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Why do so many generations worldwide love skiing in winter

Anita Valentinova, 22.12.2011

Winter sports and all its variants arise from our need to touch snow-covered surfaces. In Nordic mythology and history of the Nordic countries, there are references to the movement on snow using special shoes or even skates. It is believed that Swedish and Finnish residents used to ski 4000 or 5000 years ago.

Skiing is probably one of the oldest sports as the skis were used in Scandinavia 5000 years ago. Skis were the most appropriate way for locals to travel in snowy areas. In the 10th century the Vikings who came to different regions of Europe to conquer different countries have spread the use of skis. Alpine and Nordic skiing was spread in Europe with three types of skiing: downhill, running and jumping.

During the 19th century skiing became a sport especially when Sondre Nordheim, a Norwegian couple, came up with the ski boots, invention that provided greater control over the ski jumps and spins. The history of skiing in Europe in short:

  • Skating on frozen canals became popular in the Netherlands during the 13th century.
  • The first Swiss ski club was founded in 1893. Alpine skiing has thriven in Europe in 19th century.
  • Norway Ski Association was founded in 1883 and the first international tournament was held in 1892 near today’s Oslo, Norway.
  • The first cross-country skiing race was held in Norway in 1843.
  • The downhill races date back to 1911 and one can ski with a speed 140 kilometers per hour.
  • The first slalom took place for the first time in 1922.
  • Skiing has become a part of the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924. They were held in Chamonix, France, and included five sports: figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic skiing, sledding, bobsleigh and speed skating. The event was held for one week and representatives of 18 countries took part in the event.
  • The first Olympic ice hockey games took place in the summer of 1920. Today's ice hockey is a part of the Winter Games. We don’t know whether you do practice various winter sports, but ice hockey in an interesting sport and players skate at high speeds, about 50 miles per hour and some even hit the record up to 190 kilometers per hour.
  • Winter sleigh rides were only performed in the Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1928 and 1948.
  • Edward Eagan, from United States has won a Gold Medal at the Summer Olympics and another gold medal in the Winter Olympics in 1932.
  • The first ski biathlon was held in 1960 and only men were able to participate in the event. Women participated in 1992.
  • In 1968, Jean-Claude Killy, who participated in all competitions in the Alps in the Winter Games in Grenoble (France), won a gold medal in giant slalom and downhill.
  • On 1st May 1978, Naomi Uemura, a Japanese explorer reached the North Pole, moved on the ice with a winter sleigh pulled by dogs from northern Canada.
  • The ice masters, Jayne Torvill British and Christopher Dean, won 7 prizes between 1978 and 1983, and 1994.

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