The Weird World of Vintage Sports

British Pathé has released an interesting collection of vintage newsreel clips highlighting early experiments in hybrid sports. Some of the feats are daring, others merely silly. All are fun to watch.

Newsreels of this type were an important part of the movie-going experience in the first half of the 20th century, often featuring coverage of news, entertainment, culture and sports. Some reels were packaged into regularly appearing “cinemagazines” like Pathé Pictorial, a moving-picture analogue of the illustrated magazines of the day.

The reel above, shot in Bavaria in 1955, exposes the “Most Dangerous Sport in the World.” Motor skiing, also known as “motorized skijoring,” involves skiiers being pulled at high speeds over ice and snow by cars or motorcycles. You can scroll down to watch a few more of our favorites, or access the whole collection on YouTube, at the British Pathé Sporting History channel.

Cycle Skating, Paris, 1923:

Tennis on Ice, America, 1931:

Summer Skiing on the Boulevards, Paris, 1930:

Blimp Water Skiing, 1932:

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