Olympic Events: The Bizarre & Discontinued Edition

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It’s hard to believe the Olympics begin tomorrow, and that it’s already been four years since this:


Seriously! I can still hear Nikki Yanofsky belting out “I Believe”, which made me cry EVERY time I heard it, particularly during a recap of the daily events. I mean, I just watched 10 seconds of that video, and seeing a guy skating across the pond followed by an ariel of the Rockies, I could feel the waterworks brewing and I had to turn it off! Suuuch a baby. It’s that kind of stuff that makes me get emotional and miss Canada! So many good memories from that winter in Calgary.

Anyway, I digress.

It’s just strange to me that the Winter Olympics are about to begin. I am a HUGE Olympic fan/viewer, but it’s difficult to get overly excited when you don’t hear the slightest mention of it over here in Brisbane, even though Australia has 60 athletes attending the games. I’ve brought up the upcoming Olympics to at least 10 different people over the past couple of days, and everyone was fairly disinterested. One person didn’t even know the Olympics were about to commence. Boo! I’d really like to be a fly on the wall in a Canadian living room for the next few weeks.

Although not totally related to the 2014 Sochi Games, my best buddy posted a hilarious Facebook video the other day about a former Olympic event, which honestly had me in stitches. It’s called Ski Ballet, and it’s pretty much just what the name suggests. Seriously. Check out THIS video from the Calgary ’88 Olympics. A-maaaazing. I really need that snow suit.

This video inspired today’s post: Bizarre & Discontinued Olympic Events. I do apologize if you participate in any of these activities and I do not mean to offend anyone. I just got a kick out of the notion that such sports ended with medals on a Summer or Winter Olympic podium at one point in history.

In no particular order:

1) Ski Ballet (Acoski)

Choreographed ballet on skies, with a blend of flips, rolls, crossing of the legs, spins, etc. It was a 90 second performance to music. Men did it, too! Necessary equipment: skis, boots, pole, 1-piece suit, and a flowing mullet.

2) Ballooning

Spectators must have been on the edge of their seats watching this one!

3) Power Boating

The athletes must have done some serious cardio & weight training workouts in preparation.

4) La Canne

This is a French martial art where opponents battle it out with chestnut wood canes! Don’t mess with grandpa!

5) Underwater Swimming

No wonder this only happened at the 1900 Paris Olympics and never again. Wikipedia’s description:  “14 swimmers from 4 nations competed. It was not featured at later Olympic games because of lack of spectator appeal.” You don’t say. Particularly in a time when underwater technology was inexistent, this is up there with ballooning in terms of its excitement factor.

6) Croquet

I’m surprised bocce ball and ring toss weren’t included as well.

7) Ice Stock Sport

This is a kind of Bavarian curling, with “ice stocks” that are flung down the ice towards a target. Think curling, without the sweeping. As a Canadian, I believe curling is completely legit and NORMAL, although I’ve met so many people in Australia who think they sport is hilarious. Anyway, I’d never heard of Ice Stock, but if you think curling is strange, this one takes “hurry hard” to a whole new level.

8) Speed Skiing

Objective: ski downhill for 1km in a straight line, as fast as humanly possible. Just picturing this makes me feel petrified. Aerodynamics at its finest (and scariest). I have some fearless friends who would be good at this one!

9) Tug Of War



Get me in line for tickets! Strangely, I would have found this to be highly entertaining. And hilarious.

Ahhh. So good! Hope those made you smile!

Happy 2014 Winter Olympics! May the best team (cough…Canada…cough) win!!!! Sorry, guys. Have to support my home and native land! 😉

What is your favourite Winter Olympic Sport to watch? Mine are hockey and figure skating!

If you could participate in any of these discontinued events, which would you choose? I’d like to say Tug of War, but I’d be terrible!!!


8 Thoughts on “Olympic Events: The Bizarre & Discontinued Edition

  1. I love the Olympics! I like watching the skiing events!

    It’s amazing that some of these were actually Olympic events, especially the ballooning one! I was pretty surprised about that.

  2. As a fellow Canadian, my two fave events are hockey and figure skating, too!! (Definitely some of our best medal chances). I’m also pretty interested to see the 3 Canadian sisters who are competing this year in the moguls. I’ve noticed a lot of hype about the Olympics here in Halifax, but definitely not as much as when they were in Vancouver!!

  3. It’s funny, I’ve been feeling rather disconnected from the Olympics this time around even though I’m living in Canada . . . so maybe it’s not just an Australia thing? In 2010 we were living within driving distance of Vancouver, so maybe that made the difference – wasn’t that so exciting?! Now we’re living in Hamilton and the Olympic buzz around here has been pretty minimal. As far as favourite sports go, I love watching hockey (but of course!), figure skating and the ski jump (it always boggles my mind that people can twirl and flip around in the air like that!).

    I love the photo you posted of ski ballet – haha! So funny! :)

  4. In Calgary. Lots of olympic buzz. Petro Canada olympic mugs handed out at noon in my office building today, with promised live coverage 24/7 on the Bankers Hall Foodcourt TVs. :0)

    My favorite sport to watch is the aerial hot-dogging ski jump-type event. What is that called? I like it. Oh, and speed-skating.

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  6. We really are a country which does NOT embrace the winter olympics- which is really sad because aerial skiing and the skating is amazing- especially when they do those jumps with stupid names (triple sauerkraut or something).

    I’d do tug of war with you…and win. Then I’d triple sauerkraut to the gold medal stand.

  7. I am genuinely confused by the world we live in! Ski ballet…WOW. And I’d be peeing myself with excitement while watching the ballooning competition. I get all antsy just thinking about it!

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