Athletics and Recreation

Learn Vocabulary: Sports of the Winter Olympics

Learn Vocabulary: Sports of the Winter Olympics

Hi. Welcome to
I’m Adam. In today’s lesson we’re going to
talk about the Winter Olympics. They’re just around the corner, and I figured
it’s a good idea that you know what’s going on if you’re interested
in winter sports. I’m going to tell you about the different events
that you can watch, and what the different words are that they’re
talking about on TV. Okay? Because this year the Olympics are in Pyeongchang,
South Korea, which is the northern part of South Korea, but
not North Korea. It’s a little bit confusing. The northern part
of South Korea. And all the regular events are there, so I’m
going to walk you through them and make sure you know which ones you like, which ones you
want to watch, adjust your calendars, your timetables because if you live in a different
part of the world, you may have to watch them during the night. So, we’re going to start with the events and then
I’ll give you some general Olympics’ vocabulary. Let’s start with skating. Okay? We’re going to… There’re different
events for skating. There’s speed skating which happens around a
long track, an oval track, and people basically race each other; then there’s short track
speed skating-sorry-and basically this is like a very short… It’s almost like a little circle, and you have
five or six guys, and they just basically have a race and they’re trying to finish first;
and whoever finished first, second, etc., they go on and they have a
few rounds of this. Okay? They have different rounds, and the winner
of each one or the top two of each race go to the next round, the next round until you
have a final round, and then the winner gets gold, second place gets
silver, etc., or in bronze. So, this is a very exciting event because
there’re always crashes, and they go around really, really fast,
and they’re like… Basically almost sideways because they’re on
their skates going around in a circle all the time, very
exciting to watch. Then, of course, there’s figure
skating, which is one of the more… One of the most popular events
during the Winter Olympics. There are men’s, women’s, and pairs figure
skating, and I think there’s also a dance figure skating, it’s a
little bit different. And basically they’re on the rink,
so the ice surface, or the… The building they’re in is the arena and
the actual ice surface is called a rink. And there they do all
kinds of performances. It’s very acrobatic. Now, you might hear all the different names
of the movements they make, like double axel and cow something, these I don’t actually know
because you have to actually know something about figure skating, but
you can just watch it. It’s very beautiful to watch, beautiful
music and they wear their costumes. Their costumes are just basically they create
for themselves, they’re custom-made costumes you can call them, and they go around,
they do all these acrobatic things. There’re two components to it, there’s the
technical and then there’s the artistic. So they do this on two occasions, and they
get a scaled score, basically up to six or five, 5.2, 5.5, etc., and whoever has the
best score, obviously gets the gold medal. And the one component is the technical where
they have to do certain number of routines, certain number of movements. And the second one is artistic where they
have to basically involve those movements, but also according to the music,
according to the style, etc. Okay? Very popular. And of course they’re
wearing figure skates. That’s the only real equipment they
need, except for their costumes. Speed skaters, they wear a
different type of skate. It’s a much longer blade, okay? So they’re basically on blade. They’re basically on, like,
two or three milli-… Or three or four millimetres of metal,
that’s all that’s holding them up. Very sharp edges to the blades, and
that’s what they go around on, etc. Okay? So, figure skating. Skiing, that’s another common and
very popular sport in the Olympics. All types of different
events that involve skiing. Alpine skiing is basically coming down a mountain,
and there’s a slalom, basically it’s a very long… They’re on the slope of the mountain,
and it’s a very long course. Okay? And they come down and
whoever has the best time… So, there’s two ways to do it, there’s time
and there’s also races for different things, but Alpine is
usually time trial. Now, there’s cross-country skiing
which is flat but long distance. It’s like a marathon for runners,
except they’re doing it on skis. They’re different types of skis. Their boot… Their ski boots are not tied down on the back
so they can take steps, and they have much longer poles than
the race skiers. Then there’s the
Nordic-combined. The Nordic-combined is both
Alpine and cross-country. So sometimes they go down hills, and then
sometimes they go across flat land, then down hills, etc. Now, there are mogul races. Moguls are basically like
bumps, and they go… And they have to go between the bumps, over
the bumps, and whoever does it the fastest is the winner. Sometimes there’s a race,
sometimes it’s by time. Okay?
A biathlon. So, a biathlon is a combination of cross-country
skiing, so they go for like a couple of kilometres, then they stop, and then they
have rifles on their backs. They take the rifle, they aim, they shoot at a
target, they put the rifle back, cross-country skiing some more, another rifle shot,
another range, and targets, etc. Then there’s ski jumping. Now, there’s two types. When they say ski jumping,
basically this is the long jump. So they’re coming down a long ramp-okay?-and
then they take off, and then they’re, like, flying like birds as far as they can,
and they land and everything’s good. Then there’s freestyle ski jumps, which means
it’s a very, very steep and short ramp, and they jump, and they have to, like, upside
down, summersaults, and twists, and all kinds of interesting things. That’s the freestyle. Then there’s also snowboarding, which basically
has the same events, obviously not cross-country, it’s only down hills. And they have races and
they have to qualify. So they have all kinds of qualifying rounds,
and then when they have the best of the best, then they have races, and they have times,
and they have to get the best time. Now a lot of this, the
qualifying is about trials. So they have many rounds just to qualify,
and then the official races begin, and then the official time counts begin. The equipment that they use for skiing or
basically the skis, there’re two skis that they stand on, the two
poles that they use. And again, cross-country
and Alpine are different. And then they wear goggles, they wear boots,
they usually wear helmets these days as well. The snowboarders just wear… Just use a snowboard, which is basically like just
a long board, one board, both feet are on it. The board is this way
