The Winter Olympic Games is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years. The first Winter Olympic Games, the 1924 in Chamonix, France, had over 250 athletes from across 16 nations competing in 16 events.
The Winter Games have evolved ever since it was first introduced. Several new sports and disciplines have been added to the list, including Alpine skiing, luge, short track speed skating, freestyle skiing, skeleton, and snowboarding. These sports have secured a permanent spot in the Olympic program.
However, some of the sports have been permanently discontinued.
Let’s take a look at five of these sports.
Discontinued sports in Winter Olympics
Military patrol was a team winter sport in which athletes competed in cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering and rifle shooting. It was usually contested between countries or military units.
It involved 25 km of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, competing in teams of four (the patrol). The rules were very similar to modern biathlon.
This sporting event was featured in the Winter Olympic Games program from 1924 to 1948.
Bandy is a team winter sport played on ice. It’s similar to hockey. In this sport players wear ice skates and use sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team’s goal.
Unfortunately, Bandy was accused of being too similar to ice hockey and therefore lost its spot at the Winter Games. It appeared once in 1952.
3. Ice Stock Sport:
Icestock sport (also known as Bavarian Curling) is a winter sport, which is similar to curling. This sport appeared at the Winter Games twice in 1936, 1964. This sport is famous in Germany and Austria.
Icestocks have a gliding surface, to which a stick is attached. In this sport, the competitors slide ice stocks over an ice surface, aiming for a target to cover the longest distance.
Winter penthalon appeared once at the1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz. The pentathlon was composed of five segments: Cross-country skiing, shooting, downhill skiing, fencing and horse riding.
Out of the five, only two of its events, a 10 km cross-country ski race and a downhill ski race, were typical winter sports. The other three events were fencing, shooting, and horse jumping, as in the modern pentathlon.
Skijoring was a winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring, which means “ski driving”. Skijoring is popular in Norway and Sweden, with mostly Swiss athletes taking away the awards.
Unlike modern equestrian skijoring, there were no riders on the horses, no jumps on the course. The participants competed simultaneously. Skijoring was demonstrated once at the Winter Olympics in 1928 and has never appeared ever since then.
Also read: Winter Olympic 2022: Sports and Games List