Athletes and coaches around the world are starting to prepare for the upcoming 2021 Winter Olympics.
The highly anticipated sports festival will be held in Beijing and is scheduled to start on February 4. The Olympic Games attract millions of international viewers every four years. The most popular sports at the Winter Olympics include ice Hockey, skiing and curling.
The most watched snow sport is ice hockey, a game where two teams compete to get the puck into the goal while skating on ice.
According to International Ice Hockey Federation, Canada has won the most gold medals for this demanding all-round sport. In an exclusive interview with Radio-Canada Sports, Team Canada Manager Doug Armstrong explained how team rosters are put together, a critical step in preparing for the Olympic Winter Games.
“You really have to incorporate the coach’s philosophy of how he wants to add different players he wants in different areas of the roster,” said Armstrong.
As each player brings different skills to the team, athletes should train together to maximize their success as a group. Players of the National Hockey League (NHL) typically train on the ice, as well as outdoors, for skating and conditioning.
This helps players with skills of multidirectional speed and movement, rhythm and special awareness, according to the American hockey organization.
However, hockey is not the only versatile Olympic activity. Alpine skiing is another popular snow sport.
Alpine skiers are often faced with as much mental as physical preparation, as extreme sport can be difficult in both aspects. Breezy Johnson, a 25-year-old Olympic skier, spoke of the difficulties she encountered on the slopes with the Olympic Channel Podcast.
“There is a myth that alpine skiers are fearless and we are not,” said Johnson. “But what I have always accepted with is [that] you can die of fear of something and still do it.
According to American Ski and Snowboard Organization, alpine skiing is a “race between skiers, the mountain and the clock”. It also forces players to overcome any physical challenges.
Not only are professional skiers preparing to win medals, but young hopefuls are also training hard to achieve their goals.
“We are focusing on improving technique and on the most efficient trajectory on the course so that we can descend as quickly as possible,” said Samantha Crowther, a rookie. “My friends who want to go to the Olympics or to a higher level of skiing train five to six days a week, while I train two to three.”
While it may not be as physically demanding as downhill skiing, another sport requires years of mental training: curling.
Curling teams need players trained in different abilities, similar to ice hockey. Athletes should prepare to slide the stone towards the target as a teammate sweeps the area in front to warm up the ice and create a clear path.
Jennifer Jones, a 47-year-old Canadian curler, described CBS Sports the importance of having a good team dynamic.
“What makes us a real team is that we are always there when someone is missing, we are the first to join us,” Jones said.
Team dynamics don’t just happen overnight, which is why curling teams need to train together for extended periods of time before the Olympics. Although it may be an unknown sport to many, curling is a graceful yet challenging game that draws millions of viewers during the Olympics.
“He mixes elements of shuffleboard, chess and hockey in his intricate rock and broom dance,” said Sean Gregory, writer for Time magazine. “It might be less well known than big events like the halfpipe and figure skating. But it’s just as fascinating to watch, as many viewers are now discovering.
While the Olympics started out as a festival where viewers tune in to watch their favorite sport, it has evolved into something much bigger. It provides a period of time in which countries around the world come together around a common interest and experience other cultures.
Regardless of age, the Olympics are exciting and expectations are high as millions of people anticipate the unique and extreme sports that accompany the Winter Olympics.
Crowther said: “I think the Olympics are important because they are fun to watch, while also inspiring young athletes to work harder and show people that it is possible to achieve new personal bests and levels. higher sportsmen. “