5 Winter Sports You Should Try (That Aren’t Skiing or Snowboarding)

When it’s cold outside, do you want to huddle by the fire with a hot chocolate and a good book, or do you want to get out and get your blood pumping by doing some sport?

Some sports, such as running, are year-round activities. However, they are considerably less fun and more precarious when there is snow on the ground and a severe chill in the air. Other sports require a cold climate, with copious amounts of snow and ice. 

Whether you’re in training for the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022 or just want to find a fun activity to do to keep warm when it’s cold outside, there’s a winter sport for you.

While most people think about skiing, snowboarding, or ice skating when it comes to winter sports, there are many other options to consider (some more sedate than others).

1. Ski Joëring

Ski Joëring, which derives from the Norwegian word “Skikjøring,” which translates as ski driving, involves being pulled along by a horse while on skis. It can also refer to being pulled along by dogs or cars. Ski Joëring is a competitive sport and even featured in the Winter Olympics back in 1928.

2. Curling

If you want to do sport, but don’t want to be outside in the cold, you could try curling. Curling is played in two teams who take it in turns to slide stones made of granite towards a target. The object of the game to get your stones closest to the target.

3. Yukigassen

Who doesn’t love getting into a snowball fight when it starts snowing? Until you get a snowball in the face or some melting snow down your jacket, of course. But Yukigassen is more than exchanging a few friendly hits with your friends. In this snowball competition, which originates in Japan, two teams with up to seven players armed with 90 snowballs take part in a three-minute match to tag the other team out or capture their flag. 

4. Ski Ballet

Ski ballet is pretty self-explanatory — competitors perform ballet moves such as spins, jumps, and flips to music during a two-minute routine as they ski down the mountain. Ski ballet even made it to the Winter Olympics, as it was a demonstration sport in 1988 and 1992, but its popularity has since declined. 

5. Skeleton (Luge)

Skeleton is not one for the faint-hearted. You lie face-first and on your front (or on your back and feet first if it’s luge) and ride on a tiny sled down an ice track similar to the one used for bobsleighing. It’s one of the world’s old winter sports, as it is believed to have originated in the mid 19th century, and is a popular spectator sport in the Winter Olympics. 

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