Ski Ballet & Rope Climbing – Forgotten Olympics Part II | Strangest Moments

Ski Ballet & Rope Climbing – Forgotten Olympics Part II | Strangest Moments

features a number of sports that attract the curiosity of
the casual sports fans. That’s part of the attraction,
right? But as we all enjoy the
delights on offer, it’s important to remember that
these events are the survivors. They’ve made it through
a selection process that’s been going on
for more than a century. Sports have come and gone as
the Games have evolved. So let’s discover some of the
more eclectic and unexpected entrants. To get the ball rolling, let’s go back to the
opening ceremony at Lake Placid in 1932. The Olympic Games are on. Now for a little novelty,
my speciality – skating on stilts. But that was just a bit of fun. Now on to the real Games. Rope climbing was one of the
original events way back in 1896. Competitors had to climb
a 15-metre rope as quickly as possible. Only two of them managed it,
so for future Games it was reduced to a much more
manageable eight metres. It appeared intermittently until being permanently
discontinued in 1932. But the Olympic Games haven’t
always reserved solely for physical prowess. Between 1912 and 1948, there were medals available
in architecture, literature, music, painting,
and sculpture. The events had
subcategories too. There was a period in history when it was possible to win an
Olympic Gold for town planning. The road to Olympic glory
perhaps. The art contest caught the eye of some of the athletes. Walter Winans of the USA
followed up his shooting gold at the 1908 Olympic Games with
another first-place finish in the 1912 sculpture contest. He also wrote ten books, including Shooting For Ladies
and How to Drive A Trotter. A regular Renaissance man. Within the sculpture event,
there was a medal competition, so participants had the
opportunity to win a gold medal
for making a medal. And if you finished in
last place, you could literally be sent
home with your loser’s medal. The art competition attracted
all sorts of entrants. The founder of the
Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin,
won the literature gold in 1912 for his poem Ode To Sport. (O SPORT, PLEASURE OF THE GODS, (ESSENCE OF LIFE,
LIKE THE RADIANT (MESSENGER OF A PAST AGE, WHEN (MANKIND STILL SMILED…) Well said, Pierre. Back to the more physical
sports now. The plunge for distance made
its first and only appearance at the 1904 Games. For those of you unfamiliar
with the event, it involved diving into a pool and seeing how far
you travelled underwater before you bobbed up to the
surface. A report from the era
confirmed that it wasn’t much of
a spectator sport, noting that the diver
“moves at a pace “somewhat akin to a snail.” A fresh water snail, we assume. Well, we can’t improve
on that description. But the more left-field
entrants aren’t the preserve of black-and-white images. This was going on as recently
as 1992. What do you get when you
combine snow, outrageous outfits
and devastating dance moves? The noble sport of ski ballet. The Winter Olympic Games
in Albertville wasn’t just the home
of ski ballet. Speed skiing also made an
appearance as a demonstration sport. It was pretty simple, really. Ski down a hill in a
straight line, and see how fast you can go. With speeds of up to 200kmph, these athletes weren’t
messing around. But it wasn’t enough to save
the sport from being relegated to the
Olympic history books. The evolution of
the Olympic Games is an ongoing process. New events arrive,
others depart. Some even come back again, and the show goes on. It’s a celebration of sport, and no matter what sport, there are people who have
dedicated their lives to perfecting it, and that deserves
a standing ovation.

16 Replies to “Ski Ballet & Rope Climbing – Forgotten Olympics Part II | Strangest Moments”

  1. I think I remember the ski ballet but I didn’t remember that was what it was called. Doesn’t interest me now so I doubt it interested me then.

  2. Why did you feel the urge to mock ski ballet? At least it's an actual sport unlike curling. Making fun of the music or outfits? Well God knows how long it's gonna take for people to make fun of what we are wearing now, 10, 15 years? Who knows.

  3. Please put Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the olympics! There IS a federation too! It’s IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation)

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