Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports that were once used as a mode of transportation. People used skiing for transport until the 18th century in which it became an adventure sport. The skiing sport became popular commercial in the 19th century. Today the sport of skiing is one of the most popular winter sports participated worldwide.
There are many facts about skiing that people don’t know. Here are the top 5 fun facts about the most popular winter sport.
Skiing is a lot older than you think
Skiing is one of the most popular holiday activities today. However, most of the people don’t know that skiing has been present for more than 5000 years. Skis and snowshoes were first made to cross the wetlands and frozen lakes. They helped humans to walk and travel during the winters to hunt the animals in the frozen tundra.
According to the studies and prehistoric carvings it was used as a means of transport. The carvings found in Norway indicate that people in ancient times used to ski with a single ski and keep the other hand free for hunting.
The next era of skiing evolved out of the Norway military. The Norwegian army used to conduct skill competitions which involve, skiing down slopes, across level snowfields and skiing while shooting.
The use of skiing for transportation grew in Scandinavia and then expanded to Western Europe as a means of transport, but eventually evolved into downhill skiing. The sport of skiing really took off in the late 19th and early 20th century, but it became extremely popular in the mid of 1900s.
Norway is the hub of skiing sport
The sport of skiing is popular in more than 80 countries worldwide. But skiing is most played in Norway, Austria, and Switzerland where more than 25 percent of the population participate in the sport.
According to historians, Morgedal in Norway is the birthplace of skiing. Morgedal is a small town in Norway that is also known as the “Cradle of skiing sport”. The most popular form of Alpine skiing originated from cross country in Telemark, Norway.
The modern-day skiing which we play today was developed by Sondre Norheim in Norway in 1850, who developed the ‘Telemark’ bindings that bind the ski to the plastic boots which made it possible for the skiers to jump in the air.
The development of Telemark bindings commercially enables the skiers to perform more effectively in the skiing races and competitions.
It Is Possible To Ski Faster Than Driving Cars
You may not be aware of the fact that skiing can be faster than the cars we commonly drive. In fact, it is the fastest non-motorized sport played on the land. Usually, we can drive our cars up to a maximum speed of 120 miles per hour but professional skiers can go beyond that.
In 2006, an Italian skier Simone Origone set a world record in skiing at a speed of 156.8 miles per hour which is more that the top speed of the cars we commonly drive. Origone set the world record in France on the slopes of Chabrieres beating his own previous record of 156.2 miles per hour. The Italian speed skier belongs to a family with skiing background.
Les Trois Vallées – The Largest Ski Area in the world
Les Trois Vallées in France is the largest ski area in the world. It has more than 600 km of pistes and 180 lifts that link eight resorts with three parallel valleys. The Val Thorens is one of the eight resorts, which is Europe’s highest ski resort at a height of 2300 m. The entire ski area of Les Trois Vallées is connected through lifts and slopes.
The ski area boasts over 600 km of trails and more than 180 ski lifts capable of transporting 2, 60, 000 skiers per hour. Also, there are 1920 snow cannons, 1500 ski instructors, and 424 ski patrollers in the Les Trois Vallées to facilitate the skiers and snowboarders.
Also, there are Alpine villages – Courchevel-Le Praz (1300m), Très Anglais La Tania (1400m), and St-Martin de Belleville (1450m). All the three villages are linked by high speed lifts to higher elevation slopes.
Kitzbuhel, Austria – the Toughest Downhill Skiing Course
According to the Trivia library website, the first downhill skiing race was held in Sweden (Europe) in the year 1879. The website also claims that the early downhill skiing race took place in California which range from 10 feet to 25 feet in length.
According to the professional skiers, the Kitzbühel, in Tyrol, Austria is the toughest downhill ski course in the world. Most of the ski racers in the world cup tour think of the Kitzbuhel Hahnenkamm races to be the main attraction of the tour. The race has been held every year since 1967 which ends in the Streif run near the center of the city.
Winning a race at Kitzbuhel is one of the greatest honors in the downhill racing that is why every professional skier dreams of victory at Streif. Professional skiers from all parts of the world visit Kitzbuhel to participate in the world cup tour. Ski racing is toughest at Kitzbuhel due to its difficult terrain with steep slopes, compressions, and curves.
These were the 5 fun facts about the sport of skiing. Although, skiing is a fascinating sport there are a lot of risks associated with it. If you want to enjoy this adventure sport you should take professional training from an instructor before participating in any skiing event. Remember, there is no substitute for professional training. Moreover, an experienced instructor trains you and helps you handle the associated risks in a safe way.
In addition to snow skiing, there are also other winter sports such as snowboarding, snow scooting and water skiing. It is important to use the right skiing gear for any type of skiing as it offers you safety and protection from weather conditions. Many stores offer special water ski gear for sale for people who love the sport of water skiing.