We all know snowboarding and skiing are the flagship events of the Winter Olympics, but what about the lesser-known sports?

Curling

[caption id="attachment_30711" align="aligncenter" width="545"]winter olympics World Curling Federation[/caption] In recent years, due to the irony-and-obscure-loving culture of today, curling has become more and more popular, viewer-wise. But lemme break down the game for you to get a better understanding on why it deserves more love. Competitive sweeping -- or Curling -- is a team sport that's played by two teams of four players on a sheet of ice. It has been nicknamed "the Roaring Game," which comes from the rumbling sound the 44-pound granite stones make while sliding across the ice. Overall, the sport is a lot like shuffleboard, with each team taking turns sliding the stones across the ice in an attempt to hit a circular target marked on the ice.

Biathlon

[gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="30707,30705"] Cross-country skiing, and shooting guns. I mean, seriously? Sure, flipping tons of times in the air and landing is cool and all, I guess, but the combined strain of cross-country skiing mixed with skilled marksmanship is the REAL show. The biathlon has roots in survival skills of Scandinavia, where people hunted on skis with rifles slung over their shoulders.

Skeleton

[caption id="attachment_30708" align="aligncenter" width="467"]winter olympics Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images - OlympicChannel.com[/caption] I'll be honest here (and completely proving the point of this article), I have NEVER heard of Skeleton before in my LIFE before writing this article. But plot twist ... we have ALL heard of this Olympic sport. Imagine if you will, the winters of your childhood -- plummeting head first on a sled down a hill. There ya go -- that's Skeleton. Well, not really, it's a little more dangerous than your run-of-the-mill sledding session. According to the official Olympic website, "Skeleton racing involves plummeting head-first down a steep and treacherous ice track on a tiny sled." The site also notes Skeleton is considered the world's first sliding sport -- Neat!

Nordic Combined

[gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="30706,30710"] Nordic Combined joins together anguishing cross-country skiing and ski jumping. The first major competition was held in 1892 in Oslo at the first Holmenkollen ski jump. The event officially joined the Olympic roster in 1924 -- until the 1950s, the cross-country race was held first, followed by the ski jumping. It has since been reversed. The Summer Olympics get a TON of love, and it seems the Winter Olympic Games have a bit of a shadow over them. Sure, there aren't as many events, but the altitude, cold, and sheer effort these sports take is astounding. Overall, I think the Winter Olympics deserve more love -- especially these sports! Will you be tuning into the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang? What event are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

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