A skijoring event takes place on Mirror Lake (Photo by New England Ski Museum/WikiMedia Commons)
Wish there were more horses in the Winter Olympics? According to an article in Slate today by Justin Peters, there very nearly were.
In 1928, the sport of skijoring was part of the St. Moritz games as an Olympic demonstration sport. Prior to that, it was a part of the Nordic Games, where Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, first saw it. He wanted skijoring to become an Olympic sport and lobbied for its inclusion.
What is skijoring? It’s snow skiing behind a horse! When snow jumps are involved and the horses are controlled by riders, it actually looks crazy and a lot of fun. When skiers are pulled behind riderless horses on frozen lakes for a few minutes, as was the case at the 1928 St. Moritz games, it is pretty lame.
Skijoring failed to win inclusion as an Olympic sport, that year or any other thereafter.
Today skijoring is still practiced, from the Nordic region of Europe to the wild west of the United States. In fact, the World Championships are held right here in good old Montana.
Peters pledges his support to help bring back the conversation around skijoring as an Olympic sport. I’ll throw my lot in with him, just so long as we can bet on it.
SKIJORING IN MONTANA