Winter Sports

Photographer Jeff Schultz and painter Jon Van Zyle have co-created a series of artworks capturing Alaska and the sled dog community.

For 50 Years, Dogsled Teams Have Been Testing Their Mettle at the Iditarod

Three men who have lived and breathed the Alaskan race for much of its history recall how much has changed—and what has stayed the same

South, by Joan Mitchell, 1989.

Women Who Shaped History

A New Appreciation for Artist Joan Mitchell

The painter was also a formidable presence on the ice

Ski jumpers use aerodynamics and physics to overcome gravity – at least for a while.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

The Freaky Physics of Ski Jump

Olympic ski jumpers do everything they can do counteract the effects of gravity and fly as far as they can down hills

Fireworks fill the sky over the "Bird's Nest" arena in Beijing on January 30, 2022

The Beijing Winter Olympics

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

As you watch the Beijing Winter Olympics, enjoy this guide to the history, science and thrills of the worldwide athletic competition

In the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver, the USA's Hannah Teter (above: in action during the women's snowboard halfpipe competition) took home silver. Her boots are now in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

Meet the Trailblazers in Women’s Olympic Snowboarding

The careers of Shannon Dunn-Downing, Kelly Clark, Amy Purdy and Hannah Teter are recognized in the Smithsonian collections; learn their stories

Snowboarder Shannon Dunn competes for Team USA in the 1998 Winter Olympics, where she won the bronze medal in half-pipe.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

A Brief History of Snowboarding

Rebellious youth. Olympic glory. How a goofy American pastime conquered winter

The second ski was better preserved than the first, perhaps because it was buried more deeply in the ice.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Extract 1,300-Year-Old Wooden Ski From Norwegian Ice

Seven years after finding the first half of the pair, researchers have finally reunited the ski with its mate

The Dollar lift was 2,360 feet long and rose 634 feet in elevation.

How a Railroad Engineer From Nebraska Invented the World's First Ski Chairlift

The device was part of an elaborate plan on behalf of Union Pacific to boost passenger rail travel in the American West

70 percent of drowning deaths in Canada involve lake ice, and these accidents are becoming more common as climate change causes more temperature swings and moderate weather

New Research

Climate Change Causes Weaker, More Dangerous Lake Ice

Global warming causes temperature swings that leave ice weakened for days, with deadly consequences

With air temperature at -17 degrees Celsius and water at 1 degree Celsius, Finns take a dip in an unfrozen hole of water after a sauna session in Vaasa, Finland.

Covid-19

What Americans Can Learn From Winter-Loving Cultures

With large indoor gatherings off-limits, the Covid-19 pandemic is giving everyone more reason to stay outside

A team photo of the 1919 team that won the Pacific Coast Hockey Association championship

Covid-19

When the Stanley Cup Final Was Canceled Because of a Pandemic

In 1919, a second wave of cases of the previous year's flu lead to the sudden death of the hockey championship

Pierre de Coubertin first publicly proposed reviving the Olympic Games in 1892.

Speech That Inspired the Modern Olympics Is Now the Most Expensive Sports Memorabilia Ever Sold

An anonymous buyer purchased the manuscript, penned by French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin in 1892, for $8.8 million

The Zamboni totally transformed winter sports by giving chopped-up ice surfaces a fresh-frozen smoothness in a matter of minutes.

How the Zamboni Changed the Game for Ice Rinks

Invented by rink owner Frank Zamboni, the ice-clearing machine celebrates its 70th anniversary this year

Expect a hair-raising good time at the annual International Hair Freezing Contest.

Expect Stiff Competition at This Year’s International Hair Freezing Contest

The annual event at Canada’s Takhini Hot Pools draws people from around the world competing for the title of the world’s coolest ’do

Larry Kwong in the 1940s

Larry Kwong, Gifted Athlete Who Broke NHL's Color Barrier, Dies at 94

Kwong, the first athlete of Asian heritage to play in an NHL game, battled racism and discrimination as he made a name for himself on the ice

Members of the U. S. Figure Skating Team pose before boarding Belgian Sabena airline plane at Idle Wild airport, Feb. 14, 1961, New York. The plane crashed Feb. 15 near the Brussels, Belgium Airport killing all on board.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

The Devastating Impact of the 1961 Plane Crash That Wiped Out the Entire U.S. Figure Skating Team

On this day in 1961, the U.S. figure skating team was headed to the World Championships in Prague. They never made it.

Figure skater Adam Rippon will be one of two openly gay Americans competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics, a first for the U.S.

Winter Olympics

A Brief History of Openly Gay Olympians

Americans Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy are the latest LGBTQ athletes to go for the gold

Soohorang, mascot of the Winter Olympics 2018, stands in the Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea.

Meet the 2018 Olympic Artists in Residence

Four artists who are also athletes will make art by Olympians for Olympians at the PyeongChang Olympics

Every dazzling jump on the ice—like Yuzuru Hanyu's quadruple Lutz at the 2017 Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Moscow, Russia—requires a mastery of balance, rotational speed and angular momentum.

Winter Olympics

How Physics Keeps Figure Skaters Gracefully Aloft

Every twist, turn and jump relies on a mastery of complex physical forces

Figure skating at the Olympic winter games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 1936

Winter Olympics

A Brief History of Women’s Figure Skating

You might be surprised to learn that this sport where women now shine was initially seen as solely the purview of male athletes

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