luge  Bobsleigh   skeleton   figure skating


speed skating   short track   ice hockey   curling

1.     Luge


Its history originated in 1883 in the small Swiss town of Davos, where a competition with athletes from seven countries was held. The first World Championships were held in Oslo (Norway) in 1955. Two years later, in 1997, the International Luge Federation was created to differentiate from bobsleigh. The luge became part of the Olympic program at the Winter Games in Innsbruck (Austria) 1964 in three categories: male, female and couples. The fact is that there have been 90 medals awarded since then and 88 have gone into the hands of athletes from Germany, Austria, Italy and the older Soviet Union is given.

Competition dynamics

Luge is a French word meaning “sled”. The pilot takes a drop in the circuit lying face up on a sled sliding with feet first. Different from bobsleigh and skeleton the start is done with the pilot already placed in the sled. Runners help with side bars to gain momentum at the start and then push the sled using gloves nail on the ice surface for extra acceleration before hovering aerodynamic position. Runners run the luge with legs or shoulders.

The racetrack is the same for men and women. However, women start later. Each competitor makes four races in two days. The competitor with the lowest combined time of four runs wins the event. The four-run format is unique to the Olympic Winter Games and was designed to reward consistency, endurance and ability to withstand the pressure specially the entire second day.

Athletes can reach speeds of 140 km / h, without a brake system.


Individual: There is only one competitor either male or female category.

Double: There are two drivers on the sled, one lying over the other. This event plays in mixed category.

Teams relay: It also competes in mixed category. The teams that participate must have at least one athlete or a pair of athletes in three disciplines (women’s singles, men’s doubles and single). In this discipline there are women, men compete and double competition. All teams start from the same point of departure. When the first athlete reaches the finish line should touch a touch screen, which automatically opens the door to the next reliever, until it reaches the fourth member of the team, or in the case of doubles, the fourth pair. This was released as an Olympic discipline at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014.

Technical Requirements

The length of the track has to be between 1200 m 1650 m. The slope cannot exceed 12º and must have 1200 m downward tilt. The last 100-150 m may be inclined upwardly curved, with a maximum gradient of 12%. The speed at the end of the course must be above 80 km / h. The stretch brake should be straight and without curves.


Bob is one of the three Olympic sliding sports program (bob, skeleton and luge). The three emerged from the practice of using a sled or toboggan to slide on snow or ice.

The four-team event bob is on the Olympic program since the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix (France), 1924. In 1932, in Lake Placid (USA), the event of bob with two men sat was incorporated. Women began competing in bob first in 2002 in Salt Lake City (USA).

Competition dynamics

Bobsleigh is a sport that’s emerged from the practice of using the sled or toboggan to slide on snow or ice. To begin, athletes (two or four athletes) as fast as they can push bobsleigh for 50 meters, to speed and then jump into to track down a slide.

The differences between the participating rare exceed few hundredths of time so that any slight error is impossible to recover. Although the sled has a brake, it is used only once exceeded the finish line. Speeds often exceed 150 km per hour.

The events are held in two rounds, and the athlete that ends both rounds in the shortest time is the winner of the event. In case of a tie, which is not uncommon, the medal is shared.



It is when two drivers are mounted on the sled. There are female and male teams competing.


A team of four runners fills de bob. In this event only men’s teams compete.

General Technical Requirements

The technical requirements of the track are the same outlined in Luge.

The minimum and maximum weight of the bobs is limited. When the competition is double the minimum required weight is 170 kg. To the quartet are needed 210 kg. The maximum statutory weight, including crew and necessary equipment should be 390 km in double test by male for female 340 km. In the testing of four cannot exceed 630 kg.

1.1     Skeleton


The male skeleton was played in games of Saint Moritz (Switzerland), in 1928 and 1948, and reappeared as a permanent Olympic sport for men and women at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City (USA) in 2002.

Competition dynamics

The name of skeleton is because of the sled, initially made of metal and now of fiberglass, with the similar appearance of a human skeleton.

At the exit, most competitors hold the skeleton with the hands for a few handles on the top, and run as fast as they can for 50 meters, before lying down on the sled, with the head in the same direction as the slope. The sled is controlled by the competitor making slight body movements.

As in the other sliding sports, the bob and luge, the start is crucial in the skeleton. Athletes train hard to get the maximum possible speed in circuit. But speed is not the only factor that influences the final result, it is also very important the trajectory and direction of the sled to keep the speed. The material (sled and blades) is equally or more important than the trajectory.

There are two individual events at the Olympics skeleton, one for men and one for women. Both events contain four downs and only the top 20 compete in the quarter final celebrate for two days. The athlete with the best combined time of every race wins the event.

General Technical Requirements

The sled can only be built in one piece and is divided into the sled and blades. It is not allowed to use hydraulic, pneumatic or electronic sled for creating the sled. Aerodynamic elements on the helmet, clothing and sled are not allowed provided they are approved by international law.

2.     Skating

Probably, Dutch were the first skating pioneers. They began to use the channels to keep the communication by skating between towns in the thirteenth century. Skating spread across the England channel, and soon the first clubs and artificial tracks were formed.

The ice skating history started in 1908 at the Olympic Games in London. In the first edition of the Winter Games in Chamonix, skating was considered one of the main sports on the Olympic program.

Currently the Olympic program includes modalities like skating figure, speed skating in long track and short track.


2.1     Figure Skating


Two Americans are responsible for the major events in the history of figure skating. In 1850, Edward Bushnell of Philadelphia revolutionized skating with the presentation of skates with a steel blade that allowed perform complex maneuvers and twists. Jackson Haines, a Viennese master of the 1860s, added elements of ballet and dance in this sport.

Figure skating debuted in 1908 as part of the London Olympics as an exhibition sport. The competition was held on an artificial ice surface at the end of the Games. In 1920, figure skating and ice hockey became the first official Olympic winter sport, four years before the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924 in Chamonix (France). In that moment, the figure skating became part of the Olympic winter frame. The discipline of dance is the one that was later incorporated to the Olympic calendar, in 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria. The other individual disciplines couples, both male and female, were competing from the Olympic debut in 1908.

Competition dynamics

Figure skating is a form of practiced skating with musical accompaniment which combines strength, technique and sensitivity to do tricks, twists and maneuvers skating on an ice surface, and are rated by judges following a scoring system.

The scoring system for the Olympics is based on the total points accumulated. Technique and components: in total, two scoring are awarded. Technical score depends on the difficulty of the elements implemented in the program and the quality or level of execution. The second score includes five different components: the basic skater’s technique, link movements between the elements, and the implementation of the program in general, choreography and interpretation.

A panel of nine judges and a team of technical specialists evaluate the program. Technical specialists identify the type and number of rotations of the jumps made ​​by skaters and the difficulty of the sequences of steps and pirouettes, which determines the base score program.

Judges determine the degree of implementation for each item on a scale of +3 to -3. A positive degree of implementation means that the item has been done very well, with good technique and speed, and vice versa. The degree of implementation is not added directly to the base element score, it is multiplied by a factor that varies depending on the difficulty: a triple jump is valued more than a double jump of the same quality, regardless of the value base, which is also different. The judges also score the program components, on a scale of 0.25 to 10.

The general ranking is decided by the sum of the scores on the two parts of the competition.


Each of the four disciplines of figure skating is judged by an independent panel of nine judges of the International Skating Union (ISU), the application of a scoring system to measure the quality of each performance.

Individual men / women

In the individual competition of skating, skaters must complete a short program (a maximum of two minutes and 50 seconds) of compulsory steps, jumps, turns and combinations and free skating is a longer program (four minutes for women and four minutes and 30 seconds for men), both accompanied by music. The free program has a two-thirds value of the final score of the skater and allows athletes to demonstrate their creativity, innovative movements and technical difficulty.


This discipline follows the same format as individual competition so there is also a short mandatory program and a free skate routine.

In this discipline, however, a man and a woman must work together incorporating lifts, throws, synchronized jumps, spins and spirals linked harmoniously by steps and other movements.

Ice dance

The form of dance is the most recent official discipline that joined the Olympic program in Innsbruck Olympics in 1976.

The dance reminds ballroom dancing, as the exercise is to perform complex steps coordinated to music. Skaters have limited the number of lifts, jumps that cannot exceed half the rotation and spins with a maximum limit of three to five rotations.

The difference between skating in pairs and ice dance is that the latter has a more artistic component and there are no lifts or acrobatic movements of strength, but relies more on the blending of the skaters and the choreographic aspects.

It is a discipline that bases most of the action in the expression, creativity and choreography.


It is a competition recently added to the Olympic program that had its first appearance in Sochi 2014. According to the CIO, this event will feature teams of six skaters: a man skater, a woman, a pair of ice skating and a pair of dancing. Points will be awarded to each skater or pair. The team with the highest number of total points will be declared the winner.

General technical requirements

The skating rink should have a rectangular shape, and its size must be a minimum of 56 m long and 26 m wide, up to 60 longitudinal m and 30 m wide. The four corners of the track should be round, with a radius between 7 and 8.5 m and must be the center inside the track. During the event, skaters may use the entire surface of the track. The referees, judges, coaches and staff shall be located out of the ice surface.

