Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice. Most are variations of skiing, ice skating and sledding. Traditionally, such games were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and artificial ice allow more flexibility. Artificial ice can be used to provide ice rinks for ice skating, ice hockey, and bandy in a milder climate.
Common individual sports include cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, speed skating, figure skating, luge, skeleton, bobsleigh, ski orienteering and snowmobiling. Common team sports include ice hockey, curling, and bandy. Based on the number of participants, ice hockey is by far the world's most popular winter sport, followed by bandy. Winter sports have their own multi-sport events, such as the Winter Olympic Games and the Winter Universiade.
Snow and ice during the wintertime has led to other means of transportation, such as sledges, skis and skates. This also led to different pastimes and sports being developed in the winter season as compared to other times of the year. Naturally, winter sports are more popular in countries with longer winter seasons.
While most winter sports are played outside, ice hockey, speed skating and to some extent bandy have moved indoors starting in the mid-20th century. Indoor ice rinks with artificial ice allow ice skating and hockey to be played in hot climates.
Outdoor winter sports will likely be severely impacted because of climate change in the next century.
List of winter sports
Note: the Olympic rings next to a sport indicates that this particular sport is included in the Winter Olympic Games, as of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The Paralympic logo indicates the same for a sport not in the Olympics but in the Winter Paralympic Games.
- Acroski (no longer part of the Winter Olympics)
- Alpine skiing
- Cross-country skiing
- Freestyle skiing
- Kite skiing
- Mogul skiing
- Newschool skiing
- Nordic combined
- Ski archery
- Ski jumping
- Ski orienteering
- Speed skiing
- Speed riding
- Telemark skiing
- Winter pentathlon
Sports that use sleds going down ice tracks or pulled by something:
Notable winter sporting events
- Bandy World Cup
- Biathlon World Cup
- Bobsleigh World Cup
- FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
- FIS Cross-Country World Cup
- FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup
- FIS Nordic Combined World Cup
- FIS Ski Jumping World Cup
- FIS Snowboard World Cup
- Luge World Cup
- Short Track Speed Skating World Cup
- Skeleton World Cup (toboggan)
- Speed Skating World Cup
- World Cup in Ski Orienteering
- Ice Hockey World Championships
- Curling World Championships
- Bandy World Championships
- Biathlon World Championships
- Bobsleigh World Championships
- FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
- FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships
- FIS Nordic World Ski Championships (cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and nordic combined)
- FIS Snowboarding World Championships
- FIL World Luge Artificial Track Championships
- FIL World Luge Natural Track Championships
- FIS Ski Flying World Championships
- World Figure Skating Championships
- World Long Track Speed Skating Championships
- World Short Track Speed Skating Championships
- Skeleton World Championships (toboggan)
- World Ski Orienteering Championships
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 October 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Climate Change and Winter Sports: Environmental and Economic Threats
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- "Snow Golf". Strictly Snow Games. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- Syers, Edgar; Syers, Madge (eds.) (1908) The Book of Winter Sports London: Edward Arnold OCLC 4531800
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