Monobob: what you need to know about the new women-only event of the Winter Olympics

In the monobob event, a solo racer starts, steers and brakes the bobsled all by herself.

Patrick Goosen/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Monobob is one of seven new sporting events making its debut at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

A solo version of bobsledding, it’s only open to female athletes at the Beijing Games and, like most other new events, aims to improve gender equality at the Olympics: female athletes make up 45% of participants at this year’s Games, the highest percentage in history. But the International Olympic Committee has set itself the goal of achieving full gender parity by the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Here’s what to know about monobob, who to watch, and what to know about other winter sporting events kicking off at the Beijing Games.

To learn more, learn everything you need to know about beijing 2022including what happened at the opening ceremonies and how you start the winter olympics no real snow.

What is the monobob?

It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a one-person bobsled race, with riders hurtling down a twisty ice slide at speeds exceeding 70 mph.

Monobob competitions were held in the men’s and women’s categories at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, in 2016 and in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2020.

In traditional team bobsledding, members take on different roles: pushing, steering and braking a sled that can weigh more than 350 pounds, according to the IOC.

In monobob, the solo racer must do everything on his own.

Women's Monobob Winter Olympics

Kaillie Humphries of the United States winning a round of the women’s monobob at the 2021 IBSF World Championships in Altenberg, Germany.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

“Winning isn’t just about bloated gear. We all have the same runners. We can see who’s the best on top,” Canadian Cynthia Appiah told Olympics.com.

The woman with the best four-run cumulative time will win gold.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the Beijing Games

When will the monobob events take place at the 2022 Winter Games?

The new sport joins the two-woman race and the two- and four-man events at the Yanqing National Sliding Center, about 45 miles outside Beijing in the mountainous region of Xiaohaituo. The women’s monobob competition begins with two rounds on February 13 at 9:30 a.m. local time (Saturday February 12 at 5:30 p.m. PT, 8:30 p.m. ET).

Rounds three and four will take place the following day at 9:30 a.m. local time. (Sunday, February 13 at 5:30 p.m. PT, 8:30 p.m. ET), with the medalists announced around 11:45 a.m. Beijing time (7:45 p.m. PT, 10:45 p.m. ET).

monobob women winter olympics

Canada’s Christine De Bruin competes in the women’s monobob event at the BMW IBSF Bob & Skeleton World Cup in Winterberg, Germany in December.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Why did the Olympics add the monobob?

Women competing in bobsledding are relatively new – the first two-man bobsleigh event was not held until the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. Hosting a solo event gives the smaller group of bobsledders a better chance of winning gold.

The event also opens the door to countries that don’t have a long tradition of winter sports – or a deep bench of bobsledders.

What are the monospoolers to watch out for?

Team USA has the top contenders in women’s monobob: Canadian-American Kallie Humphries and defending champion Elana Meyers Taylor.

Humphries, a two-time Olympic champion in the two-man bobsleigh, represented Canada until 2020.

Monobob Olympics Elana Meyers Taylor

Elana Meyers Taylor celebrates winning the gold medal competing in the women’s monobob at the BMW IBSF Bob & Skeleton World Cup in January.

Patrick Goosen/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Meyers Taylor won the overall World Monobob Series in 2021-22. She missed her chance to be the flag bearer in the opening ceremonies on Friday because she was under COVID-19 quarantine but was cleared on Saturday – well before the first monobob run on February 13.

Other bobsledders to beat include Germans Laura Nolte and Mariama Jamanka, Canadians Christine de Bruin and Cynthia Appiah and Australian Breeana Walker.

What other new events have been added to the 2022 Winter Olympics?

In addition to monobob, several other Winter Olympic events are making their debut this year.

Freeskiing Big Air for men and women makes its first official appearance this winter in Beijing, following the arrival of the Big Air snowboard at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

Skiers slide down a ramp and then launch themselves into the air to perform daredevil tricks. Judges evaluate skiers based on trick difficulty, height, execution and landing. Competitors are judged on the best of three runs.

The Big Air ski events took place on February 7 and 8: On the men’s side, Norway won the gold medal, the United States the silver and Sweden the bronze. On the women’s side, China won gold, France silver and Switzerland bronze.

Another new event contributing to this goal is mixed ski jumpingheld about 100 miles from Beijing in Zhangjiakou.

Five judges award points for style, distance and softness of landing, according to NBC Sports, “as well as gate and wind compensation points.” The lowest and highest scores of the four-person team are eliminated.

The mixed team ski jumping events took place on February 7, with Slovenia winning gold, the Russian Olympic Committee silver and Canada bronze.

Freestyle Skiing Olympiads

Plateau, USA’s Ashley Caldwell during Freestyle Skiing Women’s Aerials practice at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

mixed freestyle ski jumps is also a relative newcomer, with teams of three — either two men and a woman or two women and a man — performing somersaults, spins and other stunts on skis. Teammates’ scores are combined to determine the winners.

“If you’ve ever watched an aerial ski competition, you know you’ll see at least one fall,” Laura Peel, world aerial freestyle champion, promised Olympics.com.

The freestyle skiing events (mixed teams) took place on February 10. The United States won gold, China silver and Canada bronze.

This year, snowboard cross adds a mixed event for the first time, with a man and a woman on each team. The event works like a two-man relay in a knockout bracket, according to the International Ski Federation: male team members go first, with their counterparts released from the gate as soon as their teammate crosses the finish line. arrival.

The team that crosses the finish line in the shortest time wins the gold medal.

The mixed team snowboard cross events will take place on February 12 at 10 a.m. local time (Friday, February 11 at 6 p.m. PT, 9 p.m. ET).

short track speed skating

The women’s 1500m short track speed skating final at the Invitation Cup in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands in January.

Vincent Jannink/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

In the new mixed short track speed skating relayteams of four athletes (two men and two women) take turns in a 2,000 meter (1.25 mile) relay.

The mixed short track speed skating relay ended on February 5th. After a spectacular crash and a photo-finish, China edged out Italy to win the event’s first gold medal.

Read more: The Beijing Games are the first Winter Olympics to use almost 100% fake snow