This entry is comprised of four videos that Vox featured in a special week of Winter Sports programming, designed to coincide with the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
In ‘The hidden reason Olympic sledding is so dangerous’, we explore the growing research that shows that the act of sledding is a main driver of brain injury. With every run, athletes are exposed to immense force and vibration, causing micro-concussions that can ultimately add up to major damage. Those concussions are mild enough that they can go undiagnosed. But among sledding athletes the symptoms that indicate a micro-concussion — headaches, dizziness, etc. — are so common they have a special nickname: “sled head.” We interviewed coaches, athletes and specialists to explain the true risks of this sport.
In ‘Why the Olympic monobob event is only for women’, we explore the complexity of efforts to level the playing field when it comes to gender in Olympic sports through the lens of a single sport: the monobob. Bobsledding is one of the oldest Olympic sports, dating back to the very first Winter Games in 1924. Back then, women were barred from competing in nearly every event except figure skating. Now, bobsledding events are divided into a four-person bob, which is exclusive to men; a two-person bob; and a monobob, which is exclusive to women. This video explains the differences both athletically and financially, and with the help of women bobsledders, shows us why the sport is still a long way from equality.
In ‘The secret to winning a short track speed skating race’, we interview speed skating legend Apolo Ohno to break down “the perfect race” and why this seemingly simple event is full of technical challenges that need to be mastered in order to win. By building our own mini short-track rink and with Ohno’s expert commentary, we recreate the conditions for that perfect race and explain just how awesome an accomplishment this Olympic event can be.
And in ‘Why ski jumpers hold their legs in a V’, we dive even deeper into physics by exploring why the aesthetics of ski jumps have evolved to optimize the sport. Through interviews with coaches and athletes and our own custom-designed 3D animations, we explain the power of the perfect ski pose.