and they’re facing… They’re horizontal or perpendicular to it,
and then they go down and try to win. Okay. So that’s the main events, now we’re
going to look at a couple more. Okay, so now we’re going
to see the other events. Now, the thing about the Winter Olympics,
there are much fewer events… A lot fewer events than the Summer Olympics,
but they’re very exciting events. They’re all very exciting because there’s
always something happening, there’s always some drama. Unfortunately there’s a lot of
accidents, but they also… That’s part of the excitement, part of the fear
of what can happen, especially when you’re talking about sledding. Now, this is a very
exciting sport. You have bobsledding,
luge, and skeleton. Super, super dangerous sport,
but very interesting to watch. So, a bobsled or some…
a bobsleigh, as… However you want to say
it, both are okay. It basically looks like a
big tube and the top… It’s hollow and open at the top, and four guys
or two guys have to push it on the track. They basically go down a track, but it’s like a
curved track like this, and they’re going inside. And it goes all the way down the
mountain and they go really fast. So this tube, it looks like a canoe a little
bit, and it’s on blades, long blades, and they go down the ice, and they go like up and
down, and really fast around all the curves and stuff. And the two or four guys, they push it down
the track, once it starts getting to move they have to jump inside,
tuck in and start going down. Very exciting. And then there’s a luge, which is one person
with a shorter little tube or sled, is the correct word, and they
just do it by time. So all of this is about time, whoever has
the best time down the track is the winner. Okay? Now, skeleton, I personally think the people
who do skeleton are a little bit crazy because this is basically a flat sled, it’s
just a board on blades, on ice… Like, basically long
ice skates, right? Just blades with a flat board, and they take
it, and they run, they put it down, jump, and they lie down flat on their stomachs,
head first, and they go down the track, and whoever has the best time. Super dangerous, but
very exciting to watch. Okay? Then there’s, of course, the best event and
this is the marquis event of the Olympics because… So we call it marquis, because this draws
the most attention, this and figure skating I would say are about equal. Hockey is very popular in especially northern
countries that have… that play hockey. And they play on a rink,
it’s a much bigger rink… If you watch NHL hockey, it’s a much bigger rink,
it’s an international-size or Olympic-size rink, and the
national teams play. And every child in these countries, like Canada,
US, Sweden, Finland, etc., everybody grows up wanting to play on a national hockey
team and win the gold for their country. Hockey involves a stick, a hockey stick; a
puck, a little, round, rubber thing that they play around with. You have to get goals and if at the end of
the game the score is tied, then you have a shootout, just like in soccer. Whoever gets the most goals
on the goalies win the medal. Okay? Then there’s curling. Curling is relatively
a new sport. It hasn’t been in the
Olympics all the time. It’s basically
played on a sheet. It’s on ice, but they’re not wearing skates;
they’re just wearing shoes that they can grip the ice with. And they take a stone, it’s basically like
a stone and it has a handle, and they grab the stone, they lift it, and
they throw it down the sheet. And there’s like a target and they have to
land it in the middle of the target, and they have to knock the other team’s stone out of
the target area, and they go back and forth. And they use the stone
and then a broom. So one guy throws the stone down the ice, and
then two guys walk down the ice in front of the stone and broom the ice to make it
smooth so the stone goes faster or slower as they need it. It looks like fun to play. It’s not that much fun to watch, but again,
people love it, that’s why it’s become a sport. So, now, a few things you need to know in
terms of the Olympics, and this applies to Summer and Winter Olympics. The people who compete are
mostly amateur athletes. Now, some sports like hockey was full of professional
hockey players, this year it will not be. The NHL, where most of the hockey players
play, did not allow them to come to Korea to play, so there will be amateur hockey
players, and it’s all about sportsmanship. Now, this is a very important
word: “sportsmanship”. This is about competing, but
remaining friendly and gentlemanly. Okay? If the other team is hurting,
you don’t hurt them more. You beat them, but you don’t embarrass them,
you don’t hurt them more than by beating them. Okay? It’s about showing
respect to each other. The winners stand on the podium, and
the podium often looks like this. You got your gold, silver,
bronze medalists. Sometimes it could be
like this, whatever. Whoever’s the highest
has the gold. When they present the medals to the winners,
they will always play the national anthem of the gold medal winner. Okay? Whoever won the gold, that person’s
country’s anthem is played. And at the beginning, just like in the Summer
Olympics, somebody comes in running with a torch, a big stick that has a little flame, and
they come and they light the Olympic flame, and the games begin. Opening ceremony,
closing ceremony, etc. Now, you might not be very interested in the
Winter Olympics; Summer Olympics are still more popular, but if you live in an English-speaking
country or if you live in a country, a northern country where these sporting events are very
popular, you may need to discuss or have a conversation with people
about the Olympics. For example, if you’re in Canada,
people will talk about the Olympics. They will especially talk
about the hockey team. Okay? If they have a good Canadian figure
skater, they will talk about him or her. So it’s very important that you know what’s
going on in the Olympics if you’re living in these countries, and it’s a good way to
start talking to people, make new friends. If you go to a bar in Canada, for example,
during a hockey game, when there’s a hockey game playing, everybody will be there, the
bars will be full, people will be talking and having a good time, and talking
about the Olympics and hockey. You should really watch. In fact, I’ll… One day I’ll make a video lesson about hockey,
I’ll teach you guys how the game works, why it’s so exciting, why it’s
the best sport in the world. So, in the meantime you
can go to If you have any questions about the Olympics,
you can ask me there in the comments section. There’s also going to be a quiz that you can try
to understand your… make sure you understand the vocabulary here,
and all the points. And if you like the video, please subscribe
to my YouTube channel, and come back for more good lessons to help you
guys with your English. Okay? I’ll see you then. Bye.

