There are fewer sports in the winter version, but for sheer insanity the Winter Olympics has those wimps of summer beat.
Where else do athletes ski and shoot in one afternoon, or hurtle down a river of ice at 170 km/h?
This year, from February 9 to 19, we'll see a number of new tech wonders on the slopes and in the rinks.
In many of the alpine events, skis have morphed into a slightly hourglass shape so racers can flex the supple skis into a C-shape, allowing them to turn more quickly.
The so-called Intellifibers used in many upscale skis are like tiny Trojan horses, wiggling to life during a run to change the properties of the ski in response to turning and snow conditions. In some models, they can be activated by the push of a button, waking dormant microchips. Your skis are alive!
The timing of the runs has also been refined. When skiers leave the blocks, a fibreglass rod starts the clock ticking. Infrared photo gates line the run, sending intermediate times back to officials and the waiting public. Each of these gates has another photo gate watching its back, and a real live person whose sole job is to stare at the thing and make sure it doesn't mess up.
The respect accorded skiers is slowly making its way into the world of snowboarding, and you can see that in the increasing technological investment. Burton has made headlines recently by adding the element indium to its boards, allowing their edges to cut into the snow more efficiently.
Boarding and skiing goggles, notorious for fogging up, now come with tiny aeration systems including a fan and lens material that actually absorbs moisture. Masks from Smith Sport Optics and Uvex contain liquid crystal displays that change colour at the push of a button to better define the contours of the snow.
Many skiers and snowboarders are wearing the new Airvantage jacket, whose air pockets can be inflated or deflated based on insulation needs.
All these events need snow. Next time you see white plumes arcing out of a snowmaking machine, think how it's made. Microscopic freeze-dried bacteria, cultured from the leaves of certain plants, are mixed with water. The bacteria's cell walls provide a platform around which ice crystals form. The result? Kick-ass powder for Olympic runs.
The technology of skating, the other pillar of the Winter Olympics, hasn't changed much in the 5,000 years since the Swiss strapped animal bones to their feet.
You've heard of walking on water - but skating on water? The reason you glide so effortlessly on ice is because all your weight is squished onto the blade. This immense pressure melts the ice under your skate, which means it's water you're gliding on.
Speed skaters wear suits so sheer that eagle-eyed fans should be able to pick out their underwear brand. The ridges and pockets in Nike's Swift Skin reduce drag, much like the dimples on a golf ball. The material between the upper thighs contains tiny glass beads that decrease friction when well-muscled thighs rub together.
The suits also contain Kevlar (best known in bullet-proof vests) to protect short-track skaters from errant skate blades if they fall during their sprint.
And the clap skates worn by speed skaters are attached to the boot by one tiny hinge under the ball of the foot, allowing athletes greater control.
Another fan favourite is luge, in which bodies on sleds hurtle down a track of ice feet first.
But those wusses in luge have nothing on skeleton, where competitors zoom down the ice head first and have nothing to steer with. They need really good helmets, often made of polycarbonate, with pockets of elastic beads called SALi inside that act together like a fluid air bag in case someone comes unseated.
Bobsled has changed most significantly for women. A 2002 study found that female bobbers were experiencing an inordinately high number of pelvic injuries because they were racing in sleighs designed for men. A re-design and re-weighting of the sleigh has given women more comfort.
As a true Canadian, I must mention that the world of curling is in a tizzy: the stockpile of stones is drying up. The granite used to make the rocks is of a very particular type quarried at Ailsa Craig in Scotland, and now also in northern Wales.
Enter Wisconsin firm Alpine, which has developed synthetic replacements made of china and ceramic. The new stones absorb less moisture, will last longer and glide more cleanly. Traditionalists, naturally, are huffy.
Put on your toque and grab a beer. The Winter Olympics are here.