winter sports(redirected from winter-sports)
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the collective name for skating, skiing, and sledding sports and games, with competitions held on ice and snow.
Winter sports include the biathlon, a ski race combined with rifle shooting; bobsledding, a high-speed descent on guided all-metal sleds down a special run—an ice-covered chute with a reinforced-concrete foundation; ice boating, a race over ice on boats with sails; Alpine skiing, including downhill, slalom, and giant slalom; skiing, including cross-country races over varying distances, ski jumping, and various Nordic combined events; tobogganing, a descent on specially designed sleds; speed skating, a race on ice skates; figure skating; ice hockey; and bandy. National forms of winter sports also exist, such as races with reindeer, dog-team derbies, and curling. Motor racing on the ice has become popular, for which national and world championships are held.
Winter sports have thrived in Austria, the German Democratic Republic, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the USSR, the USA, Finland, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, and Japan. World and European championships are held, and in the USSR national and sports societies’ championships as well as Union-republic and trade-union Spartakiads are organized. The Winter Olympic Games have been held since 1924.
The development of winter sports is directed by the corresponding international sports federations: bobsledding and tobogganing, founded in 1923, uniting 17 national federations as of 1970; skiing (1924, 47 national federations as of 1970); skating (1892, 38 national federations as of 1970); the biathlon and modern pentathlon (1957, 22 national federations as of 1970); sledding (1957, 26 national federations as of 1970); ice hockey (1908, 31 national federations as of 1970); and bandy (1954, 7 national federations as of 1970).
Outstanding successes in international official winter sports competition have been achieved by such Soviet athletes as I. G. Artamonova, O. G. Goncharenko, E. R. Grishin, M. G. Isakova, L. P. Skoblikova, and B. A. Shilkov (speed skating); L. V. Baranova, K. S. Boiarskikh, V. P. Vedenin, A. P. Kolchina, P. K. Kolchin, V. S. Kuzin, G. A. Kulakova, and A. S. Oliunina (ski racing); L. E. Belousova and O. A. Protopopov, I. K. Rodnina and A. N. Ulanov, L. A. Pakhomova and A. G. Gorshkov (figure skating); V. P. Belousov and G. lu. Napalkov (ski jumping); V. F. Mamatov, V. M. Melanin, and A. I. Tikhonov (biathlon); and the USSR ice hockey and bandy teams.
V. I. SAVVIN and IU. S. PERMINOV