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How many calories do Olympic athletes burn?

By Sarah Gleim, upwave.com
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 1203 GMT (2003 HKT)
Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | <i>More photos:</i> <i><a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/08/worldsport/gallery/falling-down-in-sochi/index.html'>Falling down in Sochi </a></i> Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | More photos: Falling down in Sochi
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Olympic athletes train vigorously to reach the Games
  • Winter sports can burn hundreds of calories an hour
  • Biathlon athletes can burn up to 700 calories per hour

Editor's note: upwave is Turner Broadcasting's new lifestyle brand designed to entertain the health into you! Visit upwave.com for more information and follow upwave on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram @upwave.

(upwave.com) -- I'm a huge fan of the Olympic Games, especially the Winter Olympic Games. I love watching the figure skating, bobsled and skeleton. And the Alpine skiing events... it's hard not to be in awe watching the skiers fly down the mountainside at such high speeds.

The only thing I don't like about the Olympics is that it keeps me glued to the television for a good two weeks, because yes, I'm a junkie. And while I'm on the couch vegging out, the athletes I'm watching are burning some serious calories.

upwave: How to exercise like a Winter Olympian

How many calories do you think Winter Olympic athletes burn? Read on to find out.

Warm temps turning Sochi into 'slushy'
One Mexican races for gold in Sochi
Tara Lipinski amazed by Sochi skaters

Figure skating

Figure skating is a beautiful test of balance and coordination. Team USA figure skaters Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds will take the ice for two performances during the 2014 Sochi Olympics -- each completing a two-minute, 50-second short program and a four-minute free skate.

But the three women will have put in hours and hours to perfect their programs, which contain numerous triple axels, spins, salchows and other difficult moves. On average, they will likely burn more than 500 calories an hour -- even if they spend some of their practice time simply falling down and getting back up. (Hey, it happens. They're on ice, after all.)

upwave: How to get a figure skater's flexibility

Downhill skiing/Super G

Downhill skiing is about having the quad and low-back strength to hold a tuck position or an edge while skiing downhill extremely fast. Lovers of the sport were disappointed when fan favorite Lindsey Vonn had to pull out of Sochi due to a serious injury to her right knee. She leaves a big hole on Team USA, as she would have been defending her Olympic gold medal in the downhill. That said, Vonn's teammates continue to train vigorously and can count on burning around 300 to 450 calories an hour.

upwave: How to get a downhill skier's glutes

Speed skating

When it comes to winter sports, it's hard to beat speed skating when it comes to burning calories. To be an Olympic-level athlete, you have to be strong -- and super fast -- which requires a lot of training. Athletes can expect to burn about 600 calories per hour.

Biathlon

One of the more unique Olympic sports, the biathlon is based on a Norwegian military exercise, which explains why it combines long-distance cross-country skiing with target shooting. Cross-country skiing is one of the best outdoor exercises for cold weather, and the men and women who participate burn some serious calories every time they train or compete -- 500 to 700 per hour.

upwave: Best outdoor exercises for cold weather

Ice hockey

You can bet the players on the 2014 Olympic men and women's ice hockey teams are going to battle hard for a chance to walk away with a medal. And they'll be getting a serious workout while they fight it out on the rink, too: They'll each burn 450 to 750 calories for every hour they play. If that's not gold-medal worthy, we don't know what is!

This article was originally published on upwave.com.

© 2013 upwave, All Rights Reserved.

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