are still coming in from Sochi, at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 luge netted an average of 26,157,455* US viewers through the weekend of February 15, 2010 according to The Neilson Company. Which goes to show that people love to watch others put it all on the line.
Hats off and good luck to Canada’s Luge athletes!
Snowboarding hasn’t stopped evolving into an increasingly tougher and more technical sport. This sport was added to the 1998 Olympics and captivated crowds with its boundary pushing culture. Snowboarders not only defy the laws of physics but defy their own laws by constantly developing new moves – like the backside triple cork 1440, invented by Canada’s own 2014 Olympic Bronze medal winner Mark McMorris. The trick involves three flips and four 360-degree revolutions. It’s a combination of speed, height and motion. It’s hard to wrap your mind around and kind of beautiful to watch. That being said – we don’t want to know what happens when you fuck it up.
Snowboarders usually fall on their hands, shoulders, asses or heads with the most common injuries being wrist fractures, contusions, dislocations, broken collarbones and concussions. Deaths aren’t super common but injuries are. Ask Nova Scotian snowboarder Alexandra Duckworth, who had to miss the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver because she sustained a broken ankle while training.
Snowboarding is definitely one of the most entertaining Olympic sports to watch because of their gravity defying tricks. So much so that Sports Illustrated has named Snowboard Halfpipe and Snowboard Cross 2 of their top 12 “Most Popular Winter Olympic Events”.*
Oh, and if you wanna see the backside triple cork 1440, we’ve got it right here for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URFnYGzu9lU