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12 Events That Will Debut at This Year's Olympics

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1. Figure Skating Team Event (Mixed)

Teams are made up of six figure skaters in total—one male, one female, one pair, and ice dance couple—and over the course of three days, each squad is awarded points based on technical and presentation merit of each routine. The team with the highest aggregated score wins the Gold Medal. Ten teams will compete in the Figure Skating Team Event, including Canada, Russia, Japan, and the United States.

2. Biathlon Mixed Relay

Teams consist of four members, two males and two females. Each event starts with the two female biathletes skiing a six-kilometer leg, after which the two male competitors ski a 7.5-kilometer leg in an overall relay race. All biathletes are required to shoot five targets in two bouts—one prone and one standing—and if a competitor misses a target, they have to perform a 150-meter penalty loop for every target missed. The mixed relay team with the fastest combined time wins the event.

3. and 4. Ski Half-Pipe (Men’s and Women’s)

For the first time ever, skiers get to try their hand on the Olympic halfpipe, an event previously available only for snowboarders. In two separate events, 30 men and 24 women compete in two runs in two phases—one qualification and one final—where the top 12 skiers advance to the final round. Athletes are judged on technical execution, amplitude, variety, and difficulty.

5. and 6. Snowboard Slopestyle (Men’s and Women’s)

The Snowboard Slopestyle events include 30 male and 24 female snowboarders who descend a 655m course that is made up of a vertical drop, three rails, and three jumps. Each individual athlete must complete the course performing various tricks in two runs with three phases—qualification, semi-final, and final. The competitors are judged on an overall impression of tricks including variety, execution, amplitude, difficulty, and landing. The highest scoring run for each event wins through to the final.

7. Women’s Ski Jump

For the first time in the Winter Olympics' 90-year history, women get to propel themselves off the Ski Jump, too. The best score is taken out of two runs with each skier being judged for distance and style based on a jump from a 106-meter (347.7 foot) hill. Each skier starts with 60 points with two additional points awarded for every meter jumped over 95 meters, while two points are deducted for every meter jumped under that mark. The Gold Medal is awarded to the highest final score.

8. and 9. Snowboard Parallel Slalom (Men’s and Women’s)

In two separate events, snowboarders go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all tournament. Two snowboarders race each other down a 320-meter course in two qualifying runs. The loser of the first run must start the second run with a time disadvantage based on the time lost during the first run. The first snowboarder to cross the finish line on the second run wins. The Men’s and Women’s Snowboard Parallel Slalom both feature 32 boarders with the first round consisting of 16 head-to-head races.

10. and 11. Ski Slopestyle (Men’s and Women’s)

The Men’s and Women’s Ski Slopestyle features 30 men and 24 women freestyle skiing in two runs over two phases where the best of the runs is counted. The judges take the best score of the top 12 skiers to advance after they ski down a 565-meter course consisting of a vertical drop, three rails, and three jumps. Points are awarded for execution, style, variety, difficulty, risk, and progression. The highest scoring run during the final phase wins.

12. Luge Team Relay (Mixed)

Teams consist of four members in total—men’s single, women’s single, and double (two male, two female, or mixed). Each team must complete a 1384-meter course with a vertical drop and 16 curves in any combination of the three sleds in one run. Athletes must hit a touch-sensitive pad to open their teammate's gate during the relay race. The team with the fastest combined time wins the Gold Medal. Thirteen nations will compete in this event during the XXII Olympic Winter Games.

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Pop Culture
5 Bizarre Comic-Con News Stories from Years Past
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At its best, Comic-Con is a friendly place where like-minded people can celebrate their pop culture obsessions, and each other. And no one can make fun of you, no matter how lazy your cosplaying might be. You might think that at its worst, it’s just a series of long lines of costumed fans and small stores crammed into a convention center. But sometimes, throwing together 100,000-plus people from around the world in what feels like a carnival-type atmosphere where anything goes can have less than stellar results. Here are some highlights from past Comic-Con-tastrophes.


In 2010, two men waiting for a Comic-Con screening of the Seth Rogen alien comedy Paul got into a very adult argument about whether one of them was sitting too close to the other. Unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion with words, one man stabbed the other in the face with a pen. According to CNN, the attacker was led away wearing handcuffs and a Harry Potter T-shirt. In the aftermath, some Comic-Con attendees dealt with the attack in an oddly fitting way: They cosplayed as the victim, with pens protruding from bloody eye sockets.


Since its founding in 2006, New York Comic Con has attracted a few sticky-fingered attendees. In 2010, a man stole several rare comics from vendor Matt Nelson, co-founder of Texas’ Worldwide Comics. Just one of those, Whiz Comics No. 1, was worth $11,000, according to the New York Post. A few years later, in 2014, someone stole a $2000 “Dunny” action figure, which artist Jon-Paul Kaiser had painted during the event for Clutter magazine. And those are just the incidents that involved police; lower-scale cases of toys and comics disappearing from booths are an increasingly frustrating epidemic, according to some. “Comic Con theft is an issue we all sort of ignore,” collector Tracy Isenhour wrote on the blog of his company, Needless Essentials, in 2015. “I am here to tell you no more. It’s time for this garbage to stop."


