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Posted on Feb 20, 2018

Ski Ballet Used To Be An Olympic Sport And We Should Probably Bring It Back

Come on, we need this.

Picture it: A sport that combines all the beauty and grace of ballet with, uh, skiing.

Chris Cole / Getty Images

That's ski ballet, and it is majestic (and kinda weird).


Check out those beautiful puffy sleeves.

The sport was developed in the '60s, and combined some of the artistic elements of figure skating and ballet with skiing. Athletes would perform complex routines to music while making their way down the mountain slope.

Chris Cole / Getty Images

Each skier was given 90 seconds to create an artistically powerful, athletically dynamic routine. Athletes were judged on the quality of their tricks and their athletic dynamism.

Sometimes the moves could be a lil' bit cheesy.


But other moves were rather complex.


I would definitely hurt myself if I tried this.

Sadly, the sport only had a brief run in the Olympics. It appeared as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Calgary Olympics and the 1992 Albertville Games. But then the Olympics committee determined that the sport didn't have "athletic merit" and decided not to make it an official Olympic sport.

Chris Cole / Getty Images


Plus, snowboarding — which captured many of the trick elements of ice ballet — grew in popularity in the early '90s and sort of usurped ski ballet's position. Snowboarding made its Olympics debut in 1998 at the Nagano Winter Games.

Chris Cole / Getty Images

But hey, you'll never see something like this in snowboarding, right?


Want more ski ballet? YEAH YOU DO. Check out this routine from '80s ice ballet superstar Hermann Reitberger.

View this video on YouTube

And long live ski ballet, you weird and wonderful sport.


Check out more from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics here.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

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