olympic torch

The Olympic Cauldron at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. 

Every four years since Jan. 25, 1924, countries from around the world have gathered to celebrate the Winter Olympics. The Winter Olympics have fewer sports than the Summer Olympics but definitely have what some may call more obscure sports.

Here are five of the most obscure Winter Olympic sports:

Biathlon

The sport consists of a standard cross-country race with occasional checkpoints in which the athletes have to shoot at a target. Biathlon has its roots in Scandinavia where people hunted on skis with rifles on their backs.

Bobsleigh

The race starts with an initial push where athletes push the bobsled to gain speed as they run alongside it. Then the athletes jump into the sled, the order in which they do depends on if its a two or four person team. They have to settle down in the sled to eliminate any type of friction that can slow the bobsled down.

Curling

There are four players on each team — one player delivers the rock, two teammates sweep and the fourth teammate sets the target. The math takes place over 10 innings and to score, your team has to place the rock closest to the bottom. Depending on how many rocks your team has closest to the bottom determines how many points you get.

Luge

This sport starts with the athletes pushing off with their hands while they sit facing forward on their sled. They stir with their calves and attempt to go as fast as they can. Luge is a swiss term for a small sled.

Skeleton

The race starts with the athletes pushing their sled for about 50 meters as their only chance to gain speed. They head down an ice track head first at speeds that can reach 90 mph.

Definitions of sports gathered from olympics.org and the The New York Times.

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