As the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing kick into full gear, fans around the globe are cheering on athletes from their countries in events ranging from alpine skiing to figure skating. Many viewers may already be aware of several new mainstream events that have been inducted into this year’s Olympics, such as Women’s Monobob and Mixed Team Ski Jumping. However, a number of lesser-known, yet equally demanding, athletic events are also being unveiled for the first time. Here is a comprehensive list of the seven coolest sports added to the 2022 Winter Olympics.
1. Snow shoveling
This new Olympic event has a long history in the American Midwest. In this stylized event, contestants are provided with athletic-grade shovels and have 28 minutes to dig their way out of a snowed-in cabin. The first athlete to make it out of the house wins gold, and competitors may earn bonus points in the “technique” category if they win the event while donning bathrobes and slippers.
2. Ladder climbing
It’s February, and your Christmas lights are still up? Not if you’re an Olympic ladder climber! These professional athletes engage in a grueling three-part relay consisting of searching for their ladders in the clutter of their basements, hauling the ladder to the side of the wall outside and climbing up 10 feet to scrape ice out of the gutters, all while enduring periodic sarcastic comments from neighbors. Athletes are graded both on speed and technique and may incur penalties for “forgetting a spot over there.”
3. Polar plunge
Why limit swimming to once every four years? As the world warms, swimming among melted ice caps and glaciers has grown in popularity, often out of necessity. This year, in a widely celebrated move, the International Olympic Committee has announced that swimming will be an officially sanctioned sport at the Winter Olympics.
4. Snowplow racing
NASCAR may be a cultural phenomenon in the American South, but there’s no point in geographically limiting the exhilarating thrill of motorsport. In this new Olympic event, athletes must successfully swipe a snowplow from their city’s municipality and win a street race against fellow drivers.
5. Icicle sword fighting
Fencing just got 10 times cooler in this hot new sport. Athletes’ performance and form will be put to the test as they face off in different categories of icicle sword combat. The shape and sharpness of the icicles with which an athlete fights will determine the category of competition: Glacial Épée, Frigid Foil or Solstice Sabre.
6. Snowball fighting
In this adrenaline-inducing event, athletes compete in teams to defend their terrain in a no-rules snowball fight. Thanks to investments in state-of-the-art precipitation technology, “snow ballers” are provided with snow of the perfect consistency to neatly pack together and form sleek projectiles. Note that this sport is not for the faint of heart: the feeling of a snowball hitting your back — and the cold drip down your back that follows — has scared away even the bravest of athletes from this dangerous event.
7. Naked mole rat skijoring
Skijoring has its roots as a Norwegian winter sport in which athletes ski while being pulled by a horse, dog or motorized vehicle. In this modern twist, athletes must track down and tame a wild naked mole rat to carry them to the finish line. Never mind that naked mole rats are native to the tropical grasslands of East Africa; their muscular strength, supreme vision and navigational skills make them a prime candidate for this evolving sport.
Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.