An Overview on the Top Winter Olympic Sports

There are 15 Olympic sports that are played as a part of the winter Olympic edition, since the first games were held. The next Winter Olympics will be held in 2026 in Milan & Cortina, Italy.


Probably one of the most adventurous and least hottest sports out there. Snowboarding combines three action sports: skiing, surfing, and skateboarding. This sport was developed in the United States and became a part of the Olympics in 1998. A snowboard, which is a unique board, is used to ride down a snowy slope with twists and turns. Although it may seem like a tough sport, it is beginner-friendly and can be learned with practice. However, the use of snowboarding equipment such as helmets, jackets, boots, etc. is required.

Figure skating

Being the first winter sport to be added in the Olympic Games, figure skating is a popular solo sport – which can also be done in pairs. It involves skating on ice while performing tricks and dance movements. This is one of the toughest sports out there while it may look effortless by the skaters. Figure skating is something that is truly mesmerizing to watch!

Alpine Skiing

This is also referred to as downhill ice skiing. Being a common method of transportation, this evolved as a competitive and recreational winter sport and became part of the winter Olympics in 1936.

It involves skiing from the top to the bottom of a hill or mountain slope that is typically covered in snow. This activity requires technical skills, endurance and a good balance. Alpine skiing also makes up as an excellent recreational and family activity.


A unique Olympic sport which is played as a team sport in an ice rink Curling uses a broom, stones (or rocks), and a special pair of shoes to play this game.

Eight rocks are given to each team. The objective of the game is to slide the stones towards the House – the ultimate target, by taking alternating turns. This is an interesting innovation which is surely something that one should try out for fun!

Ice Hockey

This is one of the top American sports that is widely played in the US, and is also a part of the winter Olympics.

The game of hockey is played with skates on an ice rink between teams of two with six players each. The objective of the game is to send the puck towards the goal line into the net that is guarded by a goalkeeper. Ice hockey is a part of the Olympic since first played in 1920 as men’s hockey game.


This might be the most unusual named sport that is a part of the Olympics. Skeleton is a thrilling winter sport that involves a player sliding down an ice track with the head first at full speed.

Protective gear is worn in order to avoid any accidents.

This is one of the riskiest sports, so if you are looking for a challenging sport, then I recommend this sport. 

FAQs about winter Olympic sports

Q. Is alpine skiing the same as downhill skiing?

Yes, these are the different terms used for the same sport.  

Q. Why do they brush the ice in curling?

Players brush the ice to help the stone travel away in a uniform way. 

Q. What was the first winter sport added in the Olympics?

Figure skating is the oldest winter sports that is a part of the Olympics since 1908.

Q. What winter sport is added in the 2026 winter Olympics games?

Ski mountaineering was approved as an addition to the upcoming Olympic winter games.

What do you think?

Written by Usama

Usama J. is a passionate writer about the sports and works as an in house sports journalist at Openiun, and covered many international sporting events including ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.