The Tokyo Olympics have marked the return of fan-favorite events like swimming and gymnastics. But viewers also are being treated to a number of sports — such as karate, skateboarding and sport climbing — new to the Games.
And to better understand and enjoy these sports, casual viewers may need to learn some new sports terms.
Here are some of those sports terms:
Sport climbing: Three types of sport climbing events will take place in Tokyo: speed climbing, where two climbers compete to make it to the top of a wall first; lead climbing, where athletes climb as high as they possibly can within a specified time, and bouldering, where climbers follow fixed routes within a specified time. Common phrases you might hear mentioned across the three events include:
- Problem: A climber’s term for a bouldering route.
- Crux: The crux of a climbing route is considered its most difficult section.
- Crimp: A small climbing hold, done by wrapping the thumb over the index finger in a kind of pinching motion.
- Bridging: A climber in a corner might spread their legs so that each foot touches a separate wall. A bridge refers to a climber’s legs, and bridging refers to the act of balancing by doing the splits.
- Dyno: Short for dynamic, it describes a difficult move that involves jumping between holds and breaking contact with the wall completely.
- Deadpoint: The moment in a dynamic move where the climber grabs a hold while moving between upwards acceleration and falling back down to the ground.
- Flag: Sticking a leg out against a wall for balance.
- Smearing: A climbing move that employs the wall, rather than holds, on a route. It involves smearing a foot down a wall to gain momentum in the absence of a foothold.
- Pumped: A sign that a climber is weakened or in pain. It refers to bulging forearms that are pumped full of blood during a more grueling climb.
Skateboarding: This sport is new to this year’s Olympics. The men and women’s street events were held last week, with the park events taking place this week. Unlike street skating, where skaters navigate stairs, handrails, benches and other obstacles typically found in urban streetscapes, the park events feature riders tackling a hollowed-out course of curves and bowl-shaped ramps. Here are some key skateboarding terms to keep in mind, according to the San Francisco Exploratorium’s skateboard science glossary.
- Deck: The flat part of the skateboard a rider stands on.
- Bail: When a skateboarder falls or decides in mid-air to not land a trick.
- Bank: Any kind of incline used for a trick.
- Fakie: Skating backwards.
- Goofy-footed: Riding with the right foot at the front of the board (instead of the left foot, which is more common).
- Grind: Scraping the board’s axles on any kind of railing or curve.
- Ollie: A jump that starts with the rider tapping the tail of the board on the ground. It’s the basis of most tricks in skateboarding.
- Kickflip: A variation of the Ollie where the skater kicks the board into a spin before landing on it.
- Noseslide: Sliding the underside of the nose end of the board across the edge or lip of an obstacle.
- Tailslide: Sliding the underside of the board’s tail end across the edge of an obstacle.