The 2014 Winter Olympics have begun! With coverage on NBC already in full effect, and this time around there’s something for everyone, especially with a record amount of programming for all 98 events. Not to mention, this is quite an Olympics of firsts. We’ve picked the best of the fun facts that are already making Sochi memorable:
1. Most Expensive Olympics Games. Ever.
With yet-to-be-revealed performing acts for Friday’s opening ceremonies and stockpiles of snow on hand (yes, Sochi is actually a resort city), we’re beginning to see why this Games has cost more than $50 billion to put together. We’re definitely intrigued.
2. Sporting Events Before the Opening Ceremonies
For the first time ever, to accommodate 12 new events in the mix, competition begins a full day before the Parade of Nations. Two of the new additions, the team figure skating event and men’s/women’s snowboard slopestyle, took place on Thursday.
About 1,300 medals will be awarded in Sochi during the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games in March. For the gold medalists who win on February 15th, there’s an extra medal to take home–ones embedded with fragments of a meteor (the largest to strike Earth in over a century) that showered on Russia in 2013! Talk about a win that’s out of this world.
4. Women’s Ski Jumping Debuts….At Last!
Men’s ski jumping has been part of the program since the first Winter Olympics in 1924. With alpine ski racing favorite Lindsey Vonn out of Sochi due to injury, all eyes are on Lindsey Van (who helped lead the decade-long fight for the event’s inclusion) alongside teammate (and current world champion) Sarah Hendrickson.
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