John Sciulli/Getty Images for Xbox

Adrianne Curry, winner of the first cycle of America’s Next Top Model, has made a career of chasing viral fame. Ironically, it was at Comic-Con in 2014 that Curry did something truly worthy of attention—though there wasn’t a camera in sight. Dressed as Catwoman, she was posing with fans alongside her friend Alicia Marie, who was dressed as Tigra. According to a Facebook post Marie wrote at the time, a fan tried to shove his hands into her bikini bottoms. She screamed, the man ran off, and Curry jumped to action. She “literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his a**,” Marie wrote. “Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip—he had zombie blood on his face—got on her costume.”


The lines at Comic-Con are legendary, so one Utah man came up with a novel way to try and skip them altogether. In 2015, Jonathon M. Wall tried to get into Salt Lake Comic Con’s exclusive VIP enclave (normally a $10,000 ticket) by claiming he was an agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and needed to get into the VIP room “to catch a fugitive,” according to The San Diego Union Tribune. Not only does that story not even come close to making sense, it also adds up to impersonating a federal agent, a crime to which Wall pleaded guilty in April of this year and which carried a sentence of up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In June, prosecutors announced that they were planning to reduce his crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.


Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Disney

In 2015, Kevin Doyle walked 645 miles along the California coast to honor his late wife, Eileen. Doyle had met Eileen relatively late in life, when he was in his 50s, and they bonded over their shared love of Star Wars (he even proposed to her while dressed as Darth Vader). However, she died of cancer barely a year after they were married. Adrift and lonely, Doyle decided to honor her memory and their love of Star Wars by walking to Comic-Con—from San Francisco. “I feel like I’m so much better in the healing process than if I’d stayed home,” he told The San Diego Union Tribune.

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iStock // Lucy Quintanilla
10 Pieces of Lying Lingo from Across the United States
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iStock // Lucy Quintanilla

Maligner. Fabricator. Fibber. Con artist. There are all sorts of ways you can say "liar," but in case you're running out, we’ve worked with the editors at the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) to come up with 10 more pieces of lying lingo to add to your storytelling stash.


This term for a liar originally referred to a gold-rusher in Arizona, according to DARE. It can also be used to describe an old-timer, especially one who likes to exaggerate. The word hassayampa (also hassayamper) comes from the Hassayampa River, which is located in the Grand Canyon State. According to the Dictionary of American Folklore, “There was a popular legend that anyone who drank of the Hassayampa River in Arizona would never again tell the truth.”


“You’re a Jacob!” you might say to a deceiver in eastern Alabama or western Georgia. This word—meaning a liar, a lie, and to lie—might be based on the Bible story of twin brothers Jacob and Esau. Esau, the elder and firstborn, stood to inherit his parents' estate by law. At the behest of his mother, Jacob deceived their father, blinded in old age, into thinking he was Esau and persuaded him to bestow him Esau’s blessing.


Liza or Liza Jane can mean a lie or a liar. Hence, to lizar means to lie. Like Jacob, Liza is an eastern Alabama and western Georgia term. However, where it comes from isn’t clear. But if we had to guess, we’d say it’s echoic of lies.


“What a story you are,” you might say to a prevaricator in Virginia, eastern Alabama, or western Georgia. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), story, meaning a liar, is mainly used in the phrase, “You story!” Story as a verb meaning “to give a false or malicious account, lie, tattle,” is an English dialect word, according to DARE, and is chiefly used in the South and South Midland states. “You storied to me about getting a drink,” you might tell someone who stood you up.


To load or load up means to trick, mislead, or “deceive by yarns or windies,” according to cowboy lingo in northwest Texas. The term, which can also be a noun meaning a lie or liar, might also be heard in northwest Arkansas and the Ozarks.


To spin a yarn, or to tell a long tale, began as nautical slang, according to the OED, and comes from the idea of telling stories while doing seated work such as yarn-twisting. (The word yarn comes from the Old English gearn, meaning "spun fiber, spun wool.") By extension, a yarn is a sometimes marvelous or incredible story or tale, and to yarn means to tell a story or chat. In some parts of the U.S., such as Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, and Tennessee, to yarn means to lie or tell a falsehood. “Don’t yarn to me!” you might say. Street yarn refers to gossip in New York, Kentucky, and parts of New England.


Telling a windy in the West? You’re telling an “extravagantly exaggerated or boastful story,” a tall tale, or a lie, says DARE. Wind has meant “vain imagination or conceit” since the 15th century, says OED.

8. LIE

In addition to being a falsehood or tall tale, a lie in the South and South Midland states can refer to the liar himself.


You’ve probably heard of stretching the truth. How about stretching the blanket? This phrase meaning to lie or exaggerate is especially used in the South Midland states. To split the blanket, by the way, is a term in the South, South Midland, and West meaning to get divorced, while being born on the wrong side of the blanket means being born out of wedlock, at least in Indiana and Ohio.


In the South and South Midland, whack refers to a lie or the act of lying. It might come from the British English colloquial term whacker, meaning anything abnormally large, especially a “thumping lie” or “whopper,” according to the OED. In case you were wondering, wack, as in “crack is wack,” is probably a back-formation from wacky meaning crazy or odd, also according to the OED. Wacky comes from whack, a blow or hit, maybe from the idea of being hit in the head too many times.


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