The Sochi Games will be the largest, in terms of medal events, in Winter Olympics history. Here are the new sports, judged for their relative levels of badasser-y and awesomesauce-itude.
8. Biathlon Mixed Relay:
What is it? A biathlon relay with two men and two women from each country competing in different legs of the race.
Level of excitement: 1.5/10
Explanation: In all honesty, the biathlon is super boring. Sure, it's always interesting to see if one relay member can make up for lost time, and that will likely add some suspense to this event, but everything else about the biathlon is slow and makes me sleepy. Seeing people hit targets is sometimes cool, though. Sometimes. Like, two times it's cool.
How to make it better: Replace the stationary targets with people.
7. Women's Ski Jumping:
What is it? The athletes go down a steep track and jump as far as they can whilst wearing skis.
Level of excitement: 3/10
Explanation: Ski jumping is cool because it's almost like people flying, but it severely lacks variety. It's basically just, like, stay still for as long as you can and then lift your legs up before you fall. And at this level, no one should really fall, which (I know this sounds bad, but...) sort of sucks. At least tease me with a fall, you know? I'm pretty sure the most intense moments come when someone lands with their skis not quite parallel. WHOOOOAAAAAA!!!
How to make it better: Backflips and/or blindfolds. I don't think I need to explain myself any further.
6. Luge Team Mixed Relay:
What is it? Three sleds (men's singles, women's singles, doubles) go in any order. Fastest combined time wins.
Level of excitement: 6.5/10
Explanation: I personally enjoy the luge because of speed and danger and whatnot, and this is sort of a fun twist to the event by making it about the team performance. I like that you can't have a weak link.
How to make it better: I want to say make it an actual relay, but that might kill people, so...make GoPro cameras mandatory and attach them to the helmets.
5. Snowboard Parallel Slalom:
What is it? 32 snowboarders race head-to-head down one side of the course and then they switch sides. Fastest combined time wins.
Level of excitement: 7/10
Explanation: There are gonna be some close finishes here.
How to make it better: Let's just settle this once and for all: Men vs. Women. Also, a team/partner event would be pretty cool.
4. Ski Slopestyle:
What is it? Each skier goes down the mountain twice, best run counts.
Level of excitement: 8.5/10
Explanation: I don't totally understand the scoring for this because I don't totally know what the tricks are called or how difficult they are (I can barely do a somersault), but it sure is fun to watch. I just really like watching people fly high and do tricks. And that's what this is all about.
How to make it better: Give me a dictionary of the terminology.
3. Snowboard Slopestyle:
What is it? Each snowboarder goes down the mountain twice, best run counts.
Level of excitement: 9/10
Explanation: It's like ski slopestyle, only more hip because it's on a snowboard, which is what the cool kids use. And I LOVE when the announcers get stoked over tricks. I may not know what a "Moneybooter" is, but I am so happy that it is a real thing and I like that you are now yelling about it.
How to make it better: Make Shaun White compete.
2. Figure Skating Team Event:
What is it? 10 teams compete in short program/short dance. The best five teams move on to free skating/free dance. Basically, you take every figure skating event and mash it together to form a team event.
Level of excitement: 9.5/10
Explanation: Figure skating is like calligraphy on ice, only way, way more difficult. It's an art form and when performed correctly, it is absolutely beautiful. But it also gives me anxiety because SO MANY THINGS CAN GO WRONG! Figure skating is some scary shit, man.
How to make it better: I really hate that figure skating has subjective scoring and the judges never seem to be on the same page. I don't know how to fix this, but that is something that could make it better. Oh, also, we should be able to pick the athlete uniforms. That would be awesome and that is the future.
1. Ski Halfpipe:
What is it? Skiers use the halfpipe to perform tricks. Best of two runs counts.
Level of excitement: 10/10
Explanation: Maybe it's because I grew up with the X-Games, but I friggin' love halfpipe events. I think it's because we haven't reached the sport's ceiling yet and the athletes keep inventing new tricks and going higher and bigger than we've ever seen. It's must-watch television because you literally have no clue what you might see.
How to make it better: Require all athletes to wear bright colors. Other than that, I have no clue.
Information courtesy of Olympic.org