History of Olympic Freestyle Skiing

Freestyle skiing has essentially been around for as long as people have been strapping into skis and grabbing their poles. Traditional skiers and down hill skiers wanted more competition to be able to participate in. The freestyle skiing was what the skiers got when they asked for more competition. The skiing allowed them to show off their tricks, abilities and skills while they were not only going downhill, but also while they were doing things in the air as well as on the mountain. However, such tricks may be dangerous, which is demonstrated in this video with Jason Begg-Smith.


The 1988 winter Olympics were the first time that the freestyle events were featured at the Olympics. These events included the moguls, ballet skiing and aerials. This was the first time that any were featured and they were only demonstration spots at the event. They did not become officially recognized until the 1992 sports. This was something that the Olympics did to make sure that there was interest in the sports and that the competitors were satisfied with what had been added. It turned out that the competitors and spectators were both pleased, and the sport was officially added in 1992. This was when competitors could begin taking home medals for the events that they participated in freestyle skiing. It was the first time that competitors could get a gold, silver or bronze in the Olympics for freestyle skiing.

The 1992 games saw the addition of the events, but it only added mogul skiing. This happened without the addition of aerials and ballet skiing, which had been featured in the demonstration during the previous year of Olympics. Skiers were able to still demonstrate their ballet and aerial skills, but they had not been added officially as medal sports. This was the result of the Olympic decision that brought about the changes to the winter games and the Olympic sports. The ballet event did not have as much popularity as the other freestyle games.


In 1996, aerials were officially added to the games. During this time, the ballet demonstration was officially dropped from the demonstration. This was a result of little interest, although the sport still remains popular in other competitions, it is just not something that the Olympics saw a need for. This was the last change that would be made to the sport until over 10 years later. The event allowed competitors the chance to show off their skills in the air while they were going down the hill. It was something that many competitors enjoyed, but was a major hit with the spectators due to the jaw dropping abilities of the competitors.

During the 2010 Olympics, another category was added to the freestyle skiing games. This was ski cross. It was the first time that an event had been added in almost 15 years and brought about big changes for the winter Olympics. During this year, two other events were added to the demonstration. The combination of these events drew a breath of new life into the freestyle skiing competition. What had previously taken somewhat of a backseat to snowboarding, was getting a fresh new look at the Olympics.

The 2014 games had the biggest change since the games had originally been added to the winter Olympic competition. The two categories that were added were slope style and halfpipe competitions. These allowed skiers to participate in a sport that was nearly as extreme as snowboarding and were new crowd favorites. The halfpipe competition was as exhilarating as aerials and allowed crowds to wait with bated breaths for the landing. These two additions were accepted and will continue to be a part of the sport due to the great response from not only the competitors, but also from the spectators who watched the Olympics.