Reader Comments

  1. You should have upload this one up four years ago, when the Winter Olympics were in Sochi, bro. Why didn't you? Why oh why??? By now, when Russia's Olympic Team has been almost teared into pieces on behalf of some short-tempered, crooked and corrupted politicians, the whole Olympic movement has turned itself into a useless, smelling shithole. Fuck the International Olympic Committee! Not gonna watch these ones ( May be just the Russia vs. Canada Hockey Final Game though.)

  2. HI, Adam! Thanks for the wealth of info and the nomenclature. A few questions:
    – you keep saying "there's" followed by plurals: "There's different events", "There's two components", etc.
    – pretty much in the same vein (or actually, sort of like in reverse), you say "much fewer" rather than "many fewer"
    – you pronounce the first "A" in "drAma" as in "rAm", as opposed to "camarAderie"
    Are such usage cases particular to Canada? Am asking since have never heard it this way in the US.

  3. الله يعطيك العافية يعني انت مسلم عشان اسمك ادام ؟
    ياريت لو شوية تتكلم ببطء عشان أفهم سريع 😍 ربنا يسعدك ❤

  4. I want him to be respected. Sir is 'to be respected' an adverb or an adjective or an object ? If it is an adverb or adjective then which type of adverb/adjective it is ?

  5. I really like this kind of topics 👍 Could you make a video about Football important vocabulary, please ? I would appreciate it.

  6. Excellent lesson Adam with amazing delivery, but it would be more better in understanding if you draw rough sketches along delivery .

  7. Hello Adam , i really appreciate what you are doing, i used all your tips in writing and speaking tests , I've achieved the following results W 7 R 7 L 8 S 8, i prepared for 3 months, i watched some of your videos more than once. Thank you. And for every one preparing to take the test, there is no magical solution, just hard work and preparation, good luck everyone.

  8. Thanks for the lesson

    I would like to learn more about (Sha . He . It +we're) because I've been reading a book where the author used (the girl ran as is she were flying between clouds)

    And ( the robin chirped as if he were talking to her)

    And I know that these subjects are always followed by (was)

  9. Excellent video. I love the winter games and I learned a lot of vocabulary watching this lesson.
    I would like to share with you I found a fun google assistant trivia game that I use to practice my speaking and listening skills about this topic. Just say "Ok google, talk to winter games trivia"

  10. Practice English over video chat with a native speaker!

    Cambly gives you instant access to native English speakers over video chat. Your friendly language partners are ready to help you practice conversation skills, pronunciation, and any other English skills you'd like to improve. Cambly is a great way to practice English for beginners or experts.
    Give it a try! (You w’ll need for this code elhamdao1) :

  11. Useful video! Always keep doing nice content and you are going to develop rapidly! Subscribe to our channel and we shall subscribe back to you!

  12. Adam,
    Could you help me with something? Which of the following sentences sounds best to you?
    "That's ok for me", "That's ok by me, "That's ok with me'" ou "That's ok to me"?

  13. Sir I have a confusion regarding to grammar.
    In what particular cases we use these following sentences?
    1. I worked in Toronto.
    2. I was working in Toronto
    3 I had been working in Toronto.
    Thank you in advance sir. Greetings from Asia.

  14. Hey Adam! Thank you for providing us such helpful grammar materials. I have a request. Can you please make a video on " have had, has had, and had had" . I have seen questions containing these words several times but couldn't answer. Plz help me so that I can answer them in future.

  15. hi Adam, how are you??can you make a class about BYU pathway worldwide??? I need just intermiate level to!!!!i did the test once and my level is a finger i need 4 fingers to medium level. please can you help me?? my whatsapp 5521983939543 a special prepare pathway class!!

  16. james always show off to the camera with big lovely smile as if other people laughing at him when start the video :))
    ( Sorry for english Feel free to let me know my mistake 😀 )

  17. really enjoy your class. It's always comprehensive and interesting topics. Would you teach some some game rules of baseball, hockey. They show up in math class here. Kowing the concepts would help with school work, I guess. Thanks!

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