These Super Fabulous Ski Ballet Routines Will Make You Wish It Was a Sport at Sochi — VIDEOS
At the Olympics, there is room for a variety of athletic skill. From winter to summer, judo to bobsled, the opportunities seem practically limitless for competitors to flaunt their talents and compete for the gold. However, there will always be a group left out of the competition after their sport is removed from the competition line-up (sorry mom, I'll never be able to become an Olympic bowler.) After the 1992 Winter Olympics, that group became ski ballerinas who were no longer permitted to compete in the Olympic games. Between the elaborate aerial tricks and flashy costumes that would rival every outfit at this year's Olympics, ski ballet is exactly what you would expect it to be — and probably a bit too much more.
Ski ballet, or acroski as it has come to be technically known, was a form of competitive skiing from the late 1960s to 2000 that celebrated men and women in vibrant puffy-sleeved costumes twirling to the latest hits on skis. It also appeared as a demonstration sport in the Winter Olympics in 1988 and 1992. The freestyle sport measured technical difficulty against artistic prowess through choreographed ski ballet routines down the slopes, complete with splits, twirls, flips, its own terminology (revolution jumps? tip drags?) and a heaping dose of emotion.
As you can imagine from the description, this sport probably became the butt of one too many jokes. But behind the cartoony glitz and glam, the ski ballerinas do exhibit legitimate skill. You try twirling in the air down a mountain synchronized along to music with skis attached to your feet. This is no simple feat and we are totally disappointed that the IOC decided not to continue the sport in the Olympics. Imagine how much more epic the Winter Olympics would be if we got to watch this sport unfold in 2014. Shame on you, IOC—you robbed us of some serious entertainment.
In tribute to the great acroskiers of our past, here are the top 5 ski ballet performances we had the pleasure of witnessing in history.
1. GEORGE FUEHRMEIER
From his dramatic gold sleeves to his emotional combinations, Fuehrmeier's performance in 1985 at Breckenridge takes the cake for best ski ballet performance of all time.
2. HERMANN REITBERGER
If Reitberger's overwhelming grace and impressive flips don't captivate you, his studded purple billowy top definitely will grab your attention.
3. RUNE KRISTIANSEN
With all of Kristiansen's flips and twirls, you nearly forget that he has skis attached to his feet.
4. CHRISTINE ROSSI
In addition to her effortless flips, twirls, and hot pink pants, Rossi's split in skis toward the end of her routine is pretty unbelievable. As a skier myself, I can say you never know how difficult it is to stand up in skis until you fall down. Rossi makes it look like one big piece of cake.
5. SUZY CHAFFEE
Okay, so we can't really take this one seriously, which makes it that much better. Suzy Chaffee, a famous ski ballerina, duets with John Eaves in what seems to be a winter wonderland commercial. The slow motion and fringe jacket take it to the next level of hilarity. Yup, still laughing.
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