Re-Ranking the Winter Olympic Sports
1. Ice Hockey No other Winter Olympic sport has the combination of star power (at least for now) and quality of play. Here's hoping we get the NHL players in 2018.
2. Curling I made a big mistake last time ranking this at #8. Curling is awesome, and I couldn't wait to watch it when I got home each day. It's fun to slowly understand what is going on the match progress. Plus, look at some of these women (like the pictured Great Britain curler Anna Sloan)
3. Short Track Speed Skating It's too bad that without Apolo Ohno, the US team wasn't good enough to get this on primetime, because it's still as wild and whacky as ever.
4. Biathlon No, this sport did not move up just because of the screaming NBC guy. I found myself watching the live streams. When you think about it, it's incredible how these athletes can push themselves in such a cardiovascular activity as cross country skiing, then quiet their bodies and hearts enough to shoot a gun with such accuracy. The shooting portion gives it a lot of drama, as yesterday's men's relay showed. My only question is why aren't we better at this? We love guns.
These four are the sports I'd most likely watch in a context outside of the Olympics.
5. Bobsleigh It just looks so cool to actually do. It helps on TV that they're a little slower than the other sliding sports, so you can actually see the sled and not just a blur.
6. Alpine Skiing This sport can be evilly cruel and random, which isn't a surprise given the speeds and the uncertain surface that always changes. Still, it gets points for being the king traditional sport of the Winter Games.
7. Speed Skating If we were Dutch, this would be #1. Speed skating has it dull moments, but on good runs with the crowd into it, it can get exciting.
8. Skeleton People who do this are crazy, but it seems a little less predictable than its feet first counterpart.
9. Luge The big negative on the sliding sports is how infrequently the standings change from run to run. Still, they are visually stunning, and they got points from me this year for having Leigh Diffey (NBC's voice of IndyCar and Formula One) calling the events.
10. Cross-Country Skiing The mass start events can be exciting if there's a sprint finish. The races that are against the clock are quite dull.
11. Snowboarding Yeah, I'm old at heart. What they do is incredible, but I have trouble getting interested. It didn't help that Todd Harris was the NBC commentator this year.
12. Nordic Combined I appreciating the randomness of it all, but unless the cross country ends in a finish that lets the NBC guy scream, meh.
13. Ski Jumping Yeah, I ranked this event way too high last time. Anyone who ski jumps deserves respect, but once you've seen a few jumps, you've essentially seen them all.
14. Freestyle Skiing Like snowboarding, it just doesn't grab me. Plus, aerials gives me a squicky "I'm about to watch someone get seriously hurt" vibe.
15. Figure Skating I'm pretty confident this ranking will never change.
What are your rankings for the Winter Olympic sports?