What will encourage you to get off the couch in winter and spend the whole day outside? Skiing! This recreational and competitive outdoor sport brings together people of all different ages and cultures. You can have a fantastic time gliding down the slopes on fresh mountain air, do something for your health and share with other people the same love for skiing. The skiing is very popular sport, around 80 countries in the world offer ski areas and about 350 million people visit ski resorts annually, all across the globe.
The skiing has a very long history. Originally was skiing used for purpose of transportation in the mountains. The Stone Age hunters were strapping long pieces of wood to their feet to travel farther and faster over snow. Nowadays it’s a sport with various styles and types of skiing disciplines. There is the Alpine skiing, which takes place on steep hills, incorporated in four disciplines – Slalom, Super G, Downhill and Super Combined. Competitions also take place in cross-country skiing (a race on a long, flatter track), the biathlon (cross country skiing and target shooting), freestyle (the athletes show their talent in Acrobatics, Moguls and Big Air), ski jumping and snowboarding.
Interesting facts about skiing
- Morgedal, a village in Norway, is considered to be a “cradle of ski sport”. The word “ski” has its origin in the Norwegian word skíð which means a piece of wood.
- In 1843 was held the first public skiing competition in Norway.
- The first steam-powered rope tow was built in California, in 1910. And the first chair lift was introduced at Sun Valley, Idaho in 1936.
- In 1924 International Ski Federation was formatted and also started the first Winter Olympics.
- Harrison Schmitt, a crew member of the space shuttle Apollo 17, said that astronauts heading to the moon should learn the art of cross-country skiing, the technique involved in skiing help walking on the moon.
- Snowboarding debuted as an Olympic sport at Nagano in 1998. Men and women compete in halfpipe and the giant slalom events. Sherman Poppen from Michigan is the inventor of the snowboard, in 1965 he fastened two skis together. He called the sport “snurfing”, a combination of snow and surfing.
- Skiing is one of the fastest non-motorized sports on land, speed skiers regularly exceed 200 km/h. The current world record for skiing is 18 km/h held by Luca Ferrara from Orlando, Florida.
- It took 90 years for Women’s Ski Jumping to make the Olympics, women jumped for the first time in Sochi 2014.
- There is a whole range of ski-sizes for people with different heights, weights and preferences, in most cases, the choice comes down to personal preference. For a beginner choose a ski that is shorter and closer to chin height. Longer Ski blades provide higher speed capabilities, while shorter ones provide better maneuverability. The Big foot Blades are typically designed to be up 100 cm in length, which is much smaller than the normal skis, but also wider. They exude great control and have a very short turning radius. They are ideal for difficult part of the mountain terrain, for children and those who are just starting out.
- Skiing will improve your health, when you ski regularly, it will improve the effectiveness of our cardiovascular system, your coordination and balance, your muscles, knees and bones become stronger, you are preventing knee damage and osteoporosis and also it will help you with weight loss, you can burn around 350-400 calories per hour. Skiing is also good for your attitude, energy and it will help you against the stress. You will see the results also in good night’s sleep and your appetite.
Text by Michaela Kawanova