About the Games

Published: 31 Jan 2018

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is Australia’s primary national sports administration and advisory agency, and the cornerstone of a large and dynamic sports system.

On behalf of the Australian Government, the ASC plays a central leadership role in the development and operation of Australian sport, administering and funding innovative programs and providing leadership, coordination and support for the sport sector.

In relation to high performance sport, the ASC primarily works with national sporting organisations and the National Institute Network to deliver a national approach for ongoing international success.

Australian athletes are the beneficiaries of this national approach, and in PyeongChang we will see the outcomes of this collective effort.

Australia will be watching proudly as our Paralympic team strives to make our collective sporting dreams come true and harnesses the power of sport for our nation.

The ASC wishes the team well and extends its thanks to the Australian Paralympic Committee; the National Institute Network; the Department of Health; and the dedicated staff of the ASC and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

For more information about organisations working with Australia’s Winter athletes, go to:

Facts and figures on what Winter sports our athletes are competing in at this year's PyeongChang Games.

Paralympic Winter Games

9 March -18 March 2018

The Australian Paralympic Committee aims to send a team of 15 athletes to the PyeongChang Games, led by co-captains Mitch Gourley and Joany Badenhorst.  Australia has competed at every Winter Games since their inception in Sweden in 1976. Australia’s athletes will compete in two disciplines.

Australian Parlympic Winter Games Medallists

Australia has participated at every Paralympic Winter Games since the first in Örnsköldsvik in 1976.

Australia has been represented by 36 Winter Paralympians and has won 11 gold, 6 silver and 13 bronze medals. Australia’s Paralympic Winter Games medallists are as follows:

Bart Bunting (Nathan Chivers – Guide)
Gold, Men’s Downhill B1-3, Salt Lake City 2002
Gold, Men’s Super-G B1-3, Salt Lake City 2002
Silver, Men’s Giant Slalom B1-2, Salt Lake City 2002

Jessica Gallagher
Bronze, Women’s Slalom visually impaired, Vancouver 2010 (Eric Bickerton – Guide)
Bronze, Women’s Giant Slalom visually impaired, Sochi 2014 (Christian Geiger – Guide)

Toby Kane
Bronze, Men’s Super-G standing, Torino 2006
Bronze, Men’s Super-G standing, Sochi 2014

Marty Mayberry
Silver, Men’s Downhill standing, Vancouver 2010

Michael Milton
Gold, Men’sSlalom LW2, Tignes-Albertville 1992
Gold, Men’s Giant Slalom LW2, Lillehammer 1994
Gold, Men’s Downhill LW2, Salt Lake City 2002
Gold, Men’s Super-G LW2, Salt Lake City 2002
Gold, Men’s Giant Slalom LW2, Salt Lake City 2002
Gold, Men’s Slalom LW2, Salt Lake City 2002
Silver, Men’s Super-G LW2, Tignes-Albertville 1992
Silver, Men’s Slalom LW2, Lillehammer 1994
Silver, Men’s Downhill standing, Turin 2006
Bronze, Men’s Downhill LW2, Lillehammer 1994
Bronze, Men’s Super-G LW2, Lillehammer 1994

David Munk
Bronze, Men’s Super-G LW11, Tignes-Albertville 1992
Bronze, Men’s Giant Slalom LWXI, Lillehammer 1994

Michael Norton
Gold, Men’s Slalom LWXI, Lillehammer 1994
Gold, Men’s Super-G LWXI, Lillehammer 1994
Bronze, Men’s Slalom LW11, Tignes-Albertville 1992

James Patterson
Gold, Men’s Downhill LW1,3,5/7,9, Nagano 1998
Silver, Men’s Downhill LW9, Lillehammer 1994
Bronze, Men’s Giant Slalom LW9, Lillehammer 1994
Bronze, Men’s Slalom LW9, Nagano 1998

Cameron Rahles-Rahbula
Bronze, Men’s Slalom standing, Vancouver 2010
Bronze, Men’s Super Combined standing, Vancouver 2010

Para-Alpine Skiing

Paralympic Alpine Skiing was developed when injured veterans began practicing the sport after their return from World War II. Just like Olympic Alpine Skiing, it features the following disciplines: Downhill, Super-G, Super Combined, Giant Slalom and Slalom. Skiers speeding down the slope in these events can reach the speed of 100km an hour.

