What could be more challenging than performing ballet over on ski?
Ski ballet was an official sport in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics. But just after four years, the sport was cancelled. It’s such a shame since this freestyle skiing discipline had it all – the drama, theatrics, style and stupefying stunts. For us who love dance and performances, we would surely love such a feat.
Ski ballet or acrosking gained popularity in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s a high level performance that required superb skiing skills, grace and mastery. The event also showcased the latest ski technologies coming from different countries. Expect to see the competitors garb their best costumes and ski accessories like the best ski bindings.
Participants were judged based on technical difficulty, artistic prowess, choreography, stunts and overall look. It’s not surprising to see these ski ballerinas wearing puffy, colorful costumes. There are several YouTube clips that show just how difficult – and fanciful — this winter sport is.
But because of the cartoony glitz and glam of the sport, the sport often became the butt of one too many jokes. Even then, the ski ballerinas do showcase legitimate skiing skills.
To pay homage to these great acroskiers – the best ski ballerinas – we take a look at the 5 best ski ballet performances ever.
- George Fuehrmeier
Unquestionably the best ski ballet performance ever to grace the Olympics, George Fuehrmeier’s 1985 performance at Breckenridge is full of great stunts and emotional combinations. Of course, the theatrical gold sleeves complete the performance.
- Rune Kristiansen
Kristiansen’s 1992 Winter Olympics performance is laced with stupefying flips and twirls. I wonder if his using any of the ski accessories found at http://winterbadass.com to pull off such an outstanding performance. You’d think the skis are glued to his feet.
- Hermann Reitberger
Considered the master of ballet ski, Herman Reitberger’s performance at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games surely goes down into the history as among the most impressive and overwhelming performances. But if his grace and flips don’t catch your attention, for sure his purple billowy costume would!
- Christine Rossi
Never mind her hot pink pants, just concentrate on Rossi’s seamless performance at the 1988 Winter Olympics Women’s Ballet Final. The incredible flips and twirls seem very simple for this acroskier. Her split in the air towards the end is also surprising. She makes skiing look simple and a piece of cake. After watching the clip, you’d be tempted to get a ski and try it yourself!
- Suzy Chaffee
You might find Suzy Chaffee and John Eaves ski ballet clip for some commercial either hilarious or fascinating. Either way, the skiing skills, stunts and grace are undeniably superb! Some might laugh at the clip, but admit it that it’s quite a feat!
The decision of the IOC to scrap this sport from the roster of winter Olympics is truly regrettable. We would have seen equally talented – and entertaining – acroskiers in all future Olympic events. IOC just robbed us with some good laughs!