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Winter Olympics Vocabulary

From the Ski Slopes to the Spanish Vocabulary About Winter Olympics Sports

We bet there are winter sports and Spanish culture lovers over here! You might be asking yourself How on Earth do these people relate the Spanish language with winter sports? It’s actually very simple!

In this easygoing snowy trip, we will teach you the names of different Winter Olympics sports vocabulary in Spanish. No need for linguistic acrobatics; we’re here to make the process as chill as a snowy afternoon.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, kick back, and join us in exploring the slopes of the Spanish vocabulary for sports on ice and snow. No frills, no fuss — just language, sports, and a touch of winter warmth. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Spanish Terms for Winter Olympic Sports

The Winter Olympic Games boast an array of sports, and interestingly, most of them don’t have a Spanish origin. Consequently, their names are predominantly retained in English. 

Picture this scenario: you find yourself in Spain, and someone enthusiastically asks you: ¿Te vienes a hacer snowboarding?” (Are you up for snowboarding?). While winter sports terms may maintain their name in English, Spaniards often sprinkle their unique accent over them, giving them a touch of Spanish flair. On the flip side, some words, like hockey, remain pronounced the same in both languages.

Now, let’s explore the linguistic landscape of winter sports in Spanish.

How to Pronounce Some Spanish Terms for Winter Olympics Sports

The pronunciation of winter sports in Spanish can slightly vary depending on the specific sport and the regional accent of the speaker. Here are some common winter sports and their pronunciations in Spanish using standard pronunciation:

  • Skiing – Pronounced “skee-ing”
  • Snowboarding – Pronounced “snow-bor-ding”
  • Figure skating – Pronounced “fig-yur skay-ting”
  • Ice hockey – Pronounced “ice haw-kee”
  • Bobsleigh – Pronounced “bob-slay” or “bob-sled”
  • Curling – Pronounced “kur-ling”

These pronunciations are in standard Spanish but keep in mind that pronunciation may vary slightly in different Spanish-speaking regions. Check out other Spanish terms for winter sports in the tables that follow:

Winter Olympics Sports

SpanishEnglish
El biatlón (see table below)
Biathlon
El bobsleigh
El bobsled
bobsled
La combinada nórdica
Nordic combined
El curling
Curling
El esquí acrobático
El esquí de estilo libre
El esquí artístico (see table below)
Freestyle skiing
El esquí alpino (see table below)
Alpine skiing
El esquí de fondo (see table below)
Cross country skiing
El hockey (sobre) hielo
Ice hockey
El luge
El trineo ligero
Luge
El patinaje artístico
Figure skating
El patinaje de velocidad
Speed skating
Los saltos de esquí
Ski jumping
El shorttrack
El patinaje de velocidad en pista corta
Short track speed skating
El skeleton
El trineo simple
El trineo sencillo
Skeleton
El snowboard (see table below)
Snowboard

Biathlon

SpanishEnglish
El individual
Individual
La persecución
Pursuit
Los relevos
Relay
Los relevos mixtos
Los relevos por equipos mixtos
Mixed Relay
Los relevos por parejas mixtas
Single mixed relay
La salida en masa
La salida en grupo
Mass start
El sprint
Sprint

Freestyle Skiing

SpanishEnglish
Los aerials
Los aéreos
Aerials
El halfpipe
Halfpipe
Los moguls
El esquí de baches
Moguls
El skicross
El esquí cross
Skicross
El slopestyle
Slopestyle

Snowboard

SpanishEnglish
El eslalon gigante paralelo
Giant parallel slalom
El eslalon paralelo
Paralel slalom
El halfpipe
Halfpipe
El slopestyle
Slopestyle
El snowboard cross
Snowboard cross

Alpine Skiing

SpanishEnglish
El descenso
Downhill
El eslalon
Slalom
El eslalon gigante
Giant Slalom
El eslalon paralelo
Parallel mixed team event
El eslalon súper gigante
Super giant slalom Super-G
La combinada alpina
Alpine combined
La super combinada
Super combined