Australia and Para Alpine Skiing

Australia won its first Winter Paralympic medals in 1992, and has medalled at every games since then. All of the medals have been won in alpine skiing.

Australia won four Winter Paralympic medals in 1992 - one gold, one silver and two bronze. Michael Milton, an amputee alpine skier, won gold in slalom and silver in super-G. David Munk, a paraplegic sit-skier, won bronze in super-G. Michael Norton, a paraplegic sit-skier, won bronze in the downhill. In 1994, Australia won nine medals, three gold, two silver and four bronze. Milton won gold in the giant slalom, silver in slalom and bronze in downhill and super-G. Norton won gold in the slalom and super-G. James Patterson, a skier with cerebral palsy, won silver in downhill and bronze in giant slalom. Munk won bronze in giant slalom. Different disabilities have separate events, which is why Patterson and Munk both won bronze in giant slalom. In 1998, two medals were won, both by Paterson: gold in downhill and bronze in slalom.

In 2002, the medal haul was seven, consisting of six gold and one silver. Milton made a clean sweep, winning gold in the downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom. Bart Bunting, a vision-impaired skier guided by Nathan Chivers, won gold in the downhill and super-G, and silver in the giant slalom.

At the 2010 Vancouver GamesJessica Gallagher became the first female Australian Paralympian to win a medal with a bronze medal in the Women's Vision-Impaired Slalom event.

Athletes competing

  • Mitchell Gourley (Vic, co-captain) Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined - Competed in 2010, 2014
  • Patrick Jensen (NSW) Slalom, Giant Slalom – Debut
  • Jonty O'Callaghan (Vic) Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined – Debut
  • Victoria Pendergast (NSW) Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined - Competed in 2014
  • Mark Soyer (Vic) Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined - Debut
  • Sam Tait (NSW) Slalom, Super-G - Debut
  • Lara Falk (Vic, sighted guide for Patrick Jensen), Slalom, Giant Slalom – Debut
  • Melissa Perrine (NSW) Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined - Competed in 2010, 2014
  • Christian Geiger (sighted guide for Melissa Perrine, Vic) Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined - Competed in 2014
  • Shaun Pianta (WA) Slalom, Giant Slalom – Debut
  • Jeremy O’Sullivan (Vic, sighted guide for Shaun Pianta) Slalom, Giant Slalom – Debut

Classification

Athletes are classified into classes depending on their functional ability:

  • B1-B3 - Athletes with a visual impairment are classified into three classes, according to their degree of vision loss. The lower the number the higher the level of vision loss, B1 is for athletes with no sight, B2 athletes have limited sight and B3 athletes who are legally blind.
  • LW 1-9 - Athletes with a physical impairment (including cerebral palsy, limb loss or deficiency, spinal cord or nerve damage) are classified dependant on their functionality. All athletes ski standing and may use modified equipment, such as outriggers.
  • LW 10-12 - Athletes with a physical impairment (including spinal cord damage or limb loss or deficiency) ski sitting down, using specially designed skis.

Events

Downhill

The main factor of the event is speed. Athletes need great mental and physical strength as they run down a 15-degree slope at a speed of 90 to 140 kilometres per hour.

A downhill course is set up with three different colours which play different roles: red for directions, blue for the gates, and yellow signalling danger.

As athletes pass the gates on the course, their ranking is decided in the order of their finish time.

Super-G

Each athlete competes one run down the course, zigzag through the gates.

The slope is steeper than in Giant Slalom and the distance between gates is 25m minimum, which is wider than in Giant Slalom.

For men, there are 35 gates whereas for women there are 30 gates.

While making the run, athletes take two jumps, and unlike Slalom and Giant Slalom, Super-G athletes ski one single time.

Giant Slalom

Athletes make two runs down the course, passing through the gates.

Over 30 gates are installed throughout the course. The distance between gates in this discipline is minimum 10m, longer than in Slalom.

In Slalom, the gate flags are triangular while they are square in Giant Slalom.

Each athlete completes two runs on the same day on different courses. Times from the two runs are added together to determine the final order based on ascending total time.

Slalom

Athletes pass between the two poles forming the gate on the course, speeding down the slope. For men there are 55 to 75 gates, whereas for women there are 45 to 60 gates.

The poles are spaced from each other at a distance of maximum 75cm and minimum 15cm.

Each athlete competes two runs on the same day on different courses. Times from the two runs are added together with the fastest time winning.

Super Combined

The starting order by category: Visually Impaired Category -> Standing Category -> Sitting Category

A combined competition which represents the final result of two disciplines - usually one of either a downhill or super-G and a single run of slalom. Each athlete competes two runs on the same day on different courses. Times from the two runs are added together with the fastest time winning.

Para-snowboard

Para Snowboard made its first appearance at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games as part of the Alpine Skiing events and will be held as a single sport the PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games. A total of 10 events will be held across two disciplines; banked slalom and snowboard-cross.

Australians and Para Snowboard

Australia was represented by three boarders at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games all competing in the Snowboard cross event. Ben Tudhope, who turned 14 in December 2013, became Australia’s youngest competitor at the Winter Olympics and was the youngest competitor at the Games from any nation. He was joined in the Snowboard cross team by Trent Milton and Joany Badenhorst.

Athletes competing

  • Joany Badenhorst (NSW, co-captain) Banked slalom, Snowboard cross – Competed in 2014
  • Simon Patmore (Qld) Banked slalom, Snowboard cross - Debut (competed at 2012 London Summer Paralympics)
  • Sean Pollard (WA) Banked slalom, Snowboard cross – Debut
  • Ben Tudhope (NSW) Banked slalom, Snowboard cross - Competed in 2014

Classification

Athletes with physical impairment compete in para-snowboard in three classes:

  • SB-LL-1 – Boarders with significant lower limb impairment in one or both legs. Athletes may use prosthesis as required
  • SB-LL-2 – Boarders with lower limb impairment in one or both legs with less activity limitation
  • SB-UL – Boarders with upper limb impairment in at least one arm

Events

Banked slalom

Banked slalom is an event where the athletes race on a course with banked turns. Each athlete competes three runs down the course with their best run determining the final results.

Snowboard Cross

Snowboard cross is held on a course with terrain features such as banks (berms), rollers, spines, jumps and wu-tangs.

During qualification, each athlete completes two runs down the course with their best run determining the final order based on ascending time. There is only one rider on the course at a time during qualification.

Finals consist of 16 men and eight women, with two competitors per heat. The first placed competitor advances to the next round until two competitors are left competing for gold, with the two second placed competitors from the semi-final competing for bronze.

View the full PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games schedule here

Winter Olympic Games

9 February 2018 – 25 February 2018

Australia equalled its most successful Winter Olympics haul of three medals in PyeongChang, two silvers and one bronze medal matching the result in Sochi 2014. Jarryd Hughes and Matt Graham won silver in the men's snowboard cross and the men's mogul skiing respectively, while Scotty James took bronze in the men’s snowboard halfpipe.

In addition to medals to Hughes and James, Australian snowboarders had seven top-15 finishes from a contingent of 12 athletes. Hughes, was joined in the top-10 of the snowboard cross by Alex “Chumpy” Pullin and Cam Bolton.

Australian skiers Jakara Anthony, 19, and Britt Cox, 23, qualified for the women’s Super-Final and finished fourth and fifth respectively. Aerial skier Laura Peel also had a top-five finish as five-time Olympian and 2010 gold medallist Lydia Lassila retired from the sport.

Australian Winter Olympic Games medallists

Australia first competed in the Olympic Winter Games in 1936 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany and since then has sent a team to every Winter Olympics except for the post-World War II Games in St Moritz, Switzerland in 1948.

Australia has been represented by more than 200 Winter Olympians and has won five gold, three silver and four bronze medals. Australia’s Olympic Winter Games medallists are as follows:

Dale Begg-Smith
Gold, Men’s Moguls (Freestyle Skiing), Torino 2006
Silver, Men’s Moguls (Freestyle Skiing), Vancouver 2010

Steven Bradbury
Gold, 1,000m Short Track Speed Skating, Salt Lake City 2002
Bronze, Short Track Speed Skating 5,000m Relay, Lillehammer 1994

Torah Bright
Gold, Women’s Snowboard Half-Pipe, Vancouver 2010
Silver, Women’s Snowboard Half-Pipe, Sochi 2014

Alisa Camplin-Warner
Gold, Women’s Aerials (Freestyle Skiing), Salt Lake City 2002
Bronze, Women’s Aerials (Freestyle Skiing), Torino 2006

Kieran Hansen
Bronze, Short Track Speed Skating 5,000m Relay, Lillehammer 1994

Lydia Lassila
Gold, Women’s Aerials (Freestyle Skiing), Vancouver 2010
Bronze, Women’s Aerials (Freestyle Skiing), Sochi 2014

David Morris
Silver, Men’s Aerials (Freestyle Skiing), Sochi 2014

Andrew Murtha
Bronze, Short Track Speed Skating 5,000m Relay, Lillehammer 1994

Richard Nizielski
Bronze, Short Track Speed Skating 5,000m Relay, Lillehammer 1994

Zali Steggall
Bronze, Women’s Slalom, Nagano 1998

Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing is conducted in a beat-the-clock format in which a skier goes down the mountain from Point A to Point B and the fastest time wins. There is no judging involved.

Australians and Alpine Skiing

In 1998 Zali Steggall won bronze and Australia’s first individual Winter Olympic medal in the slalom event at the Nagano Games.

At just 18 years of age, Greta Small flew the flag for Australia in every event on the women’s program at Sochi 2014 and claimed Australia’s best result with 15th place in the Women’s Super Combined.

Athletes competing

  • Dominic Demschar Giant slalom, Slalom – Competed in 2014
  • Greta Small Super-G, Super combined, Downhill, Giant slalom, Slalom – Competed in 2014
  • Harry Laidlaw Giant slalom, slalom - Competed in 2014

Events

Slalom

Slalom demands the sharpest turns of the alpine events and is contested on the shortest course. A skier must pass through a set number of gates which mark the course or is disqualified. Each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. Both runs take place on the same day. The times are added and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Giant Slalom

Giant Slalom is a longer, faster version of the slalom. Each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. Both runs take place on the same day. The times are added and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Super-G (Super Giant Slalom)

The Super-G involves a sequence of long and medium turns down the course, determined by the gates which each athlete must pass through. Each skier makes a single run down a single course and the fastest time determines the winner.

Downhill

Downhill features the fastest, longest and least winding alpine course and is marked by red flags. Each skier makes a single run down a single course and the fastest time determines the winner.

Super Combined

The Super Combined event consists of one Downhill or Super-G run followed by one Slalom run. The times are added together and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Team

The Team event, which is being introduced at PyeongChang, will feature a total of 16 teams that comprise of two males, two females and a reserve. The event adopts a parallel format, with an individual skier from one country facing another skier of the same gender from an opposing country in a head-to-head race down two identical slalom courses on which giant slalom gates are spaced 10m apart. The first race in each heat is between two female skiers, followed by two males and then the remaining two females and the remaining two males.

Teams score one point for a race win. If both skiers ski off or fall, the skier who has progressed further down the course is declared the winner. In the event of both teams winning two races apiece, the nation with the lowest combined time of their best man and best woman will win the heat. Teams progress in a knockout format until a race is set up for the gold and silver medals and another is set up for the bronze medal and fourth place.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country is the endurance event of the Winter Olympics. It involves traversing, ascending and descending tough mountainous terrain.

Australians and Cross-Country Skiing

The Sochi 2014 Games saw Esther Bottomley join Anthony Evans (1992, 1994, 1998) as Australia’s only three-time Cross Country Skiing Olympians.

Athletes competing

  • Barbara Jezersek 15km Skiathlon, Classic Sprint, 10km Freestyle, Team Sprint, 30km Mass Start – Competed in - 2014, 2010
  • Callum Watson 30km Skiathlon, Classic Sprint, 15km Freestyle, Team Sprint, 50km Mass Start – Competed in 2014
  • Phillip Bellingham Classic Sprint, 15km Freestyle, Team Sprint, 30km Skiathlon, 50km Mass Start – Competed in 2014
  • Jessica Yeaton 15km Skiathlon, Classic Sprint, 10km Freestyle, Team Sprint, 30km Mass Start – Debut
  • Aimee Watson 15km Skiathlon, Classic Sprint, 10km Freestyle, 30km Mass Start – Competed in 2014
  • Casey Wright 15km Skiathlon, Classic sprint, 10km Freestyle, 30km Mass Start – Debut

Events

There are 12 events on the 2018 Cross-Country program. Two techniques are used across the events depending on the race format - classic and freestyle.