For the Winter Olympics Games two closed and covered tracks are needed.

2.2     Speed Skating in long track


Speed ​​skating was the first sport that was performed on ice, and the country where it took root and success was Holland, where citizens practiced it on frozen canals in winter. Holland remains today, one of the major powers in this sport.

The first world championships were held in 1889 and this sport was introduced in the first Olympic Games of history, in Chamonix.

Competition dynamics

Speed ​​skating is a form of skating where skaters compete against the clock on an ice rink which is an oval circuit with 400 feet of rope and two lanes. Competitions last a minimum of 25 laps and a maximum of 250. Skaters group begins together to turn. The first round doesn’t count. After this turn, it starts counting.

It is not run as much as possible; this is a strategic game, where it has to save energy for the final stretch, to make a sprint. The track has two lanes and competitors must pass from one to another to maintain the equality of the route. If a skater only compete in the inside lane, he has advantage over who skated in the outside lane, as it is shorter than the outer. The first competitor to cross the finish line wins the event.

The Olympic events as the distance to cover are:

• Men : 500 m, 1,000 m, 1,500 m, 5,000 m, 10,000 m team pursuit .

• Women : 500 m, 1,000 m, 1,500 m, 3,000 m, 5,000 m team pursuit .

The event team pursuit is the newest of the Olympic program. Teams are three skaters who are relieved, and the team’s end time is known when the competitor passes the finish line.

Technical Requirements

The skating rink for holding speed events should be covered and have a width of 400 m and two curved ends, each of 180º , wherein the radius of the inner curve should not be less than 25 meters and not more 26 meters.

As this method requires crossings, which handle the inside lane to the outside and vice versa, there is a crossing area. This is the full length of the line from the end of the curve.

The inside lane should be 4 m width, while the outside at least 4 m. In addition, the track should also have a warm up channel located in the inner part of the competition lanes. This lane must be at least 4 meters wide.

2.3     Speed Skating in short track


The speed skating short track is a fairly recent sport that was born as a split from speed skating long track. The International Skating Federation recognized it in 1976. First world championships were in 1981, and its first Olympic presence came as a demonstration sport in Calgary (Canada) in 1988. Finally became an official sport at the Winter Olympics Games in Albertville (France) in 1992.

Competition dynamics

Also known as short track, unlike the long track skating he did not play against the clock, but the skaters compete between themselves. The oval track circuit makes only 111 meters and there is no division of lanes. In all the events there are qualifying rounds for the next one. In each race run a maximum of six participants.

The program includes eight different events, four male and four female:

• Male: 500 meters, 1,000 meters, 1,500 meters and 5000 meters team.

• Female: 500 meters, 1,000 meters, 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters equipment.

In team events (5,000 m male and 3,000 m female) competing relaying, in teams of four skaters, and every skater can relay at any time, although the last two laps have to be done by a single skater.

Technical Requirements

The short track is played on a surface of white ice, without division of lanes and in a track that is an oval of 111.12 meters long served on an ice rink with dimensions of 60 x 30 meters. The measurement of the length of the track is done on an imaginary line at 50 cm from the inner edge of the track.

The short track speed skating consists of two straight lines and two semicircles at the ends. The curves and lines should be symmetrical. Skaters perform the career in the opposite direction of clockwise. The width of the line shall not be less than 7 m and the distance between the cones (apex block) curves and the barrier shall be at least 4 meters.

For each race the number of laps corresponds to:

• 500 m = 4 and ½ laps

• 1.000 m = 9 laps

• 1.500 m = 13 y ½ laps

• 3.000 m = 27 laps

• 5.000 m = 45 laps

3.     Ice Hockey


The word hockey comes from the old French word Hocquet, meaning “stick”. It was the British who probably took the idea of ​​using a stick to propel a snowball on the ice of a pond or lake in North America, during the seventeenth and seventeenth centuries.

In 1879, the McGill University in Montreal organized competitions and developed the first known ice hockey rules.

The first ice hockey competition took place at the Olympic Summer Games 1920 in Antwerp (Belgium), and joined the sports program since the inaugural edition of the Olympic Winter Games in 1924 in Chamonix. The women’s ice hockey, however, was not added until the Games in Nagano (Japan), 1998.

Competition dynamics

Ice hockey is a sport played between two teams of six players on skates on an ice rink.

In the competition of the Olympic Winter Games, eight men’s team and twelve women’s team participate organized in groups and competing in a league prior to the final rounds in which the top of each initial group qualify to the next round.

A team must have no more than six players on the ice while play is in progress. The aim is to score more goals than the opposing team entering the puck (a hard black rubber disc) with a stick (or curved wooden cane fiber) into the goal, as in soccer.

