The Winter Olympics are upon us once again, and it’s hard not to sit in front of the TV and dream of what it would feel like to be one of these athletes on the world stage. It’s also hard to understand some of the terminology used while watching some sports. How can you accurately picture yourself standing on the podium if you think a chicken salad equals chopped lettuce and some poultry?

Don’t worry, at Quicken Loans we take what seems complex and make it easy to understand. We’ve got translations of some of the terms used in popular winter Olympic sports so you can judge those triple salchows with confidence.

Sources for translations: Mpora.com, USFSA.org, NBCOlympics.com, REI.com.

Curling

Sport in which two teams of four players slide stones across ice toward a target of concentric circles.

Button

What it sounds like it is: An item to secure clothing; a means to an elevator.

Translation: The 1-foot circle at the center of the house (the circular scoring area).

End

What it sounds like it is: Conclusion of a movie, game, event or book.

Translation: A division of play similar to an inning in baseball. An end is complete when 16 stones have been shot. The score is determined at the conclusion of each end. There are 10 ends in men’s and women’s curling and eight ends for mixed doubles.

Hack

What it sounds like it is: To cut or chop with heavy blows; a shortcut or more efficient way.

Translation: The rubber foothold where curlers begin their delivery. It’s located 125 feet from the center of the house.

Hammer

What it sounds like it is: A tool with a heavy metal head used to break things or drive in nails; a famous ’80s rapper.

Translation: The last stone shot in each end.

Hog Line

What it sounds like it is: A line of adorable pigs in matching outfits kicking in unison.

Translation: The line behind which a player must release a stone. It’s located 21 feet from the tee. If a stone does not travel beyond the far hog line, it’s removed from play.

House

What it sounds like it is: A structure in which people live; the reason why Quicken Loans wakes up in the morning.

Translation: The circular scoring area made up of four concentric circles measuring 12, 8, 4 and 1 feet in diameter from outside to inside.

Stone

What it sounds like it is: Solid material used for building; a gem or jewel.

Translation: A polished, rare, dense granite weighing about 42 pounds that’s quarried on a Scottish island named Ailsa Craig.

Ice Skating

Sport in which individuals, duos or groups perform on figure skates on top of frozen water.

Axel

What it sounds like it is: A rod passing through the center of a wheel; THE Beverly Hills cop.

Translation: The only jump that takes off from a forward position. Named for inventor Axel Paulsen, it takes off from the forward outside edge and is landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. A single consists of 1.5 revolutions, a double is 2.5 and a triple is 3.5.

Camel Spin

What it sounds like it is: A sequence in which several desert-dwelling mammals move in synchronized rotation.

Translation: A spin that is done on one leg, with the free leg extended backward with knee higher than hip level. The body remains in this spiral position while simultaneously spinning.

Death Spiral

What it sounds like it is: A downward path by an out-of-control aircraft; a situation that typically ends in disaster.

Translation: A move in pairs skating where the man rotates in a pivot position while holding one hand of his partner who is rotating horizontally around him low and parallel to the ice.

Flip

What it sounds like it is: A turnover using a sudden movement; sudden enthusiasm or anger; the buying and selling of homes quickly to make a profit.

Translation: A toe-pick-assisted jump taken off from the back inside edge of one foot and landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.

Loop Jump

What it sounds like it is: A possibly British version of a jump rope.

Translation: An edge jump, taken off from a back outside edge and landed on the same back outside edge.

Lutz

What it sounds like it is: A level of clumsiness that is so strong, the letter C isn’t necessary.

Translation: A toe-pick-assisted jump named after Alois Lutz, taken off from a back outside edge and landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. The skater glides backward on a wide curve, taps their toe pick into the ice and rotates in the opposite direction of the curve.

Salchow

What it sounds like it is: Dog food completely derived from salmon.

Translation: Named after Ulrich Salchow, it’s an edge jump taken off from the back inside edge of one foot and landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.

Toe Loop

What it sounds like it is: A new craze where tweens exchange friendship toe rings instead of bracelets.

Translation: A toe-pick-assisted jump that takes off and lands on the same back outside edge.

Twizzle

What it sounds like it is: The knock-off version of your favorite red rope candy that can only be found in underground markets.

