David Wingate | Brown University
To say that these Winter Olympic games have been a little, well, wonky, might be an understatement. We’ve had nip slips for the French in Ice Dancing, a bullying allegation in South Korean speed skating, and Russians testing positive for banned substances.
“Hold up Wingate- since when is Russian doping considered out of the ordinary?”
Well, it’s a little unusual when the athlete in question’s sport is curling.
Sufficed to say, these aren’t your parents’ Olympics. But could they get even wackier? If you thought cross-country skiing combined with guns was weird you’ll definitely want to check out these Winter Olympic sports that didn’t quite make the cut.
Ski Ballet: Have you ever thought that skiing was a little too posh? Reserved for the wealthiest who could afford to strap wooden planks to their boots and tear down a hill? Think it could use a little more pizazz? Look no farther than Ski Ballet. The discipline, which had some degree of popularity from the late 60s until the turn of the century, featured choreographed spins, flips and jumps on skis. There were even paired competitions, and the sport was featured as a ‘demonstration sport’ in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic games. However, the event struggled to gain traction and it was gone by 2000.
Ski-joring: You know what’s sick? Ancient chariot racing. High mortality aside, watching riders pulled behind the horse instead of on them just has a certain appeal. ‘Ski-joring’ was the alpine realm’s answer: only seen as a demonstration sport in 1928, skiers would hold onto reins attached to their steed and race across a frozen lake. A slight variation of the horse-version was with dogs. Not sure what Balto would have thought about that one but you’ll have to ask him yourself. (Editor’s Note: Balto, famed sled dog who brought medicine to Nome, Alaska, in 1925, died in 1933. We sincerely apologize on behalf of our writer to those whose family members were affected by the January 1925 Alaskan Diptheria outbreak)
Whack-a-Wight: Thought you’d be safe from Game of Thrones spoilers here huh? Well I guess you were as wrong as Ned Stark was to trust Littlefinger. Luckily for you, you won’t get beheaded. At least not here and not by me. Anyways, if you watched the most recent season of Game of Thrones, you’ll recall an epic battle north of the Wall between 7 heroes and a horde of the undead, the army of Wights controlled by the White Walkers. Demonic creatures with the unnatural strength of the dead…except literally thousands of them were handled pretty easily by 7 dudes. How does that make any sense? They were surrounded on all sides but could’ve had a tea party back there the way they were dispatching Wights. Well if its truly that easy, we deserve a Winter Sport out of it. Give the world’s top athletes some armor, a sword and maybe even some Targaryen heritage if you’re feeling cheeky and see if they can do any better. Bonus points if you kill the ice dragon or inadvertently become the reason for the destruction of the Seven Kingdoms.