This year, twelve new events were introduced at the Sochi Games, including women’s ski jumping, men’s and women’s snowboard and freesytle skiing slopestyle, and team figure skating. While excitement is high around these new events in 2014, their long-term fate as permanent events in future Winter Games sports is another matter.
Since the Winter Games began in 1924, a number of different events and demonstration sports have been pulled from the Winter Games after their debut, including speed skiing, bandy, and ski ballet.
While some of the sports were pulled for being too dangerous (speed skiing), or un-athletic (ski ballet), others simply failed to gain the following needed to maintain their spot in the Olympic lineup.
Here’s a closer look at a few of the now-extinct sports from Winter Olympic Games of the past:
In this sport, athletes wearing special suits zoom straight downhill at speeds nearing 150 mph. The sport was pulled from Olympic competition in 1992 after a skier crashed and died during a practice run.
A hybrid cousin of soccer and hockey, Bandy is a popular sport in many of Nordic countries. Bandy was only featured as a demonstration Olympic sport during the 1952 Oslo Winter Games.
Appearing only in the 1928 XX Winter Games, athletes competing in this sport are pulled by horses. This GIF should put it in perspective:
Think of this sport as basic training, but in the snow. Athletes each wear 53 lbs. backpacks, shoot rilles, and trek 15.5 miles in the snow. The sport was pulled from the Olympic lineup in 1948.
Just as it sounds, ski ballet combines the grace of dance and puts it on skis. The sport was pulled from the Olympics in 2000, however, after the International Olympic Committee failed to see its athletic merit.