Skiathlon (30km men, 15km women)

Formerly known as pursuit, skiathlon is the cross country event for all-rounders. It combines both classical and freestyle technique.

The first half of the race is completed using a classical technique - ladies cover 7.5km (in loops of 2.5 km) and men complete 15km (in loops of 3.75 km).

Individual Sprint Free (1.6km men, 1.4km women)

The individual sprint competition consists of a qualification round and four final rounds: quarter-final, semi-final, A and B finals. For the qualification round, competitors start in 15-second intervals skiing one lap of the course. The top 30 competitors advance to the quarter-finals. The quarter-final, semi-final, and A and B final rounds have six skiers in each heat. The top two competitors from each heat advance to the next round. The A final consists of six skiers competing for the gold medal. The course laps are 1.4km for ladies and 1.6km for men.

Classic (15km men, 10km women)

A competitor starts at every 30 second interval with the best-ranked skiers starting at the end. Skiers race against the clock and the winner is the competitor with the quickest time. The women’s event is 10km and the men’s event is 15km.

Relay (4x10km men, 4x5km women)

Each team has four skiers, each of whom skis one of the four 5km (women) or 10km (men) relay legs. The first two legs of the relay are skied classical style and the final two are freestyle.

Team Sprint Free

The Team Sprint competition consists of two semi-final heats (qualification) and a final heat. In the team sprint, each team is made up of two skiers, who alternate skiing the sprint course three times each for a total of six laps. Competitors must perform a correct exchange between laps by physically touching their teammate without interfering or obstructing other teams. The winning team is the first team to cross the finish line after the completion of all six laps.

The course laps are 1.4 kilometres for ladies and 1.6 kilometres for men.

Mass Start Classic (50km men, 30km women)

The Mass Start is the longest event on the Cross-Country program. Competitors start simultaneously, lined up in rows. The first competitor across the finish line wins the race.

Freestyle Skiing

Freestyle skiing has been a medal sport on the Olympic Winter Games program since Albertville in 1992, after being a demonstration sport in Calgary in 1988.

Australians and Freestyle Skiing

Australia has a strong history in freestyle skiing, winning medals at the last four Games at Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.

Kirstie Marshall placed sixth in the women’s aerials at Lillehammer in 1994. At Salt Lake City in 2002, Alisa Camplin became the Olympic Aerials Champion and Australia’s first skiing gold medallist. Four years later in Torino, Camplin won a bronze medal.

At Vancouver in 2010, Lydia Lassila won the gold medal with an Olympic record total score of 214.74. Jacqui Cooper also finished in fifth place in her fifth Olympic Games.

At Sochi in 2014, Lassila won a bronze medal in the women’s aerials to win her second Winter Olympic medal. In the men’s event, Dvid Morris won a silver medal to claim his first Winter Olympic medal.

Athletes competing

  • Laura Peel Aerials Skiing – Competed in 2014
  • Danielle Scott Aerials Skiing – Competed in 2014
  • Samantha Wells Aerials Skiing – Competed in 2014
  • Lydia Lassila Aerials Skiing – Competed in 2014, 2010, 2006, 2002
  • David Morris Aerials Skiing - Competed in 2014, 2010
  • Matt Graham Mogul Skiing – Competed in 2014
  • Madii Himbury Mogul Skiing – Debut
  • Jakara Anthony Mogul Skiing – Debut
  • Britt Cox Mogul Skiing – Competed in 2014, 2010
  • Claudia Gueli Mogul Skiing – Debut
  • Brodie Summers Mogul Skiing - Competed in 2014
  • James Matheson Mogul Skiing – Debut
  • Sami Kennedy-Sim Ski Cross – Competed in 2014
  • Russell Henshaw Ski Slopestyle– Competed in 2014
  • Anton Grimus Ski Cross – Competed in 2014
  • Rohan Chapman-Davies Mogul Skiing – Debut

Events

Aerials

Aerial Skiing involves skiers performing various acrobatic and gymnastic tricks in the air after elevating from a snow-packed kicker (ramp). Each jump receives a score out of 30. Points are awarded for take-off (20% of score), form in the air (50% of score) and landing (30% of score). The total is then multiplied by the jump’s degree of difficulty rating to produce the final score.

