x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Sports that leave some people cold

In the history of the games the mainstream sports like downhill skiing and ice hockey have been accompanied by fringe sports like these five.

Jinli Lui, left, and Yan Zhou of the Chinese women's curling team at a practice session at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
Jinli Lui, left, and Yan Zhou of the Chinese women's curling team at a practice session at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

The winter Olympics in Vancouver brings together the world's best athletes. But in the history of the games the mainstream sports like downhill skiing and ice hockey have been accompanied by, well, fringe sports like these five.

Apologies to the ancient Scots who invented the sport but the sight of people with brooms frantically brushing the ice in front of a large granite orb reminds most people of a cleaner after too much coffee instead of an Olympic sport.

Bandy, described as ice hockey with a ball, was a demonstration sport at the 1952 Oslo games because of its popularity in the Nordic countries.

A sport that entails skiing behind dogs, skijöring, was a demonstration event in St Moritz in 1928 but was dropped after that. Wonder why-

Speed skiing - descending in a straight line as fast as possible - was demonstrated at the Albertville games in 1992. The current world record in the sport is more than 250kmh. An amazing feat, but not, perhaps too exciting to watch.

Acro-ski, a form of ballet on skis, was the winter equivalent of the absurd sport of synchronised swimming and is a subset of freestyle skiing. It was demonstrated in 1988 in Calgary, appeared again in Albertville but then, thankfully, declined in popularity and was dropped.