When was Skiing Invented?
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When was Skiing Invented?

Skiing is thought to date back to 6000 BC. The earliest archaeological finding of evidence of skiing were discovered in Russia around this time. It is generally thought that modern day skiing in all its different forms originated in Scandinavia, however wall paintings were discovered in modern day China which date back to 5000 BC.

Historic Skiers.jpg

How Long has Skiing been around?

Although skiing has taken many different forms over the years, it is estimated that skiing of sorts was invented around 7000 years ago. Carvings dating back to 5000 BC showing people skiing using 1 long ski pole to push themselves along. It is very likely that skiing was originally developed as a means of travelling long distances faster and easier, as well as for hunting. From the original cross-country skiing used very much for practical purposes, alpine and downhill skiing was later adapted.

Which Country Invented Skiing?

There have been many different adaptions of skiing over the years, though it is widely accepted that traditional skiing was invented in Scandanavia. There are finding in Norway of cave drawing of skiers dating back to 4500 BC and similarly evidence of very old skis have been discovered in Sweden which date back to 4500 BC. It is very difficult, almost impossible, to put a specific location on the origins of skiing, especially given that countries and regions have changed their borders so much over the past few millenniums. It is however certain that Scandanavia is where the sport, or method of transport depending how you look at it, originated.

Aside from where the sport was invented, what is even more beyond doubt is Norway’s and Sweden’s part played in popularising the sport, with many other countries following suite. In around the mid-19th century, the first ski races were held by Norway outside of the army, and by the end of the 19th Century, word had already travelled all around Europe of the success of this sport and its usefulness to cross vast distances in the snow with ease.

By the end of the 19th Century, Norway invented a new special type of skiing in the town of Telemark. Yes, this is when telemark skiing was invented, where the boot is only partially connected to the ski at the toe, and the heel is free to lift off. This allows for more freedom of movement, and creates a different type of skiing.

When did Skiing become a Sport?

The early adaptions of skiing were nothing more than a method of transport across vast snowy landscapes for people living in arctic conditions. This method of transport was necessary for hunting primarily. It was in the late 19th Century that skiing became a sport, with competitions moving from just being organised by the army, to spreading throughout Europe. The first competitive slalom skiing race was held in Switzerland in Mürren, organised by a chap called Sir Arnold Lunn!

Why was Skiing Invented?

Skiing was originally invented for the purpose of travel and to be able to cross expansive marsh and wetlands during the winter whenever the ground froze over. The invention of this method of travel was revolutionary for inhabitants of arctic countries during the winter, as it made hunting elk and deer much easier during the winter months.

Did the British Invent Skiing?

The Bristish most certainly did not invent skiing. Although British people had a large part to play in popularising the sport and British tourists certainly play a large part in revenue for ski resorts all over the world, Bristish people had no part to play in inventing skiing. Aside the fact there is very little snow in Britain compared to other parts of the world, it wasn’t until a century later that the British jumped on the skiing band wagon. The Norwegians had been enjoying the sport for a long time before this!

When was Skiing First in the Olympics?

Skiing was first introduced into the Olympics in 1936 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This is the Olympics that men and women's alpine skiing made its grand entrance. This first revelation of skiing in the Olympics was a combined event of downhill and slalom skiing, however in following Olympics events, these two different races were held as separate events, with Giant Slalom being added as another event in 1952, and in 1988 we saw the entrance of Super Giant Slalom. Who knows when ultra-super Giant Slalom is going to get added as an event...

Who Introduced Skiing to the United States?

As was the case with skiing gaining popularity in mainland Europe, skis first became popular in the USA in the mid 19th Century. The main influx of skiing came from the introduction of skis from Scandanavian immigrants, however the first record of skis being used in USA was in 1850 by "Snowshoe" Thompson, who allegedly used them to deliver mail across the West of America during the Winter.