The 2022 Winter Olympics have kicked off in Beijing. My family is all in!! We’re watching as much as we can!
Did you know seven new events have been added to this year’s Games, including mixed team versions of ski jumping, snowboard cross and freestyle ski aerials? These new events have mainly been added to increase gender equality at the Olympics.
According to the International Olympic Committee, this year’s Winter Games will be the most balanced ever, with more women’s events and more female athletes (45.44% of all Olympians) than at any previous Olympics.
And there’s also a new event that is open only to women this year: monobob. It’s a solo version of traditional bobsledding and the goal of making it women-only is to increase women’s participation in Olympic bobsledding. What to know about monobob:
- It’s a one-person bobsled race that’s judged on time.
- In traditional team bobsledding, members do different roles – pushing, driving and breaking the sled – but in monobob, the one racer does it all alone.
- The woman with the best cumulative time from four heats will win the gold.
- “Winning isn’t down to souped-up equipment,” explains Canadian bobsledder Cynthia Appiah. “We all have the same runners. We can see who is the top of the top.”
- Team USA has two top contenders in women’s monobob: Canadian-American Kallie Humphries and reigning champ Elana Meyers Taylor.
So why did the International Olympic Committee add monobob now? Women in Olympic bobsledding is still fairly new. The first two-woman bobsled event didn’t happen until the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. And having the solo event gives the smaller group of female bobsledders more opportunities to go for the gold.
When to tune in to monobob events:
- The women’s monobob competition begins with two heats on February 12th at 8:30pm ET
- The third and fourth heats will be February 13th at 8:30pm ET
- Medalists will be announced around 10:45pm ET on February 13th