of showmanship, acrobatics and derring-do, Freestyle Skiing is
always a star crowd pleaser at the Winter Olympic Games.
as "hotdogging" in the United States, where it originated
in the 1960's, its creator was Norwegian skier Stein Eriksen, who had held several world championship titles throughout
his career in the 1950's and was considered one of the sport's
Eriksen became a ski coach and instructor in the U.S., where he
was inspired by the moves of young American skateboarders, and
adapted their techniques to instantly attract an upcoming generation
of "new school" skiers.
February 2018 Olympic Freestyle Skiing Schedule & Medal Events
Freestyle skiing saw its first Olympic action at the 1988 Calgary Games as a demonstration sport. It officially joined the Olympic lineup at the Winter Games in Albertville in 1992.
Today at the
Winter Games, freestyle skis are noticeably shorter than regulation,
to allow for better control during hotdogger's quick negotiation
of moguls and breathtaking aerial jumps and somersaults.
One of the most-watched events at the Winter X Games, freestyle skiing is the sport at its most extreme, and always a crowd favorite at the Olympics!
DID YOU KNOW? Olympic freestyle skiing fun facts
• Freestyle skiers typically use skis that have a tip at both ends. This allows them to land more stunts than are possible with traditional skis. Poles are still used to help skiers pick up speed and maintain balance.
• Freestyle skiers begin their run at a concave jump that hurls them into the air and down a mountain covered with large bumps, some up to four feet high.
• Along with bumps, there are two jumps where racers have an opportunity to wow audiences (and judges) with acrobatic tricks such as "helicopters," "mule kicks," and "back-scratchers."
• Both the USA and Canada have dominated the freestyle skiing program since joining the Winter Games in 1992.
More about Olympic freestyle skiing around the Web: