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More snow for everyone: new sports after the Winter Olympic Games

For just over two weeks, the 23rd Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, treated us to a visual mix of old and new sporting activities that delighted audiences the world over. An event that saw the introduction of as many as 7 new sports disciplines and the abolition of some more traditional specialties. What are these innovations and, above all, in what direction is the world of winter sports now moving? We describe some of the new winter sports that show how we will have fun in the snow in the near future.
18 days of competition, 15 disciplines, 102 gold medals on offer: 50 male, 44 female and 8 mixed. This is the complete picture of the specialties of the XXIII Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang (South Korea).
It is in this established system that seven new disciplines were introduced: the Alpine ski team competition, the ice skating mass start, the big air snowboarding mode (all three for men and women) and the double mix of curling. Let us recap them briefly.

Alpine Ski Team Race

This is a parallel race with two side-by-side courses where you can compete on slalom skis. Each team ranks several elements that challenge each other directly as if on a tennis board. It is the formation that has the most victories and, in case of parity, the team that achieved the fastest times prevails.

Ice skating mass start

This is a form of ice skating in which competitors must travel a certain distance in the shortest possible time.

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Snowboarding Big Air

This is a discipline in which the snowboarder, during the descent, must perform stunts, performing tricks in the air, with the aim of reaching a considerable height and distance.

Double mixed curling mix

Nothing more than the mixed version of the already well-known discipline in which two teams, on an icy field, slide blocks of stone, equipped with a 19.96 kg (stone) handle, so that they stop as close as possible to the centre of a target drawn on the ice (house).

The new winter mountain

All these new disciplines have a common denominator: they are definitely "unusual".
When we think about winter sports, many people usually refer to skiing, snowboarding and skating. Things have changed quickly, however, and the "new" winter Olympics are there to prove it. The inclusion of the seven new disciplines, is nothing but the litmus test of a phenomenon that has been evident for some time now, for those who go to the mountains and follow the trends with passion: the desire to find a sport - or even just a pastime - to practice on the snow is always greater.
It's enough to think of team skiing: a sport that was once an emblem of individualism, is even thought of and studied in its collective form today, with the sole aim of giving shape to a new variant.
Further proof of this trend is the increasing number of people who want to try their hand at the winter version of some summer sports: running, cycling and even kite surfing are no longer only practiced on the dirt track or in the water, but also on the snow.
A series of changes that is leading the mountain, in its coldest season, to no longer be just the place where, as happened a few decades ago, sport is practiced only by wealthy mountaineers or by hard and pure sportsmen. Today, thanks also to the diffusion of medium/good quality equipment at not excessive costs, more and more people are approaching these places and, among these, more and more individuals decide to engage in old and new activities on the snow. So what we find is that, on the one hand, traditional sports are revisited and becoming mass sports removing the elitism, and on the other, new trends often closer to the world of hobbies and fun rather than competition.

The great classics, in a modern key

If the lovers of the more traditional sports can choose between running, skiing and biking, those who have a desire for novelty, now, have only the embarrassment of choice, being able to practice, today, the most varied activities, with just one main concern affordability.
The best way to enjoy the absolute charm of the most beautiful mountain resorts is, for example, heli-skiing. The most remote peaks are reached by helicopter and then descended off-piste. A good descent technique, combined with an excellent knowledge of the mountain environment and a good spending capacity are essential for practicing it. Flying a helicopter is not really one of the cheapest activities you can do - anywhere in the world.
Snowboarding enthusiasts are now attracted to snowkiting, the winter response to kitesurfing, a sport that is practiced using a snowboard and a sail. With this equipment it is possible to get dragged by the wind, on the track or, more often, off-piste.
Halfway between sport and fun is the skifox, a kind of scooter without handlebar that is used with two small skis on your feet. It can be defined as a middle way between tobogganing and skiing, although it is profoundly different from both. There are actually three skis, one of which is connected to a chair and two very small ones are anchored to the feet.
There is no room for adrenaline fueled activities alone, however, on the snow. Not everyone knows, but yoga is also practiced outdoors in mountain locations. St. Moritz, i.e., offers its tourists an unusual ski slope. The goal of those who face it is quite the opposite of what every skier usually pursues. Among these slopes, the aim is to decelerate rather than go strong. There are four "stages":"om","prana","vinyasa" and "asanas", with the possibility - for most of the exercises - to keep skis or snowboards at your feet.
Experiencing a really special adventure is also possible with the skijöring. With skis on your feet, you can get yourself drawn by a horse and discover the most beautiful winter landscapes in this way. A sport that lends itself to both beginners and those who have had the opportunity to experience this activity for a long time. You don't even have to be able to ride, you just have to be pulled!
And if you didn’t have enough new sports to try yet, all you need to do is try airboarding: they glide down the slopes upside down on an inflatable board. What's important, whatever the activity you decide to practice, is to always keep one fundamental thing in mind: with the mountain you don't fool yourself. When you decide to practice any kind of sport in this type of environment - not only in winter - you need physical preparation and to take great care: the mountain is a place that, if underestimated and not adequately "respected", can be really very dangerous.

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