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Six Winter Sports That You Probably Won't See At Sochi

With the Winter Olympics just around the corner, spectators around the world are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to watch the best bobsledders, snowboarders, and even curlers compete for their countries. It's an exciting event, and one that will capture the hearts and soles of many. Sure, all the "generic" winter sports are great and all, but wouldn't it be awesome if the Winter Olympics added some variety? Check out these six winter sports that you probably won't see at this year's Winter Olympics.

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1. Snow Polo

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Snow polo, it sounds simple enough, right? It's basically just polo played on snow, right? Actually, you're completely right. Snow polo modifies the popular rich-person game of polo ever so slightly so that it's played on snow. Horses wear "shoes" in order to get better traction on the snow, and the ball used is typically larger than a traditional polo ball. While it would be a cool Olympic sport, don't expect to see snow polo at the games any time soon.

2. Snow Kayaking

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How do you make sledding more extreme? Do it in a kayak, of course. Snow kayaking is quite literally what it sounds like, kayaking in the snow. Except you're kayaking down hills. Participants typically wax their kayaks for added speed, and then use a paddle for more control. Unfortunately for snow kayakers, many ski resorts forbid it on their grounds. Still, if you find a sweet slope to snow kayak down, make sure you bring a helmet (and are willing to carry your kayak to the top of the hill).

3. Shovel Racing

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Without a ski or snowboard and looking to get down the mountain quickly? Grab a shovel! Shovel racing is a sport where the rider simply sits down on a snow shovel, with the handle of the shovel coming up between his or her legs. Just like snow kayaking, shovel racers wax the underside of the shovel in order to reach top speeds of up to 70 miles per hour!

4. Wok Racing

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You may have just read the title of this winter "sport' and instantly thought to yourself "okay, that's enough for me." Yes, wok racing is a real thing. Similar to shovel racing, participants sit on modified Chinese woks and fly down bobsled tracks at breakneck speeds. Developed and popularized by a German TV host, wok racing is now even an international sport! Make sure you scrape off all the burnt vegetables before taking your wok for a run, though.

5. Polar Bear Plunge

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While not exactly a sport per se, polar plunges have always been a popular way of, well, celebrating the cold. As the temperatures begin to drop each winter, crazy people all over the globe jump into freezing cold water for nothing more than bragging rights. Polar bear plunges take place pretty much wherever it's cold and there is water, and typically a lot of people jump into the water at once. It's not for the faint of heart, and not really a competition, but it is cold, and wintery.

6. Skijoring

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While most of these odd winter sports have relatively simple names, skijoring is the exception. Skijoring is actually quite simple to explain; it's basically water skiing, except on snow, and instead of a boat you use a horse. Simple, right? While you won't be downhill skiing behind a horse, skijoring does allow you to go off cool jumps and between obstacles. Skijoring isn't for everyone, as it requires that you choose the right ski, as well as, um, have a horse. It actually started with skis behind sled dogs, and while nowadays many people still use dogs, many people use horses too.

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