The aerials competition consists of a qualification (2 jumps) and final (3 jumps) phase.

Athletes are not allowed to perform the same jump in a phase but can do the same jump in the final as they did in qualification. Skiers must nominate their jumps before the start of the competition phase.

Moguls

The Moguls competition consists of a course approximately 250 metres in length down a steep slope which is covered with round bumps (moguls). There are also two jumps to complete on the course. Competitors are judged by turns (worth up to 15 points) and jumps or ‘air’ (worth up to 7.5 points). The remaining element of the score (also worth up to 7.5 points) is determined by the speed of the run, for a total out of 30.

Ski Cross

There are two phases in Ski Cross for each event: the qualification round and the final round. There are 32 men and 32 women competitors who negotiate a course approximately 1000m long with turns and jumps.

Ski Half-pipe

One competitor at a time travels down the half-pipe and performs a routine that consists of big airs, flips, twists and other tricks. The athletes are judged on overall impression out of a total possible score of 100. Overall impression takes into account amplitude, technical difficulty, style, flow, variation and execution.

There are two phases of the competition – qualification and the final. Scores do not carry over from the qualification to the final.

Ski Slopestyle

The Slopestyle course will feature rails, jibs, hips and a variety of jumps allowing skiers to combine big air and technical tricks into one run. Competitors are scored in an overall impression judging format on amplitude, execution, difficulty of line, landing and use of the course.

There are two phases of the competition – qualification and the final. Scores do not carry over from qualification.

Snowboard

The 2018 PyeongChang Games will see the new snowboard discipline of Big Air making its debut as a replacement for parallel slalom.

Australians and Snowboard

At the 2006 Games in Torino, Australia qualified nine athletes and Torah Bright produced Australia’s best performance at the time to finish fifth in the Half-pipe. Four years later Torah won gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. She also won a silver medal in the half-pipe at Sochi in 2014.

Athletes competing

  • Emily Arthur Halfpipe – Debut
  • Holly Crawford Halfpipe - Competed in 2014, 2010, 2006
  • Nathan Johnstone Halfpipe – Competed in 2014
  • Scott James Halfpipe – Competed in 2014, 2010
  • Kent Callister Halfpipe – Competed in 2014
  • Jessica Rich Slopestyle, Big Air – Debut
  • Tess Coady Slopestyle, Big Air – Debut
  • Jarryd Hughes Snowboard Cross – Competed in 2014
  • Adam Lambert Snowboard Cross – Debut
  • Alex Pullin Snowboard Cross – Competed in 2014, 2010
  • Cameron Bolton Snowboard Cross – Competed in 2014
  • Belle Brockhoff Snowboard Cross - Competed in 2014

Events

Parallel Giant Slalom

The Parallel Giant Slalom involves two riders racing down the same slope on two parallel courses, outlined with gates and triangular flags. The setting of the courses, the terrain and snow coverage must be as identical as possible. The winner of each head-to-head competition progresses to the next round and the loser is eliminated.

Snowboard Cross

Snowboard Cross includes manoeuvring down a challenging course with jumps and obstacles. Each course is purpose-built with freestyle-based features such as big table-top jumps, wu-tangs, step-ups, step-downs, rollers and banked turns that provide several opportunities to overtake.

There are 40 men and 24 women in Snowboard Cross. All athletes compete in two seeding runs individually to get their ranking for the head-to-head racing.

Snowboard Half-pipe

One competitor at a time performs a routine of acrobatic jumps, flips, twists and other manoeuvres on a semi-circle ramp called the halfpipe. Six judges mark the performance on their take-offs, the height they reach above the top of the pipe, and difficulty/execution of their tricks. There are three phases of the competition – heats, semi-finals and final. Scores do not carry over.

Snowboard Slopestyle

Slopestyle courses feature rails, jibs, hips and a variety of jumps allowing riders to combine big air and technical tricks into one run. Six judges mark the overall performance score according to the height, rotations, techniques, and the degree of difficulty with the perfect score being 100 points.

There are two phases of the competition – qualification and final. Scores do not carry over from qualification to the final.

