December 6, 2023

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From ballet to speed skating: 8 "forgotten" sports that were previously on the program of the Winter Games |  Winter Games

From ballet to speed skating: 8 “forgotten” sports that were previously on the program of the Winter Games | Winter Games

Cyclo-cross has had the ambition for years to one day be accepted into the Winter Olympics. Nowadays, this Olympic program is rarely modified, but in the past special sports appeared regularly. Overview.

1. Skateboarding

Figure skating is one of the most attractive sports in every Winter Games. Why not show the same technical exercises with skis, they wondered in the 80s?

Under the umbrella of free skating, ballet (sometimes called acroski) was on the program for the first time at the Calgary Games, albeit as a demonstration sport. Also 4 years later, in Albertville, medals were again handed out in this segment. In the end, the International Olympic Committee decided to cancel the ballet skating experience again.

Hermann Rittberger dancing for the 1988 Olympic gold medal

2. Speedsky

One of the most exciting sports on the Winter Olympics list is undoubtedly speed skating. Unlike more popular parts like slalom or descent, speed skating is all about achieving the highest speed possible.

This daredevil appeared in Albertville in 1992. Winner Michael Prover reached just under 230 km / h. But when Marseillaise sounded, it was already clear that the sport had a short Olympic life. On the day of the final, Swiss Nicolas Buchatay was killed after hitting a snowplow.

3. Military Patrol

In the prehistory of the Summer and Winter Olympics, many sports that have a military background are encountered. For example, at the first edition of the Winter Games in 1924, the sport of “Military Patrol” appeared. It was a combination of cross-country skiing, shooting and map reading. The teams consisted of 4 soldiers: 2 officers and 2 soldiers.

After the Chamonix Games, the “Military Patrol” became a show sport for some Olympics and eventually evolved into the current biathlon.

4. Bandy

Bandy is a mixture of football, hockey and ice hockey very popular in Scandinavia. This sport is practiced all year round, but when they go to the gym for a game of hockey in the winter, they play it in bandy in the summer and it is called globe.

Bande was previously a participant in the Olympic program, and it is no coincidence when the Games were held in Oslo, Norway in 1952, so it was the Scandinavian countries. However, the gold went to Sweden, where Örvar Bergmark played at that time. He actually reached the World Cup Final 6 years later and later became the head coach of the Swedish national football team.

Bandy at the 1952 Olympics

5. Ice shooting

Ice curling appears to be a derivative of curling that is better known, but in fact it is the opposite. We can actually find this sport in a painting by Peter Brueghel from the 16th century. Ice curling is especially popular in Germany and Austria. Therefore it is sometimes called the Bavarian net. It is therefore no coincidence that the sport is only present in the program at the Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) and Innsbruck (Austria).

Pictures from the Ice Stock World Cup 2020

6. Sledehondenracen

The Iditarod, the popular sledding dog race across Alaska, is one of the most creative races of the sports year. However, sleigh dog racing never really made its way into the Olympics. Once upon a time it was a show sport, not coincidentally in Lake Placid (1932). Emile Saint-Godard snatched the sport’s only gold medal and earned a place in the Canadian Hall of Fame, as the only female dog sled contestant ever.

Saint Godard also won the Mashers Derby a year later

7. Skiing

A bit of a dog sledge racing brother is the skijøring, literally a sledge ride. In skating, you are dragged on skates by a dog, horse, or vehicle. Appearing for the first and only time at the 1928 Games, horses then provided horsepower. On a frozen lake near St. Moritz, the local Swiss had a distinct advantage. They stole all the medals.

Skijøring nowadays is especially popular among horse racing enthusiasts (especially gamblers)

8. Winter Five

At the Summer Olympics you have everything related to athletics as well as modern pentathlon. In search of the absolute lover of winter sports, they organized a winter quintet as a demonstration sport at the 1948 Games. The sports on the program were: cross-country skiing, archery, downhill skiing, fencing and horseback riding.

Thanks to their strong military traditions, the short-lived sport has been dominated by the Swedes. William Grote lost the gold medal by the slightest difference to fellow countryman Gustav Lind, but avenged a few months later by taking the modern pentathlon title at the Summer Games.

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