Winter Olympics

Heard of Ski Ballet? It's Been 30 Years Since Winter Olympics Held the Event

Cathy Fechoz of France does her routine during the ski ballet competition at the Olympic Games in Albertville, France.
Getty Images

Olympic events come and go, but no former competition may catch as much attention as the decades-old sport of ski ballet.

The short-lived event was last held within Olympic competition three decades ago during its second and last official showing at the Winter Games.

Ski ballet, a hybrid of figure skating and gymnastics on the slopes, made its Olympic debut as a demonstration sport at the Calgary Games in 1988. 

The sport most lives on through viral social media posts that stun viewers couple years with videos of athletes clad in tasseled spandex costumes and dancing to synthesized music.

At the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, ballet remained in the demonstration category while other freestyle skiing disciplines — moguls and aerials— got a full medal status.

By 1994, the sport still failed to catch on and was dropped from the Lillehammer Winter Games entirely. 

Ski ballet requires incredible strength and balance from athletes who ski down a smooth slope while combining jumps, flips and spins. They use shorter skis with longer poles and are judged on a combination of technical and artistic factors.

Contact Us