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There is an array of winter sports on offer. Whether you want to participate in winter sports or enjoy watching them, there is something for everyone to enjoy. From Alpine skiing to curling, to ice hockey and figure skating, here are the most popular winter sports throughout the world.

What is classed as a winter sport?

A winter sport is classed as anything that is performed on snow or ice. Many of them involve skis, skates or sledges or varying forms and descriptions. While many of these sports originated in frostier climates, nowadays artificial climates can be manufactured for large-scale events such as the Winter Olympics. This is evident when seeing teams such as the African and Jamaican bobsled teams, which regularly participate at the Winter Olympics.

What are the most popular winter sports?

On-piste snowboarding and skiing take first place for this one. Both real and dry ski slopes and indoor snow centres mean that those who live in hotter countries can have a go and practice for their holidays in the cold. If you're planning on participating in some of these sports on holiday yourself, taking out travel insurance with cover for winter sports is a wise precautionary move.

Ice skating is also very popular thanks to its prevalence at the Winter Olympics and international fame thanks to infamous athletes such as Tonya Harding. Local indoor and outdoor ice-skating rinks also make this sports extreme accessible. Meanwhile, curling is most popular in Canada, although it was originally invented in medieval Scotland. This sport sees players sliding granite stones using broom-like devices to get it towards a centre target. While Canada might want to claim ice hockey as its most popular sport, it's actually renowned all over the globe. Ice hockey federations are reported to exist in 73 countries around the world.

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