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History of skiing

The History of skiing

Table of contents
1 Ancient history of skiing
2 Modern history of skiing
3 Museums
4 See also
5 Reference

Ancient history of skiing

The first hints to the existence of skis are on 4500 to 5000 year old rock drawings, e.g. at R°d°y in Norway. There are also remains of skis in bogs, e.g. the oldest ski found in Hoting, Sweden, which is about 4500 years old.

The word ski goes back to two Old Norse roots, both older than 4500 years: saa and suk.


There are six possible roots from which skis originally might have developed: The fur that covered the skis made it possible to walk on them nearly noiselessly, prevented them from gliding, avoided snow to stick to them and also strengthened the often thin skis.

Early Skis

Different types of skis have emerged at various regions at about the same time, but the original inventors of skis seem to be the people of the Sajan-Altaic mountains in Asia. This is not verified. All in all there are three different types of skis in the North of Europe and Asia:

Modern ski bindings are based on the Fennoscandian model of the 19th century. The bindings of
Telemark ski and cross-country skis were developed from the Ugro-Lapp type.

Ski Poles

The ski poles go back to two roots:

Modern history of skiing

Pioneer Sondre Norheim, from Morgedal in Telemark, has often been given the honour as the true father of skiing, inventing the equipment and techniques that led to modern skiing as we see it today. Actually, there are no proofs that he himslelf invented anything. But he must have been a wonderful skier, and an inspiration for generations. The myth about Sondre as the father of modern skiing was largely constructed in Norway from the 1930s, and especially in connection with the Olympic Winter Games in Oslo in 1952. Most of the inventions attributed to Norheim were in fact known a long time before him.

In Austria centers of skiing activities were MŘrzzuschlag and Semmering. When???

In the 19th century the Telemark ski revolutionized alpine skiing, being the first ski with a remarkable waist making it much easier for skiers to turn. When???

Ski jumping

The first skiing events where ski jumping was included were held in Tromso/, Norway in 1843. The first pure ski jumping event was held in Trysil on January 22 1862. Later, the yearly Husebybakken events in Oslo from 1879 were moved to Holmenkollen from 1892, and Holmenkollen was to become the Mecca of ski jumping.

Austrian Ski pioneers

In 1896 he published his first book on skiing technique. Zdarsky stemmed the downhill ski out, leaned inside to the pole, unweighted the inner ski and brought it parallel, he used rotation technique. He taught skiing and invented ski acrobatics.
The first slalom race was directed by Zdarsky and took place at Muckenkogel, Lilienfeld, in 1905.


See also