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The History of Skiing

A basic history of skiing featuring several facts about the popular sport.
by

Edward Philippo

on 22 May 2013

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Transcript of The History of Skiing

a history Skiing Origins Early Uses Ski Designs over the Ages Modern Era Skiing, the sport of traveling over snow on snowshoes called skis, has a history of almost five millennia. While modern skiing originated in Scandinavia, it may have been practiced as early as 600 BC in Daxing'anling (what is now considered China).
Originally purely utilitarian, in the mid-1800s skiing started to become a popular recreational activity, being practiced across the globe.
The oldest information about skiing is based on archaeological evidence. A wooden ski dating from about 6000-5000 BC was found around 1,200 km northwest of Moscow at Lake Sindor. Rock drawings in Norway from about 4000 BC depict a man on skis holding some sort of pole. In the Norwegian Civil War in 1200, there was a faction called the Birkebeiners (the birch legs). They were the underdogs and often they had nothing to wear but the bark of birch trees on their legs and feet. When the Birkebeiner leader died in 1204, their rivals, the Baglars, saw a dangerous enemy in his son Haakon Haakonson (born just after his father's death). The Birkebeiners wanted to get him to safety in Trondheim. Two men took the 2-year-old boy, in extremely harsh winter conditions, across the mountains in Osterdalen. He later became King Haakon and ended the civil war. At first there were skis made of wood. If you’ve ever seen these skis, you’ll have wondered how on earth the rider had any control, let alone be able to make smooth curves. Some people will also remember some long, narrow skis that offered a fair bit of stability but were still pretty hard on the muscles.

After that, designers started making wider skis, ones that are common nowadays. A wider ski has a bigger platform, which in turn make balance better. The designers added a bit of shape, similar to a waist in the middle part of the ski. This helps a lot when turning. Then they made tips that turn up at the end for even better balance and easy maneuverability. The core of the ski is wrapped in fiberglass, and is often made of wood, but can also be made of foam or other materials. In 1989-1990, two manufacturers named Elan and Salomon introduced the type of ski with a one-piece cap. In present days, cap skis are very obvious. In this design, the cap of the ski is composed of fiberglass and forms the top and sides. The base, on the other hand, is made of a polyethylene synthetic with steel edges. Norwegian painting of two warriors carrying young Prince Haakon to safety. Sources can be found at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MG7yTCI8GejC_5EYCJVu4uuLlZKaTmBS9u2x07UJZ7w/view?usp=sharing Thank you for watching!
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