Why do Olympians bite their medals?
How do you win points in curling?
What's the difference between ice dancing and figure skating?
Well, I'm glad you asked. Read on for the answers!
1. Do the rings on the Olympic flag mean anything?
via: GettyThey sure do! The Olympic ring symbol was developed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. According to him, the colors of the rings (together with the white background) include the colors found in the flags of every competing nation.
2. Where does the fire from the Olympic Flame come from?
via: GettyThe Olympic Flame is yet another symbol found at the games. People sure do love their symbolism, huh? It commemorates the Greek myth of Prometheus stealing fire from Zeus and has been part of the Olympic Games since 1928. You're probably already familiar with the tradition of having people relay the torch throughout the host country, but how does the very first torch get lit?
3. Why do Olympians bite their medals?
via: GettyBecause they taste good! Nah, just kidding. Actually, the main reason is that photographers ask them to bite their medals because it looks good in pictures and is more interesting than simply having the athletes stand there smiling. Back in 2010, German luger David Moeller actually chipped his tooth biting down his silver medal! And while we're talking about medals...
4. How much are the medals worth?
via: GettyMaybe not quite as much as you'd think. For starters, the gold medals are not made of solid gold — they're mostly comprised of silver and copper. For the Pyeongchang Games, only about 6 grams of the 586-gram medal is pure gold. The melt value of a gold medal, therefore, would be about $577. Silver medals (which are solid silver) are made with about $320 worth of silver. Bronze medals are made of a copper alloy and are only worth about $3.50.
5. What's the other thing the athletes are holding?
via: GettyIn Pyeongchang, medalists receive small wooden sculptures of the city's mountains as well as a stuffed tiger styled after Soohorang, the white tiger mascot of this year's Olympic games. The Rio Olympics were the first to give a small sculpture rather than the more traditional gift of a bouquet to medalists. Pyeongchang is continuing the tradition.
6. How does the scoring work in curling?
via: GettyThis has to be the No. 1 question about the Winter Olympics. Basically, you want your team's curling stones to be closer to the bullseye (or "button") than the other team's. Scoring only happens at the end of a round (called an "end"), after both teams have thrown all eight of their stones.
7. What's the difference between ice dancing and pairs figure skating?They both take place on the ice to music, so what's the difference? In short, pairs figure skating is known for its throws, lifts, and jumps, whereas ice dancers are judged more on their footwork and how well they match their movements to one another. In ice dancing, there can be no overhead lifts. Additionally, the dancers are not supposed to separate more than two arm-lengths throughout their routine.
8. What is a "Salchow"?It's a figure skating jump! And it's named after a Swedish skater named Ulrich Salchow, who invented the jump in 1909.
9. How do you steer a luge?Very carefully. More specifically, they use their calf muscles to flex the sled's runners — right calf to turn left, left calf to turn right. They also roll their shoulders to apply pressure at the top of the sled.
10. Why is the skeleton called a skeleton?
via: GettyInterestingly enough, the skeleton does actually get its name from actual skeletons. It's named for the bony appearance of the sled (as compared to the more rounded luge). However, some people argue that the name actually comes from an incorrectly anglicized version of "Kjaelke" (the Norwegian word for toboggan).
11. Where did the biathlon come from?
via: GettySkiing and shooting rifles — who thought to put those two together? According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the biathlon is rooted in Scandinavian traditions of revering the Norse god Ullr who, conveniently enough, is the god of skiing and the god of hunting.
12. How do they choose who carries the flag?
via: GettyIn the U.S., flag bearers are chosen by a vote by each sport's team captains. Usually, this isn't much of a problem, but there was a bit of controversy surrounding the flag bearer selection this year.