Winter sports

Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice.[1] Most are variations of skiing, ice skating and sledding. Traditionally, such games were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and artificial ice allow more flexibility. Playing areas and fields consist of either snow or ice.

Ski resort Jasná in Central Slovakia

Artificial ice can be used to provide ice rinks for ice skating, ice hockey, ringette, indoor broomball, bandy, rink bandy, rinkball, and sponge hockey in a milder climate. The sport of speed skating uses a frozen circular track of ice, but in some facilities the track is combined in an enclosed area used for sports requiring an ice rink or the rink itself is used.

Common individual sports include cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, speed skating, figure skating, luge, skeleton, bobsleigh, ski orienteering and snowmobiling.

Common team sports include ice hockey, ringette, broomball (on either an indoor ice rink, or an outdoor ice rink or field of snow), curling, and bandy. Based on the number of participants, ice hockey is the world's most popular winter team sport, followed by bandy.[2]

Winter sports have their own multi-sport events, such as the Winter Olympic Games and the Winter Universiade.


Snow and ice during the winter time has led to other means of transportation, such as sledges, skis and skates. This also led to different pastimes and sports being developed in the winter season as compared to other times of the year. Naturally, winter sports are more popular in countries with longer winter seasons.

While most winter sports are played outside, ice hockey, speed skating and to some extent bandy have moved indoors starting in the mid-20th century. Indoor ice rinks with artificial ice allow ice skating and hockey to be played in hot climates.

Outdoor winter sports will likely be severely impacted because of climate change in the next century.[3]

List of winter sportsEdit

Note: the Olympic rings next to a sport indicates that this particular sport is included in the Winter Olympic Games, as of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The Paralympic logo indicates the same for a sport not in the Olympics but in the Winter Paralympic Games.

Ice skatingEdit


United States biathlete Jeremy Teela at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Ski jumping at Salpausselkä in Lahti, Finland in 2010


An East German bobsleigh in 1951, Oberhof track, Germany

Sports that use sleds going down ice tracks or pulled by something:



A snowmobile tour at Yellowstone National Park.
  • Free style
  • Snocross
  • Recreation
  • Cross-country
  • Hill climbing

Team sportsEdit

Based on the number of participating athletes, bandy is the second most popular winter sport in the world

Other sportsEdit

Recreational sportsEdit

Some sports are competed in (or simply enjoyed) on a more casual basis, often by children:

Notable winter sporting eventsEdit

A postage stamp issued by East Germany in 1968 in commemoration of their first Winter Olympics as an independent country under a communist regime

World CupEdit

World championshipsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "winter sports, noun". Chambers 21st Century Dictionary. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 October 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Climate Change and Winter Sports: Environmental and Economic Threats
  4. ^ "Cross country for the Winter Olympics". Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Snow Golf". Strictly Snow Games. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Snow golf means joys, laughter and feast in Chitral". 6 February 2019.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Snow Bowling". Strictly Snow Games. Retrieved 21 January 2017.

External linksEdit