Imagine inventing a sport that’s played on ice. But it doesn’t involve skating, hockey sticks or pucks. Instead, you push a heavy, polished disk of granite forward while your teammates frantically sweeping the ice in a desperate attempt to clean it as quickly as possible. Because nobody wants to walk around on dirty sheets of ice, right? And then something dumb happens or whatever and everybody cheers. Congratulations! You have just given birth to curling! Personally, I’m all for pointless sports that take a lot of skill and training and which result in an Olympic medal at best, but in 99% of cases a firm handshake for your efforts. In fact, here are a few more weird sports that should merit Winter Olympic consideration.
1. Snow Kiting
Picture water-based kiteboarding. Now imagine wearing skis or snowboarding footwear and being able to travel uphill or downhill with the help of the wind. That’s what snowkiting is all about. The sport began to develop in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that it really began to gain attention. If this description has suddenly inspired you to give this sport a try, be aware that it’s the most dangerous activity on our list. In particular, if you’re riding on sleep slopes blocked winds and turbulence can cause the kite to behave erratically and even send you crashing to the ground far below.
2. Dog Sled Racing
Ever dream of asking your dog, “Who’s a good Olympic gold medalist, huh? Who’s a good Olympic gold medalist? Yes, you are!” Dog sled racing is one of the paths that can turn this dream into a reality. In fact, this sport has found its way into the Winter Olympics as a demonstration sport on three occasions (most recently during the 1994 games in Lillehammer, Norway), but there don’t seem to be very many people who are hankering for it to receive official event status.
3. Ice Karting
Whether you’re a professional racer or a casual enthusiast, karting is a hell of a lot of fun. What could possible beat zooming your way through a quarter-mile track against your friends in a tiny little machine? Well, how about doing it on a frozen lake? Ice karting involves all of fun of regular karting, but with more slipping and sliding. If any sport deserves Olympic consideration, this should be the one.
Take something like a volleyball or soccer ball. Grab some brooms. Attempt to whack the ball into the goal net. This is basically the kind of game that your PE teacher would throw together. While it is played on a hockey rink, it doesn’t involve ice skates and therefore doesn’t require you to know how to skate. There is some controversy over who actually invented the game. Canada says they did. Sweden takes exception to that claim. The only way to really settle this argument is through a game of broomball, we suppose.