A match consists of three periods of 20 minutes with a 15 minute break between periods. If a game ends with a tie to determine the winner it is played an overtime period. In the Olympic final, the extension is twenty minutes. If the tie remains after extra time, there is a penalty round until it becomes a winner.

Players have to use various elements of protection for all body parts, especially in the shoulders, arms and legs, most notably the helmet with mouth, shin guards, pants with special protections, elbow pads, shoulder pads and skates reinforced . The puck speed can reach 170 km per hour when players throw it.

Technical Requirements

Field hockey is an ice rink specifically designed for this sport. Ice reduces friction on the track and the movement of the players, it allows reaching high speeds. The field is rectangular with rounded corners. The dimensions of a hockey rink Olympic ice should be between 60 m and 61 m long and 29 m to 30 m wide. The corners are rounded and its radius should be around between 7 and 8.5 meters.

A white wall, about a meter high (between 1.17 m and 1.22 m), involves the entire track and prevents the disc into the game. On the wall is fixed one transparent wall, making possible that the audience watch the game while protecting them.

A red center line divides the field in half. It is used by the judges to mark offsides and infringements. Two other red lines are located at each end of the rectangle 3 meters from the bottom and mark the target area. Two blue lines separated over 8 meters from the center red line demarcating the field three zones: a zone defense, a neutral zone and attacking zone. The defense area of a team is the offensive of the other team.

The goal is located in front of each of the red lines marking the goal area. The goal has 1.2 meters high by 1.8 meters wide. In front of each goal is an area 1.8 meters wide and length, called “goal area” and where no player from the opposing team can enter.



It is believed that curling was invented in Scotland in the sixteenth century, due to some paintings that reflect people playing this sport. Anyway, curling was very popular in Scotland between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the weather was cold enough for good ice forms in winter, and consequently the World Curling Federation, the headquarters of the international body that controls the curling is in Perth, Scotland.

Today, curling is played all over Europe, and has been exported to countries like Japan, Australia, New Zealand, including China and Korea. Curling is a winter Olympic sport since 1998 in Nagano (Japan), though in 2006 the International Olympic Committee found that the curling events that had been made in the first edition of the Olympic Winter Games 1924 were official, not exhibition as had been considered before. The curling was a demonstration sport in 1932 (Lake Placid, United States), 1988 (Calgary, Canada) and 1992 (Albertville, France).

Competition dynamics

Curling is a precision sport played on an ice rink. Two teams take turns to push and slide stones of 19.1 kg into a series of concentric rings or circles. The goal is to get the stones to stop as close to the center of the rings as possible, and not those of the opposing team.

The teams of four participants each compete with each other in order to make slide granite stones on a corridor of ice that is 45.5 m long and 4.75 m wide.

Once done launch, the other team members, with brushes accompany each stone to facilitate progress on the ice or change its address, but always without touching the stone.

After the launch, each team gets points depending on the proximity of the stones to the labeled target in the center, at the end of the corridor. The closest to the center of the target is worth a point, if the following is from the same team is worth two points and so on until the first closest to the stone of the opposing team. If there are no stones in the target score shall be recorded as 0-0 run.

A normal game is played in ten “ends”. To complete a game each of the participants from both teams should have thrown the stone twice. In total in a game both teams throw 16 stones. At the end of the game, the team with the highest score wins. If the game ends in a tie, it is played an extra “end”. The team that wins an end starts the following compulsory.

Technical Requirements

Curling is played on a surface of white ice called sheet. Dimensions are 45.72 m long and 5 m wide. Usually inside pavilions there are four parallel sheets, and separated by 1.5 m away. The shoulders of the tracks are covered with a fabric that allows players to walk outside, before entering the track. It serves distinctive between tracks.

Inside the track, the hack line marks the launch area of the stone. It is located 1.82 m from the line and has a length of 0.45 m and a width of 1.27 m. A black center line of 1.27 cm divided the track in two and joins the two circles (tees), located at the two ends of the track at 17.37 meters from the center of the track. Every ‘ Tee ‘ is a set of two circles, one inside the other, and each has two black or blue parallel lines, one located in the center of the tee and the other as a back line. These lines are critical to delineate the area at the time of scoring, as players must try out the stones from their rivals behind the back line to not punctuate. It is located 1.8 m from the center of the tee.

At 6.40 m from the center of the ‘tees’ find the line of play or hog line delimiting the maximum space to release the stone. The line is 10.16 cm width to make it visible.

The side lines indicate the limits of the track and are 1,27 cm, but often are contiguous in the lateral shoulder.