Fun Facts About Skiing
Skiing is known to be one of the favorite winter sports activities in the world. It is simply the use of long, flat runners called skis to glide on snow and is useful as a means of transportation in some regions of the world. Skiing is also a popular leisure activity and winter sport.
In this article, we would be compiling and discussing some of the most interesting fun facts about skiing. The earliest evidence of skiing is dated back to 5000 B.C in the region of Sweden and Norway and it was primarily used as a means of transport. In these early times, nomadic people traveled across the vast arctic expanse in search of food and shelter with skis strapped to their feet.
In the 18th century, skiing evolved to become a recreational sport enjoyed by many around the world. The popularity of skiing holidays began commercially in the 19th century and it increased substantially during the mid-1900s until today.
Whether you live in a region where the sport of skiing is popular or not, you most likely have seen it on TV and wondered to know some facts about skiing that makes it a lovely and popular sport lots of people want to be participate in.
Fun Skiing Facts
- The word ‘ski’ was obtained from a Norwegian word ‘skíð’ which means a split wood or wooden board. Interestingly, the world’s oldest skis were found and dated to 6300–5000 BC about 1200km from Moscow. Some of the first set of skis were broad and short, and looked like snowshoes rather than modern skis.
- In the English language, Skiing is the only six-letter word with a double ‘i’ exactly in the middle. This fact could just help you win a quiz someday. You never can tell.
- The first downhill skiing race was recorded to have taken place in Sweden in 1879. During the first Winter Olympics, the International Ski Federation (FIS) was founded in Chamonix, France in 1924 with Nordic skiing being the only discipline at first. Later on, the first FIS world championships for men’s downhill events began in 1931 and by 1950, women began to compete in world championships.
- In 1936, the men and women’s combined Alpine skiing made its first launch into the Winter Olympics and the first man that won the gold medal in the championship was Franz Pfnür in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- Skiing is one of the fastest sports on land that is not motorized. In 2006, Simone Origone who set a world record in speed skiing at 156.2 miles per hour proved that skiers can move faster than a car. This huge feat trumped the speed of cars which move at 120 miles per hour.
- Skiing was introduced to Switzerland by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He brought some skis after an enjoyable trip to Norway with the light bulb idea that Switzerland had a great terrain for skiing. He was quoted as saying, ‘I am convinced that the time will come when hundreds of English men will come to Switzerland for the skiing season’.
- St Bernard of Montjoux is known as the patron saint of skiers. In 1923, he was declared a saint by Pope Pius XI. His missionary work for four decades throughout the Alps made him earn this position as a patron of skiers.
- Many skiers are known to entreat the Norse God of winter who is called ‘Ullr’ and they carry out sacrifices so he can unleash a powder dump on specific ski hills. It is said that worshipping Ullr is a way to get more snow. Ullrfest which is a yearly tradition in many parts of the world is carried out by making a giant bonfire where people gather to burn their old pairs of skis. This is considered as a sacrifice to Ullr so that he will accept your gift and bless your mountains with plenty of snow in return.
- Harrison Schmitt who is an astronaut and the last man on the moon stated that he believes learning the art of cross country skiing will help astronauts who are traveling to the moon as the techniques involved has the potential to make their walk on the moon easier. He also visualized lunar skiing holidays in the future.
- Sondre Norheim, a Norwegian invented Telemark bindings, named after his hometown. The were made to bind the ski to the plastic boots so skiers can easily jump in the air. The new combination of boots and binding allowed skiers to have more control and this led to more innovations such as the modern ski boots, bindings and skiing techniques.
- Ski resorts see 350 million visitors every year worldwide. These resorts are found in about 80 countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres. This fact lends credence to the popularity of skiing across different ge groups all over the world. Recreational skiing is also said to be relatively safe for skiers.
- Skiing is also known as an exercise that assists in burning calories. It is a brilliant workout with moderate downhill skiing burning up roughly 400 calories an hour, while uphill cross-country skiing has the potential to burn over 1,000 calories an hour.
The above list of fun skiing facts are some of the reasons the sport of skiing is an incredibly important sport lots of people from various parts of the world enjoy participating in the sport both professionally and as a hobby.
Asides these fun facts about skiing, there are some popular frequently asked questions about skiing that people who are new to the sport or are just hearing about it for the first time are interested in knowing. The following section would be dedicated to answering the frequently asked questions about skiing.
- What country invented skiing?
Skiing was invented by Norway and Sweden, there are also evidence to show that the ancient Chinese in Northern China were also into the sport of skiing several thousand years ago.
- How many types of skiing are there?
There are about 12 types of skiing and they are speed skiing, adaptive skiing, alpine skiing, ski mountaineering, telemark skiing, skate skiing, backcountry skiing, ski touring, Nordic skiing, freestyle skiing, ski jumping and ski racing.
- Why is skiing called skiing?
It is called skiing because the name of the sport comes from an Old Norse word skíð which meant ‘split piece of wood’.
- When was the first ski?
The first ski was between the ages of 8000 BC and 7000 BC.
- What is the oldest ski resort?
The oldest ski resort is the Howelsen Hill which was established in the year 1914 in the USA by a Norwegian Carl Howelsen.
- Where is skiing most popular?
Skiing is most popular in the United States of America. It is also popular in some European countries like Australia, France and northern European countries.
- Where does ski come from?
Ski comes from Northern European countries like Norway as well as Russia and China. There are evidences of skiing equipments dating several thousands years ago found in these countries.
- Where did the word ski come from?
The word ski comes from the Old Norse word ‘skíð’. The Old Norse word ‘skíð’ meant to split a wood.