Translation: A traveling turn on one foot with one or more rotations, which is quickly rotated with a continuous action.

Luge

Sport where one or two people ride a flat sled down a frozen track lying face up and feet first.

Block

What it sounds like it is: Material with flat surfaces on each side; area bounded by four streets; where Jenny’s from.

Translation: The beginning of the start motion when the athlete rocks the sled forward.

Bootie

What it sounds like it is: Pirate treasure; cute fall shoes that are shorter than boots; that honky-tonk-ba-donk-a-donk.

Translation: The name for a luge racing shoe.

Compression

What it sounds like it is: Reducing size or volume by pressing together.

Translation: The phase of the start motion after the block. The athlete uses the hips to push the sled backward.

Extension

What it sounds like it is: A part added to enlarge or prolong something.

Translation: The phase of the start motion after the pull (the forward movement of the start). The athlete extends the legs to lock into the sled.

Skeleton

Sport where a person rides a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down.

Heat

What it sounds like it is: Source of warmth; intense feelings in a moment; what Michiganders dream of in winter.

Translation: A single run down the track during a race. All Olympic races have four heats.

Line

What it sounds like it is: A narrow mark or band; the thing you forgot to say in high school drama club; cheese-puff commentary in social settings.

Translation: The fastest route down the track. A high line takes the sled close to the top lip of a turn, while a low line takes the sled closer to the bottom of a turn.

Skiing

Sport in which participants use skis to glide on snow.

Aerials

What it sounds like it is: The most amazing selfies taken with a drone.

Translation: Airborne, gymnastic-type maneuvers performed on skis. Done by freestyle skiers who first ski off a jump.

Backscratcher

What it sounds like it is: That tiger-headed stick you received over the holidays at the White Elephant gift exchange.

Translation: A move when the skier touches his back with the tails of both skis, legs together with his knees bent underneath his body and skis parallel.

Binding

What it sounds like it is: Strong covering to hold book pages together; an obligation that can’t be broken.

Translation: A binding is what keeps the athlete connected to the snowboard. Also used in skiing, a ski binding is designed to eject the skier in the case of a fall, which does not happen with a snowboard binding.

Forerunner

What it sounds like it is: A warning of something to come.

Translation: An athlete who takes a run down the course before a race to ensure that the course is safe.

Hairpin

What it sounds like it is: A stylish mechanism to fasten hair.

Translation: Two race (slalom) gates set vertically down the hill in sequence.

Mogul

What it sounds like it is: A well-known powerful or rich person.

Translation: Mounds of snow formed by skiers repeatedly turning and compacting the snow into piles.

Slalom

What it sounds like it is: A word that should never be used in a poem.

Translation: A ski race down a winding course marked by flags or poles. It has the shortest course and the quickest turns.

Super-G

What it sounds like it is: What every rapper wished to be in 1994.

Translation: Stands for super giant slalom. A speed event that requires more technical skills than a downhill race.

Tuck

What it sounds like it is: A term stolen from the Summer Olympics.

Translation: A position where the skier squats and keeps their arms close to the body to reduce wind resistance and maximize speed.

Snowboarding

Sport that involves a snowboard attached to a rider’s feet while descending a snow-covered slope.

Bone

What it sounds like it is: Those things we have 206 of in our bodies.

Translation: To straighten out one or both legs during a trick. “Boning out” a leg while grabbing the snowboard can add flair to a trick.

Chicken Salad

What it sounds like it is: The thing we ate for lunch every day in January in an attempt to follow a resolution.

Translation: Move where the rear hand reaches between the legs and grabs the heel edge between the bindings while the front leg is boned.

Cork

What it sounds like it is: A bottle stopper; a popular sound on New Year’s Eve.

Translation: An off-axis rotation. If a rider inverts twice, the trick becomes a double cork; a third invert makes it a triple cork, etc.

McTwist

What it sounds like it is: A vanilla-and-chocolate ice cream cone at that one burger place.

Translation: Named after skateboarder Mike McGill, it’s an inverted aerial where the snowboarder rotates 540 degrees or more and does a front flip.

While you can’t score well in a sport while sitting on your couch, you can score a simple process for a home loan. If you’re ready to refinance or purchase a home, check out Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans® – no training required.

For more translations, check out our Super Bowl commercial. 

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