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Ski Ballet Needs to Be an Official Olympic Sport Again

The 2018 Winter Olympics are quickly coming to an end, but before the closing ceremonies commence, I’ve got a bone to pick with the International Olympic Committee. Apparently, ski ballet was once a thing, and I’m trying to figure out why something so glorious was ever given the axe.

According to NBC, ski ballet was a hybrid of skiing and gymnastics and made its Olympic debut as a demonstration sport at the games in Calgary, Canada, in 1988. For reasons I can’t comprehend, “Ballet remained in the demonstration category, while other freestyle skiing disciplines — moguls and aerials — got a full medal status. By 1994, the sport still failed to catch on and was dropped from the Lillehammer Winter Games entirely.” Sigh.

In 2018, however, the forgotten event made a bit of a comeback on social media thanks to a recent post from The Guardian. “Bring back ski ballet — a tribute to the lost winter discipline,” their post read, and Twitter was here for it.

“Last night, I learned that not only was ski ballet a thing, but it was also at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics,” one user tweeted. “It is also exactly how you would picture such a thing…” Another added, “BRB. Found my new life calling: ski ballet.” A third chimed in, “I never knew ski ballet existed until today. Now I want to spend the rest of my life watching nothing but ski ballet videos.”

Jeff Chumas, who competed as an aerialist from 1976 to 1980 and became the director of the United States freestyle ski program in 1985, said ski ballet didn’t become a medal sport because of poor funding. “In the United States, and under the direction of the United States ski team, we were fighting for precious few resources against very well established sports like Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, and the like. Freestyle skiing was not clearly understood back in those days,” he said.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Life & Style.

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