Posted February 17, 2014 by John Baintree in News

Winter Olympics 2014: 650 hours – What to watch?


Following on from its award winning coverage of London 2012 (was it really that long ago) The Beeb has announced an ambitious 650 hours coverage throughout the 17 days. In what is billed as the most digital coverage ever there will 200 hours of TV content. The remaining 450 hours will be found on the Red button allowing you to choose to watch whatever you want.

Content will also be made available across the web, via the BBC Sport website where the keen and interested can view content on a variety of hardware devices including Smartphones and Pads as well as the more old fashioned desktops and laptops. With all of this choice available it does beg the question, exactly what should you watch?

With no obvious gold medal contenders (or bronze or silver for that matter) tuning in is not about events where a medal is likely so what events are the ones to look out for. As well as the more familiar bobsleigh, curling and ski jumping events which are always winners here area few of the less well known events that could be worth tuning in for.


Originally a form of Norwegian keep fit, and as a training method for the country’s military the sport the sport features two events, cross country skiing and rifle shooting, two events that seem to go together only when you remember the roots of the sport. Competition consists of a cross country ski race with the athlete carrying a small bore rifle. There are either two or four shooting ranges en-route where the athlete shoots in the prone and standing positions. Time penalties are added for each missed target.

Freestyle Skiing

One of eight skiing disciplines, freestyle skiing has been in the Olympic programme since Vancouver in 2014. Combining a number of disciplines that test a skier’s ability in aerial events such as moguls as well as ground work events such as ski cross, the event is best known for its mass start races.

Nordic Combined

Yet another combined event, Nordic Combined sees athletes competing in two disciplines, cross country skiing and ski jumping. Popular with the Norwegian military since the 19th century the sport has been part of the Winter Olympic programme since 1924 yet remains relatively unknown outside Norway. In competition, points are scored for style and distance in ski jumping and for speed in cross country. Individual and team events are held for men, the sport is not included for women.


Luge is a small metal sledge that is run down a perilously fast ice track. Artificial tracks are designed to have a mixture of straight sections and turns that test the athletes ability to the maximum. Due to its high speed injury and even fatality are not unknown. Men’s and women’s singles events are held with the first appearance of a men’s double event in the 2014 games.


The skeleton makes the luge look positively amateur. Riding down the same track, athletes ride a small sled which can see them subject to 5g forces on the run. Currently Team GB are the reigning Olympic champions following Amy Williams spectacular victory. Must be one to watch despite Amy having retired from the sport.