Skiing

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This article is about snow skiing. For water skiing, see water skiing. For other related articles, see Ski.
Skier carving a turn on the Grande Motte, Tignes, Savoie, France

Skiing is a recreational activity and competitive sport in which the participant uses skis to glide on snow. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and the International Ski Federation.

History[edit]

Main article: History of skiing

Until the mid-1800s skiing was primarily used for transport, and since then has become a recreation and sport.[1] The oldest and most accurately documented evidence of skiing origins is found in modern day Norway and Sweden. The earliest primitive carvings circa 5000 B.C. depict a skier with one pole, located in Rødøy in the Nordland region of Norway. The first primitive ski was found in a peat bog in Hoting, Sweden which dates back to 4500 or 2500 B.C.[2][3] Joel Berglund reported in 2004 the discovery of a primitive ski, or "85cm long piece of wood", carbon tested by researchers in 1997 while excavating a Norse settlement near Nanortalik, Greenland. The primitive ski dated back to 1010, and is thought to be Greenland's oldest ski brought by Norsemen circa 980 A.D.[4]

The word "ski" itself is one of a handful of words Norway has exported to the international community. It comes from the Old Norse word "skíð" which means "split piece of wood or firewood".[5][6]

The first public skiing competition ("betting race") was held in Tromsø, Norway on March 19, 1843. It was also the first skiing competition reported in a newspaper.[1] Military ski races were held in Norway during the 18th century,[7] and ski warfare was studied in the late 18th century.[8]

The first Australian recreational ski club was formed in 1861 at Kiandra,[9] where the first documented international downhill carnival was also held.[10]

Types of skiing[edit]

Alpine[edit]

Main article: Alpine skiing

Also called downhill skiing, alpine skiing typically takes place on a piste at a ski resort. It is characterized by fixed-heel bindings that attach at both the toe and the heel of the skier's boot. Because it is difficult to walk in alpine equipment, ski lifts including chairlifts bring skiiers up the slope. Backcountry skiing can be accessed by helicopter or snowcat. Facilities at resorts can include night skiing, après-ski, and glade skiing under the supervision of the ski patrol and the ski school.

Sub-genres include: freestyle and snowboarding.

Competitive classes, governed by the International Ski Federation include: slalom, giant slalom, super-g, downhill, and alpine skiing combined.

Nordic[edit]

Main article: Nordic skiing
Spring ski touring on Hardangervidda, Norway

Cross-country or backcountry skiing is the oldest form of skiing and was developed in Scandinavia as a way of traveling over snow. It uses free-heel bindings that attach at the toes of the skier's boots but not at the heels. Various specialties of competitive or recreational skiing developed from this basic style, sub-genres of Nordic skiing include:

Skiing without snow[edit]

Originally and primarily a winter sport, skiing can also be practised indoors without snow or outdoors on grass, on dry ski slopes, with ski simulators, or with roller skis.

Equipment[edit]

Equipment used in skiing includes:

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]