Winter Olympic Sports, Ranked By How Fun They Are To Watch

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Logo

The 2014 Winter Olympics kick off this Thursday, February 6, in Sochi, Russia. Even if, like me, you’re not what most people (or anyone) would call a sports fan, odds are you’ll get sucked into a sport or two here and there. But of course some sports are exciting and suspenseful, while others are better suited for falling asleep to.

So obviously it’s necessary for us to just rank the winter sports from least fun to watch to most fun to watch. Of course, just because I don’t have a barrel of fun watching a sport doesn’t mean I don’t have the utmost respect for it. So if you value respect over entertainment value, go ahead watch the hell out of the back half of this list. I salute you.

15. Biathlon

This sport combines cross-country skiing with rifle-shooting. I’m not the type who gets excited over people shooting guns at targets, and cross-country skiing, as you’ll see in a moment, isn’t the most thrilling.

14. Cross-Country Skiing

Compared to other types of skiing, the cross-country variety is a little, “Meh, I think I’ll change the channel.” It doesn’t exactly make you ooh and ahh, mostly because it kind of looks like really slidey running.

13. Curling

Curling can be the butt of jokes sometimes because it doesn’t involve leaping over things or zooming around a track. It’s all about sliding stones across a sheet of ice to a target. It’s not always the most entertaining competition, but it can be weirdly mesmerizing sometimes, earning it a higher spot.

12. Short Track Speed Skating

This involves racing around an oval ice rink. I’m bored by this for the same reasons I’m bored by NASCAR. What’s so entertaining about watching someone go round and round passing the same things over and over? Plus, the rink is smaller in this form of skating so there’s less to see.

11. Speed Skating

This is the same idea as the short track skating, except the rink is larger. That’s really the only thing bumping this event up a spot. Sorry, speed skating.

10. Ice Hockey

This one can be kind of boring considering we’re already used to watching ice hockey during non-Olympics time. What I mean by that is other people watch hockey, not me. But there aren’t many team sports like this to enjoy during the Winter games, so that adds some excitement.

9. Bobsleigh

Now we’re talking. This involves teams sliding down ice tracks in a sled. This sport can really make you feel like you’re on an icy roller coaster, but it’s not quite as thrilling as some of the similar events.

8. Luge

This one’s kind of like the bobsleigh, except this involves lying on your back and sliding feet first. The element of danger just makes this one more exciting.

7. Skeleton

This one’s similar to luge, except the person lies on their stomach and goes head-first down the track. I don’t know about you, but that sounds super scary. Automatically more exciting.

6. Nordic Combined

This involves both ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Ski jumping is awesome, as you’ll see in a minute. But do we need to add the cross-country? Sorry, I’m just really not that into the cross-country.

5. Ski Jumping

Yay ski jumping! It’s about as close as we’re gonna get to watching people fly, at least until jet packs become the way of the future.

4. Alpine Skiing

This one has more twists and turns than a Lifetime movie. See cross-country? This is how you do it. I apologize for being so mean to cross-country. I don’t know what’s come over me.

3. Freestyle Skiing

If there’s any form of Olympic skiing that makes you go, “WHOAAA!!!!” it’s freestyle skiing. There are aerial somersaults and hilly tracks. In short, it’s awesome.

2. Snowboarding

Snowboarding is sort of like freestyle skiing in that it involves aerial flips and things, but making it a snowboard adds such a cool factor to the whole event. It’s fun to watch, plus you’ll look super trendy and badass for watching. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

1. Figure Skating

Let’s face it, this is why we’re here. For me, this takes me back to my childhood when I’d cheer for skaters like Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan. Plus there are sparkly outfits and fabulous spinning. You can’t go wrong.

(Image: TV Week)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Kathy

      I’m not a winter-sports-person but I LOVE the Winter Olympics! I think the problem with watching cross country skiing is the way they film it. Why are the cameras all stationary, at ground level? They should show cross country skiers the way they show marathon runners, from overhead moving cameras like from a helicopter or something. It would be much more interesting and fun.

    • Jenni

      Winter sports all make me so nervous to watch! They’re all death defying.

      • Kathy

        Well maybe not figure skating. :-)
        But I definitely agree with you on the ski jumping and snowboarding events.
        Bobsledding and luge are kind of intense too.

      • elle

        Just watching the skeletoners makes my heart pound. I don’t know how they get the bravery to do it.

    • SabrinaCollinsMix

      Short track at 12? And behind long track? Not even. Whatev, more JR Celski for me.

    • Geliaebrina

      Here in Norway cross country skiing (and the rest of Nordic skiing, somewhat) is the only thing everybody watches. But it’s a lot more exciting for us since we usually win.

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    • Alexander

      With one or two exceptions, this list is exactly reverse of my opinion!