skating events include figure skating (5 events), speed skating (12) and short track speed skating (8). all these events are held on ice rinks, and competitors wear bladed boots called ice skates that allow them to move quickly and over the ice. in the figure skating events, competitors perform set moves like spins, jumps and lifts in choreographed programs set to music. in the speed skating events, skaters race on an oval track around the edge of an ice rink.
skiing events include alpine skiing (10 events), biathlon (11), cross country skiing (12), freestyle skiing (10), nordic combined (3), ski jumping (4) and snowboarding (10). they are held on snow-covered slopes or on flat, snow-covered plains. competitors slide over the snow on long, narrow skis, and use hand-held poles to push themselves along. in skiing events, competitors ski as fast as they can down a steep, winding course. in freestyle events, competitors perform mid-air acrobatics while skiing along a specially-prepared course. in ski jumping events, competitors try to go as far as possible through the air after skiing off a ramp. in cross-country events, skiers race over long distances on snow-covered plains (up to 50 km). nordic combined events both cross-country skiing and ski jumping, while biathlon events cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. in snowboarding events, competitors race or perform acrobatic moves on a single wide ski that resembles a large skateboard.
sledding events include bobsleigh (3 events), luge (4) and skeleton (2). they are high-speed time trials in which competitors on sleds (also "sledges" or "sleighs") slide down a steep, curving ice track, with the recording the quickest time winning. in bobsleigh, or bobsled, teams of two or four competitors sit one behind the other in partially-covered sleds. in luge, individual competitors sit on small, lightweight sleds, while in competitors lie face-down on small sleds.