Ski Jumping and figure skating have been mainstays at the Olympics since the beginning and will continue to be in Pyeongchang. The United States is predicted to win medals in both events.
The ski jumping competitions in Pyeongchang will begin Feb. 7 continuing until Feb. 19. When it was first introduced to the Olympics in the 1924 Chamonix games, it was only one event, the men’s large hill. The women’s normal hill individual became an Olympic sport in the 2014 Sochi games.
Ski Jumping consists of four different events including men’s normal and large hill individuals, ladies’ normal individual and men’s team.
The normal hill events see athletes jump to the K-Point from 75m to 99m (245ft to 325ft), depending on the hill. Skiers are scored two extra points per one meter they fly beyond the K-line and lose two points per one meter they land short of the line.
Salt Lake City native, and Utah State graduate, Sarah Hendrickson will compete in her second Olympic games, hoping to improve after a 21st place finish.
Abby Ringquist, who is also from Salt Lake City, will make her Olympic debut and is also competing in ski jumping.
The K-Point line in the men’s large hill event is between 100m and 110m (325ft to 360ft). Athletes earn 1.8 extra points per meter beyond and lose 1.8 points per meter short of the K-line.
The men’s team event competes on the large hill and consists of four members. The competition is two scored runs, and after the first round is complete the top eight teams will advance. Teams are measures by the collective scores of all four skiers on the team. Park City native Will Rhoads will make his debut this year as a part of the men’s team.
Figure skating begins Feb. 9 and finishes Feb. 23. The event was introduced in the 1908 London Summer Olympics before moving to the winter in the inaugural Winter Games in 1924. Athletes wear bladed skates and perform different acrobatic movements while they are judged on both the difficulty, and execution, of their maneuvers.
Since the introduction to the Olympics, figure skating has expanded to five total events including men’s and women’s single skating, pair skating, ice dance and the team event.
Singles skating consists of two programs, the short program is two minutes and 50 seconds, and the long program is four minutes and 30 seconds for the men and four minutes for the women. Skaters must include jumps, spins and steps into their routine.
Salt Lake City native Nathan Chen will be making his Olympics debut as the leader of the men’s figure skating team. The 18-year-old was nominated to the Olympic team after winning the 2018 U.S. Championships.
In the pair skating event, the men are paired up with women and skate in two different programs including short and free skate. The pair performs a series of impeccably timed maneuvers including throw jumps, overhead lifts, pair spins, death spins and more.
The ice dance competition takes place as both short and free dances and the teams are composed of both men and women. The couple must dance together across the ice to the beat of the music.
After all the figure skating events are complete, the team with the greatest points sum between men’s and women’s singles, pairs and ice dance will be crowned team champion.