The Chelsea Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics start this Thursday, bringing us two-and-a-half weeks of snow and ice-filled sports to marvel at.

Team GB will battle against 93 other competing nations in an attempt to win medals, but will face tough competition from the likes of the USA, Canada, Norway, France, Switzerland and Austria.

But how would a Chelsea Winter Olympics team fair? And who would make the cut?

Team Coach - Ji So-yun

This year’s Winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang in South Korea, which is why I’ve chosen Ji So-yun, the Chelsea Ladies midfielder, to take on the role of team coach. Her inside knowledge and experience of her homeland would undoubtedly be an advantage for the Chelsea team.

 

Slalom Skiing – Eden Hazard

In slalom and giant slalom skiing, the idea is to navigate round a series of gates in the fastest possible time. This requires great technical ability with sharp and rapid turns at considerable speed. I think Eden Hazard could be a good contender for the slalom - his talent of cutting through defenders with ease, combined with his nimble footwork, would serve him well.

 

Cross-Country Skiing – N’Golo Kante

There are six different types of cross-country skiing events, and they range between 1.2km and 50km in distance. What they all require is great endurance and stamina, and for me, N’Golo Kante would be the one to represent Team CFC here. His work rate is relentless and on top of that, he’s French, which means he could already be good at skiing.

 

Figure Skating – Victor Moses

I have watched enough series of ‘Dancing on Ice’ to know that the more impressive lifts and tricks included in a routine, the higher the final score. I think Victor Moses would be a great figure skater – his strength would allow him to perform complicated lifts and moves with a partner, he’s not too tall, so his lower centre of gravity will help him stay on his feet, and I saw him do a back-flip once. Surely he could wangle that into a routine somehow?

Luge – Fran Kirby

We’ve all seen the luge on TV and wondered why on earth anyone would be willing to throw themselves down an icy track feet first on a tiny sled at speed. But for some reason, they are, and I’ve nominated Chelsea Ladies forward Fran Kirby as the Team CFC representative. At 5ft 2ins I reckon she could pick up some real speed and could easily navigate the twists and turns of the course, just like she does around defenders on the pitch.

Skeleton – Alvaro Morata & Olivier Giroud

Similar to the luge, the skeleton also involves hurtling down an icy track on a tiny sled at speed, but headfirst. I’ve gone for our two strikers, Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud, to take on the skeleton, purely for their fondness of using their heads to score. Competitors in the skeleton use their upper bodies to control and steer themselves, twisting their heads and shoulders to navigate – skills required to master bullet headers. 

 

Biathlon – Cesc Fabregas

The biathlon combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting, and requires both endurance and accuracy. The skiing element ranges in distance from 6km to 50km, and competitors stop several times along the route to try and shoot targets that are 50m away. I think our Spanish midfielder would be a good contender for the biathlon, given his ability to accurately pick out and pass to team-mates, no matter where they are on the pitch.


Bobsleigh – Hedvig Lindahl, Jonna Andersson, Magdalena Eriksson, Maren Mjelde & Maria Thorisdottir

The bobsleigh is either a two or four-person event, and I’ve chosen the Chelsea Ladies defensive Scandinavian contingent to take part in this one. Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, her two compatriots, left wing-back Jonna Andersson and defender Magdalena Eriksson, along with Norwegian defenders Maren Mjelde and Maria Thorisdottir, make up the team. They already work together as one defensive unit, where communication and coordination is key - and that’s exactly what’s needed for the bobsleigh. Plus being Scandinavian, snow and ice probably doesn’t faze any of them in the slightest.

Ice Hockey – Thibaut Courtois

Perhaps an obvious choice, but with his quick reaction skills and ability to save shots with both his hands and legs, I’d put Thibaut Courtois in goal for the Chelsea ice hockey team. The goals are a lot smaller than in football, so that’s already an advantage for the Belgian. All Thibaut would have to get used to would be carrying a hockey stick, wearing a helmet and much larger shin pads! Ice hockey teams are six-a-side, and with it being quite an aggressive, physical game, I’d pick the bigger bulkier players to fill the remaining places, such as David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Snowboarding – Ethan Ampadu

I’m basing this one purely on the hair alone. He looks like a snowboarder, and that’s good enough for me. Also I would imagine those dreads would keep his ears warm in the cold weather – bonus.