In what might be the most 80’s thing you’ve seen this week, we reflect on ski ballet- a bizarre, glorious sport that brought together figure skating and freestyle skiing. While their puffy-sleeved jackets are hilarious, these guys were at the top of their game.
This stuff takes skill, but more so, some serious bravado – like Richard Schabl’s fabulous back-tuck somersalt entrance to his 1985 routine in Breckenridge, CO:
Schabl was the reigning world champ in 1985.
“When he’s not skiing, believe it or not, he likes to drive his Audi Quattro at about 120 mph down the autobahn,” says the announcer at Breck.
I mean, look at this dude go:
Ski ballet, or “acroski”, was a demonstration sport in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, the sport failed to gain popularity, and the IOC declined to include ski ballet in ’96.
The ICF ceased all formal ballet competition in 2000.
While ski ballet tragically no longer exists, there’s still plenty of footage of this hilarious sport:
My ACL hurts just looking at this:
There’s no denying it – this sh*t is awesome.