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10 Bizarre Olympic Events

4

Ski Jumping

This is a position in time/space that no completely sane person would ever find themselves in.
This is a position in time/space that no completely sane person would ever find themselves in.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Cross-country skiing is a strength and endurance test. Downhill skiing is a speed and swiveling test. Ski jumping is straight-up craziness test. And Olympic athletes have been participating in this particular brand of nuttiness since 1924.

Ski jumping involves shooting yourself down a steep incline on two little sticks (some call them skis; we're not convinced this is an accurate description given the circumstances), then launching yourself into the air to see how far you can travel. And that tends to be a long, long way. For spectators, it's like seeing Superman in action, but without any of the superhuman powers. If hanging in an abyss high above snow-packed ground sounds pleasant, well, this might just be the sport for you. Don't even get us started on ski aerials.

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