What’s freestyle skiing?
Freestyle skiing evolved from “hotdog” skiing in North America in the 1960s. It is made up of three disciplines: ballet, moguls, and aerials. The Fédération Internationale de Ski (International Ski Federation; FIS) recognized freestyle in 1979, with freestyle events becoming a demonstration sport at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games. At the 1992 Winter Games, the freestyle disciplines of moguls and aerials became medal sports, while freestyle ballet remained a demonstration sport.
Ballet, an event much like figure skating, consists of a program of jumps, spins, and gliding steps performed to music. The routine is judged on its technical difficulty and the skier’s overall performance and choreography.
Moguls is a downhill race consisting of carefully calculated high-speed turns on a slope with many large bumps (moguls). The competitor is judged on the quality and technique of turns and line, upright aerials, and speed.
In aerials, a trained skier completes an acrobatic leap from a specially prepared ski jump. Scoring is based on the takeoff, form and execution of the maneuver, and the landing. Judges’ scores are multiplied by the degree of difficulty, with the high and low scores discarded.