Snowboard Big Air

The Big Air event involves competitors riding a snowboard down a large hill and performing complex tricks with sizable heights and distance after launching off very large jumps. They are judged on the difficulty/execution of their tricks and securing a clean landing.

Riders will need to land two different tricks, or variations of, to have a chance at the podium.

Figure Skating

At the 2018 Games Harley Windsor will become Australia’s first Indigenous athlete to compete at the Winter Games. Windsor will partner with Katia Alexandrovskaya in the pairs figure skating having claimed the 2017 World Junior Championship title.

Australians and Figure Skating

Australia’s best Olympic results were achieved by Adrian Swan (Oslo, 1952) and Anthony Liu (Salt Lake, 2002) who both placed 10th in the Men’s Individual event.

Athletes competing

  • Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya Pairs - Debut
  • Kailani Craine Ladies’ Singles - Debut
  • Brendan Kerry Men’s Singles – Competed in 2014
  • Harley Windsor Pairs - Debut

Events

Ladies’ Singles / Men’s Singles / Pairs

Consists of two separate parts: the short program and the free skating. The short program combines 8 prescribed elements such as jump combinations and spins. In the free skating program, skaters perform an original arrangement of techniques to music of their choice. The top 24 of the 30 competitors in the Singles events and all 20 couples in the Pairs event qualify for the free skate.

In the Pairs, the couple work as one unit, demonstrating overhead lifts, throw-jumps with the man launching his partner, and other manoeuvres.

Ice Dancing

Is similar to ballroom dancing and composed of two parts, short dance and free dance. The short dance consists of a set rhythm and pattern and required elements including a step sequence, twizzles and a lift. Skaters are allowed to choose their own music, so long as it fits the required rhythm/theme. In the free dance, skaters choose their own rhythms, program themes and music. Programs are creative while also completing required elements (step sequences, lifts, dance spins and twizzles).

Team event

Features teams made up of six skaters: one male skater, one female skater, one skating pair and one Ice Dance couple. Points are awarded to each skater/couple. The team with the highest number of aggregate points is declared the winner. This is the first time a Team event has been included in the Olympics for Figure Skating.

Speed Skating

Speed Skating has always been included in the Olympic Games. All the early events, the 500m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m were for men. Women’s events were added at the 1960 Games in Squaw Valley.

Australians and Speed Skating

Australia’s best performance in speed skating came from Colin Coates at Innsbruck in 1976 when he finished sixth in the 10,000m. In Calgary in 1988, Coates became the first Australian in any sport to compete at six Olympic Games.

Daniel Grieg was Australia’s sole speed skater at Sochi 2014. Grieg suffered every skater's worst nightmare when he fell in the opening seconds of his first 500m race - his pet event that he won a World Championship medal in just weeks before the Games – resulting in a 39th place finish. However he turned his performance around with a great 1000m race to finish 22nd.

Athletes competing

  • Daniel Greig500m, 1000m - Competed in 2014

Events

500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m (men and women), 3000m (women), 10,000m (men)

Times are recorded and the best times over the distance win the medals. The pairs racing features a crossover each lap in which racers change lanes, eliminating the advantage of drawing an inside berth.

All events are skated once, with the exception of the men's and women's 500m, which are skated twice. The final result in the 500m is based on the total time of two races.

Team pursuit

Two teams of three athletes each start out from opposite sides and skate eight laps. Ranking is based on the time that the third skater passes the finish line.

Mass Start

A maximum 28 skaters race for 16 laps in an open racing. During the race, there are three intermediate sprints every 4 laps. At each intermediate sprint, the first three skaters will gain 5 – 3 – 1 points. Then, at the last sprint, the first three skaters will gain 60 – 40 – 20 points. The competitor with the most points win the race.

Short Track Speed Skating

Short Track Skating was introduced to the Olympic program in 1992. There was one individual and one relay event for both men and women. At Salt Lake City in 2002, men’s and women’s 1500m events were added to the program.

Australians and Speed Skating

Sochi Olympian Deanna Lockett will line up for her second Games experience in February in the 1000m and 1500m Short Track events. The 22-year-old won her first World Cup medal in October 2017 with 1500m bronze at the Budapest World Cup.

Athletes competing

  • Andy Jung 500m, 1500m - Debut
  • Deanna Lockett 1000m, 1500m - Competed in 2014

Events

500m, 1000m and 1500m for both men and women

Each individual event has 32 participants. Races feature four skaters at a time in a mass start.

Ladies 3000m relay / Men’s 5000m relay

A relay team consists of four members plus a reserve who can substitute in any heat or final. In general, skaters contest one-and-a-half laps each in the relay and take multiple turns on the ice in any order. Changeovers can occur anywhere on the course by touch or push. There are eight teams. Four teams compete in two semi-finals and the top two teams in each advance to the final.

Bobsleigh

In Bobsleigh top speeds can reach over 130km per hour.

Along with curling, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic and speed skating, Bobsleigh is one of the original Winter Olympic sports. The two-woman bobsled was added to the Olympic program at Salt Lake City in 2002.

If the Bobsleigh overturns, but all members of the team have passed the finish line inside it, the descent is considered valid.

Australians and Bobsleigh

Australia first competed in bobsleigh at Calgary 1988 and has been represented at every Games since with the exception of Salt Lake 2002.

At Sochi, Australia was represented in all three events with Jana Pittman making history for Australia as she became the nation’s first female athlete to compete in both Summer and Winter Olympics. Together with driver, Astrid Radjenovic, they delivered Australia’s best result with 14th place in the Two-woman event.

Athletes competing

  • Lachlan James Four-man – Debut
  • Hayden Thomas Smith Four-man – Debut
  • David Mari Two-man, Four-man – Debut
  • Lucas Mata Two-man, Four-man – Competed in 2014

Events

Men’s four-man and two-man / Two-woman event

Each event consists of four heats, held on two consecutive days. The four runs are timed to 0.01 seconds. The final standings are determined by the total time over the four runs; the winner is the sled with the lowest aggregate time. If two teams complete the competition in a tie, they are awarded the same place.

Luge

Luge is one of the oldest winter sports. It involves competitors lying on their backs on a sled with their feet stretched out in front of them and racing down an icy track at speeds at up to 140km per hour. The average length of a luge run is 40 to 60 seconds. Most tracks have between 14 and 21 curves.

It is one of two sports at the Winter Olympics (along with short track speed skating) that is timed to the thousandth of a second.

Australians and Luge

Four Australians have competed at the Olympic Winter Games in luge: Diana at Albertville in 1992 (placed 21st); Roger White (32nd) at Lillehammer in 1994; Hannah Campbell-Pegg (23rd) at Torino in 2006, and (23rd) in Vancouver in 2010; and Alex Ferlazzo (33rd) in 2014.

Athletes competing

  • Alex Ferlazzo, Men’s singles – Competed in 2014

Events

Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Doubles

Singles competitions are decided on the aggregate time of four runs over two consecutive days, while Doubles is a one-day competition of two runs.

Mixed Team Relay

In the Team event, each country fields a Men’s Singles sled, a Doubles sled and a Women’s Singles sled. All three entrants from one team slide one after another with the clock stopping only after the third sled has crossed the finish line. A touch pad at the finish line must be activated by an athlete in one sled before the gate at the start line opens for the following team member to compete. In all events each run counts, and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Skeleton

Skeleton is one of the most daring events of the Olympic Winter Games and involves plummeting head-first down the same track as luge and bobsleigh, on a sled reaching speeds of up to 135km per hour.

Australians and Skeleton

Michelle Steele and Shaun Boyle became Australia's first Olympic skeleton representatives when they competed at the Torino Games in 2006. Steele finished 13th and Boyle 22nd. Steele made her World Cup debut in 2005, just 13 weeks after first trying the sport.

Olympic rookie Jaclyn Narracott is following in her family’s footsteps with her uncle Paul Narracott being Australia’s first athlete to compete at both a Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

Athletes competing

  • John Farrow Men’s – Competed in 2014
  • Jaclyn Narracott Women’s – Debut

Events

Skeleton is held on the same course as bobsleigh and luge disciplines. Skeleton events consist of four heats run over two days, with the gold medal going to the competitor with the best aggregate time. Runs are timed electronically to 0.01 seconds. Only the prone position is allowed, although competitors, who come off the sled temporarily, are not disqualified if they cross the finish line back on the sled.

Sean Pianta and guide Jeremy O'Sullivan. Photo: APC
Sean Pianta and guide Jeremy O'Sullivan. Photo: Australian Paralympic Committee