This is the Olympic Event Sochi Doesn’t Want You to Know About
4:03 pm, February 5th | by Kady Ruth Ashcraft
The Associated Press announced yesterday that twelve new events will debut at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi. The new sports include women’s ski jumping, men and women’s slope style, halfpipe skiing, team figure skating, luge relay race, biathlon mixed relay, among a few others.
The inclusion of some of these events is a huge milestone, particularly for gender equity: women’s ski jumping has been excluded for years due to officials’ misguided theories about the strength and competency of women’s bodies. While the rise of women’s ski jumping is an incredibly empowering story and would make for a great Lifetime movie, there is one Olympic event whose exclusion from the games infuriates us: ski ballet. Olympic officials may argue that the event hasn’t been apart of the Winter Games since 1992, that it was never formally recognized as anything more than a demonstration sport, that the International Ski Federation has ceased all official competitions of it, and they may argue these things because they are all true, but watch a clip of ski ballet and one thing will be clear: the International Olympic Committee decided to discontinue ski ballet because it is too pure, too beautiful an event — nay, an art form. Compared to ski ballerinas, figure skaters resemble drunk baby giraffes taking their first steps.
I was hoping that I could finally put this battle with the Olympics behind me but when you are fighting the good fight the combat is never done. Not only has Sochi completely misjudged the impact a skiing dolphin as an official mascot would have had on international peace and happiness but they also have denied us of the most transcendent sport to grace snow since soft-snowshoeing! Why can’t we just swap out an event that no one cares about, like THROWING CLAY DISCS IN THE AIR AND SHOOTING THEM, for ski ballet, which, by the way, doesn’t glorify any sort of violence?! Obviously re-instating ski ballet wouldn’t mitigate the brutal civil rights violations occurring in Russia but, like the skiing dolphin, the event could have opened the door to a more accepting society. And if for some godforsaken reason ski ballet isn’t reinstated into the Winter Games, I vote that the ballerinas are allowed to open for all future Pussy Riot shows. (I heard the band is accepting new members.)
Now excuse me as I weep and watch these ice swans in action: