Skiing is a recreational activity and competitive sport in which the participant attaches long runners or skis to boots or shoes on the feet and uses them to travel on top of snow. Aside from recreation and competition, skiing has been used for military purposes and even travelling in areas that experience heavy snowfall. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and the International Ski Federation.
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. 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.
Alpine ski racing as an organised sport commenced in both America and Australia. The first recreational ski club was formed in 1861 at Kiandra, Australia, where the first documented international downhill carnival was also held.
Types of skiing
Also called downhill skiing, alpine skiing typically takes place at a ski resort or dry slope. It originated in the European Alps, and is characterized by fixed-heel bindings that attach at both the toe and the heel of the skier's boot. Sub-genres of alpine skiing include:
- Competitive classes include: slalom, giant slalom, Super-G, Downhill, and disabled skiing.
In alpine skiing, for every 1000 people skiing in a day, on average between two and four will require medical attention. Knee injuries account for 33 percent of injuries. Most accidents are the result of user error leading to an isolated fall.
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:
- Chronology timeline, North American ski mountaineering backcountry skiing
- IOL: Wiping the snow off Greenland's oldest ski
- The cradle of skiing (Norway – the official site in the United States)
- Skiing and the Creation of a Norwegian Identity (Norway – the official site in the United States)
- The Melbourne Argus, 6 July 1908.
- Langran, Mike. "FAQ". ski-injury.com. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Skiing|
- Skiing at the Open Directory Project
- International Skiing History Association Publishes Skiing Heritage six times annually.
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