The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games will feature 15 sports, but we wanted to shine a light on some other winter sports, beginning with ice climbing. World Cup ice climbing takes place on man-made structures instead of natural ice in order to keep a level playing field.
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In the past, some have pushed for ice climbing to be added to the winter Olympics, but the IOC rejected its inclusion in the 2020 games.
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Canadian Jen Olson and Frenchman Aurélien Vaissière climb an ice fall in Italy.
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Located in Cogne, Gran Paradiso, Italy, the ice fall is known as "Lau Bij."
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Olson is among several climbers performing a cultural demonstration of ice climbing at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
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"Lau Bij" is located near Cogne, an Italian town in the Aosta Valley of northwest Italy, near the French border. Gran Paradiso, around which the ice fall is situated, is a mountain standing 13,323 feet tall.
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Spanning nearly 400 miles, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog marathon in the continental United States.
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The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon takes place in Minnesota. Competitors start in Duluth on the shores of Lake Superior, and race along the lakeshore toward the Canadian border. The race finishes back in Duluth.
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This year's Beargrease race was the 30th running of the marathon, which is a prequalifying race for the Iditarod in Alaska.
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Last fall, it appeared that the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon would be canceled this year. But a new group took over race management, and the 2014 race was saved.
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Though ten mushers started the 2014 running of the Beargrease, only seven actually finished the race.
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Amanda Vogel of Ray, Minn. failed to finish the race and was scratched just past the ten-hour mark.
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The winner of the race took home $8,250 in prize money. Competitors were largely from Minnesota, but there was also a competitor from each Wyoming and Quebec.
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Chisholm, Minn. Native Nathan Schroeder won this year's Beargrease, finishing in just under 44 hours. He completed the race more than two hours prior to the second place finisher.
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The victory was Schroeder's second-straight first place finish in the Beargrease.
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In late January, thousands of people descended upon Gull Lake near Brainerd, Minnesota for the world's largest charitable ice fishing contest.
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The annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza has raised more than $3 million for charity since it debuted in 1991.
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Before the competition starts, volunteers drill 20,000 eight-inch holes through the ice, which is two feet thick.
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The winner of this year's Ice Fishing Extravaganza was Art Karsky of Nisswa, Minn. Karsky caught a 4.73 pound walleye with a Gemini lure and won a truck.
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The contest itself is three hours long and attracts more than 10,000 participants annually.
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All proceeds from the event are donated to charities, including the Confidence Learning Center in Brainerd.
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Nearly $200,000 in prizes is given away each year to competitors, who have braved a bitter afternoon's cold for 24 straight years on Gull Lake.
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