Tuesday February 18, 2014
Every four years, in between the Summer Olympic Games, come the Winter Olympics. This year they are being held in Sochi in Russia, and after the Winter Olympics have been completed it will be time for the Winter Paralympics to take place.
A variety of sports will be contested over the ten day period the Games will be held over, although the first day will see the traditional opening ceremony before the competition gets underway. The opening ceremony is on Friday 7th March and the competition ends on Sunday 16th March. Who will be standing in the medal winning positions at the end of each event this time around?
There are a variety of events including cross country skiing, Alpine skiing, the biathlon and ice sledge hockey to name a few. Some of the events have more than one variation as well. For example the Alpine skiing event has different versions for the visually impaired as well as those who take part either standing or sitting.
The last Winter Paralympics took place in Vancouver, Canada. Forty seven countries will have an interest in these Paralympics, the eleventh to be held since the Games began in their modern form back in 1976. Many of the elements of the Paralympics are the same as those seen in the Olympic Games. For example the opening and closing ceremonies traditionally draw large audiences interested to see the performances presented, and the lighting of the Paralympic flame is another notable moment. The flame stays alight until the end of the Games.
The Games also bring a flurry of excitement and opportunities to bet on the people you think stand the best chance of winning each competition. Most people will bet on the athletes from their own country, in the hope of snagging a win or two of their own. Who will grab the medals this year in these events, and how lucky will Team GB be overall? We shall find out in those ten days between the 7th and the 16th, when all the competitions shall be decided. You too may be a winner.