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The XXIV Olympic Winter Games will officially start with a grand opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, on February 4, 2022. The two-week-long sporting extravaganza, which ends on February 20, 2022, will feature a record 109 competitions over 15 disciplines in seven sports. Among them will be seven new exciting events. Here is a brief preview of each.
Monobob is similar to bobsledding. However, instead of two or four riders, monobob features a single person pushing off, steering, and piloting down the icy track in a small sleigh. To eliminate the unfair advantage garnered by athletes with high-tech sleds, monobob competitors are required to use identical sleds. The exciting new event will only be open to female athletes at the Beijing Olympics.
Mixed Team Snowboard Cross
Snowboard cross — in which up to six competitors race down a narrow course filled with unexpected twists and turns, steep drops, and various types of jumps — is exciting enough as is. However, the mixed team event, making its debut at the 2022 Winter Games, promises to be even more thrilling.
Each team will consist of two snowboarders — one male and one female — with the men competing first. When the first team member crosses the finish line, any time advantage he has achieved over the next competitor will be transferred to his female teammate. The women will compete in a staggered format, and the first to cross the finish line — after the time advantage has been included — will win the race.
Men's and Women's Big Air Ski
Big air skiing has been added to the Beijing Olympics in both the men's and women's categories. Competitors must launch off a 60-foot ramp and perform gravity-defying rotations and flips in the air before landing gracefully. Skiers can optimize their chance of taking home the gold by demonstrating precise control and personal style, and, most importantly, sticking the landing.
Mixed Team Aerial Skiing
The mixed team aerial skiing is the only freestyle skiing event. Each team will consist of three members, with at least one competitor of each gender. The athletes will launch themselves straight up in the air and attempt as many flips and twists as possible. Their individual scores will be added together, and the team with the highest overall score will win.
Mixed Team Short Track Speed Skating Relay
The Beijing 2022 short track speed skating relay is a 2,000 meter (609.6 feet) race. To be eligible for the mixed team, the two women and two men that make up the team must have qualified for individual skating competitions or the men's or women's skating relays. The team members will take turns on the 111.12-meter-long (364.57-foot) track. They will each be required to race twice — first for 2.5 laps and then for 2 laps — for a total of 18 laps.
Mixed Team Ski Jumping
Men's team ski jumping, which entails four skiers attempting to jump the farthest after launching from a specially-designed curved ramp, has been an Olympics fixture since 1988. The Beijing 2022 Winter Games will be the first to feature a mixed team event, consisting of two male and two female skiers per team.
Resources: Olympics.com, Today.com, cpr.org, usskiandsnowboard.org