Today I Discovered The Marvellous, Ridiculous Sport Of Skijoring

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At the 1928 Winter Olympics, in St Moritz, Switzerland, a most unusual demonstration sport was played for the first and last time. It's so unusual, it didn't even appear in the official record of the Games.

Skijoring: The sport of horse-drawn skiing.

You've got to wonder why the sport of skijoring was axed from the games after just one appearance in 1928.

It looks like it would really get audiences excited.

Originally included only as a demonstration sport - no medals were handed out - skijoring is a sport that involves a skiier being pulled by a horse, dog or motor vehicle. The skiier doesn't hold on to traditional ski poles, instead they grab onto a rope attached to the animal or vehicle in front of them.

There is a North American Ski Joring Association that routinely holds tournaments. Similarly, many Nordic countries have practiced skijoring for many years, as a mode of transport and as a military exercise. Every year in Whitfish, Montana, the World Skijoring Championships take place.

Perhaps more fascinating than anything else is the fact that is led me to the sport of Canicross - literally cross country running with dogs.

What have we become?

Nevertheless, in the 1928 Games, the skijoring event took place on a frozen lake and, rather than a timed event, all competitors shared the frozen lake to see who would get through

So why hasn't skijoring ever featured again?

Could it be that very few nations actually play it or support it?

Could it be the fact that it looks absolutely terrifying and that skiiers reach speeds of up to 50 kilometres an hour, while avoiding obstacles and performing jumps?

Could it be that the idea of mixing horse racing and skiing just... didn't catch on?

It's probably all of the above.

Today I Discovered is a daily dose of facts for Lifehacker readers - the weird, wonderful and sometimes worrying. This week we're pulling out some of the Winter Olympics most bizarre stories. Let us know if you discovered anything that blew your mind in the comments!


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