5 things you need to know about the Winter Olympics

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The round robins have already started, but all we seem to hear about is the less-than-glamorous conditions some of the journalists are so delightedly reporting. But there is so much more to the Sochi Winter Olympics than lack of electricity and running water - here's what you need to know.

  1. There are just 15 sports played at the Winter Olympics. There's the usual skiing, snowboarding and figure skating, and then there's luging, ice hockey, a biathlon, curling, ski jumping and more.
  2. There are 92 countries involved in the games. Just three are from oceania (Australia, New Zealand and Tonga) and the rest are as diverse as Mongolia, Morocco and the Cayman Islands. Overall, Norway is the country to beat, with more medals historically than any other country.
  3. This Olympic Torch from the Sochi 2014 games is the first to ever travel in space. One leg of the relay involved a spacewalk at the International Space Station. This is the same torch that touched the bottom of Lake Baikal (the world's deepest lake) and touched the top of Mount Elbrus.
  4. A large number of sports have been included in the Winter Olympics in the past that are unfortunately no longer part of the games. These include gems such as bandy (soccer on ice), skijoring (skiing behind horses) and snowshoeing.
  5. Australia has sent a team of 60 skilled athletes to Sochi. Together, they represent the Land Down Under in each almost all of the sports on offer at the games, so keep an eye on the coverage to see if you get to hear Advance Australia Fair. This year, Australia hasn't sent a curling team. It's possible that all the skilled curlers in the country are spending their summer bowling up a storm at AMF bowling alleys instead!