Cross Country Skiing

SpanishEnglish
El clásico

Classical
El estilo libre
Free style
El esquiatlón
Skiathlon
Los relevos
Relay
La salida en masa
La salida en grupo
Mass start
El sprint individual
Individual sprint
El sprint por equipos
Team sprint

Interesting Facts about Winter Olympics Sports

Did you know that Alpine skiing was first introduced in the Winter Olympics in 1936, showcasing a thrilling descent down the mountainside? Or that curling, often dubbed as chess on ice, has origins dating back to medieval Scotland?

These fascinating tidbits add depth to your understanding of these sports, making your linguistic journey all the more enjoyable when you know what’s behind the scenes, that is in the origin of these winter sports.

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the term biathlon? This unique sport, a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, has roots deeply embedded in military history. The word biathlon comes from the Greek bi, meaning two, and athlon, meaning contest or feat. But its modern-day adaptation took a quirky turn.

What Are the Most Popular Winter Sports in Spain?

Winter sports are not as prevalent in Spain compared to countries with colder climates and more extensive winter landscapes. However, there is still some participation and interest in certain winter sports. The popularity of winter sports in Spain is relatively modest, and the most common ones include:

  • Cross-Country Skiing: Some areas with suitable terrain may offer cross-country skiing opportunities.
  • Ice Skating: In urban areas or places with ice rinks, ice skating can be a recreational activity during the winter months.
  • Skiing: Spain has several ski resorts in the Pyrenees and the Sierra Nevada, where skiing is a popular winter activity.
  • Snowboarding: Similar to skiing, snowboarding attracts enthusiasts to Spain’s ski resorts.
Man snowboarding in the mountains
Man snowboarding in the mountains

Where Can You Practice Winter Olympics Sports in Spain?

While these winter sports are enjoyed by some, Spain is generally better known for its warm climate and outdoor activities associated with milder weather. The popularity of winter sports may vary regionally, with more interest in areas with accessible ski resorts.

Spain offers several regions where you can practice winter sports, particularly in the mountain areas. Some of the notable locations include:

Sierra Nevada

Located in the south of Spain, near Granada, Sierra Nevada is one of the most popular winter sports destinations. It has a ski resort with numerous slopes and facilities for skiing and snowboarding.

Pyrenees Mountains

The Pyrenees, which form the natural border between Spain and France, offer various ski resorts. Popular destinations in the Spanish Pyrenees include Baqueira-Beret, Formigal, and Candanchú.

Catalonia

Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, has several ski resorts in the Pyrenees. La Molina, La Masella and Vall de Núria are among the well-known skiing areas.

Aran Valley

Located in the heart of the Pyrenees, the Aran Valley, specifically in the province of Lleida, is home to Baqueira-Beret, one of the largest and most prestigious ski resorts in Spain.

Central System Mountains

Some areas in the Central System mountain range, like the Puerto de Navacerrada in the Community of Madrid, may offer opportunities for skiing and snow-related activities during the winter months.


These locations provide a range of winter sports opportunities, including skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and other activities, depending on the specific location and facilities available. Keep in mind that the availability of winter sports may be seasonal, typically during the colder months of the year.



Final Thoughts

We trust that this post has equipped you with the essential Spanish vocabulary for Winter Olympics sports. Don’t forget that we have the audio examples provided to enhance both your comprehension and listening skills.

For an extra boost, explore our Playing Winter Sports Audio & eBook, where you can unlock additional phrases and words, ensuring you sound like a Spaniard.

As you navigate your Spanish language journey, consider practicing this vocabulary in your conversations. And if you’re up for a challenge, engage with us in the comments below by answering these questions:

  • ¿Qué deportes de invierno practicas? 
  • ¿Qué deportes viste en los últimos Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno?

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