Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports, not only because it’s fun but because of the incredible experience of skiing in the mountains. Skiing wasn’t always like this, however; it used to be a lot scarier! When was snow skiing invented and what were the original rules of the sport?
Although skiing is considered a modern winter sport, it has actually been around for a very long time. There are historical mentions of skiers dating back to the ancient Greeks and the Romans, who would slide down the backside of hills on wooden sledges.
These days, it’s generally considered an insult to call someone a “snowflake” or a “ski bum”, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t used to describe those who went out for a ski on a regular basis in the past. The earliest documentary evidence of skiing dates back to the 1950s, and even then, it was a pretty fringe sport.
Early Skiing In Switzerland
Skiing was first introduced to Switzerland around the 1850s, when it became a popular tourist activity in the country. It wasn’t long before the first ski club was formed and began teaching people how to ski. The sport slowly started to gain popularity in Europe around this time as well, and by the early 1900s, Europe was a hub for winter sports.
The Rise Of The Skiing Mecca
During this time, resorts such as St. Moritz in Switzerland and the Winterthur in the United States gained popularity, attracting people from all over the world. They came for the skiing but stayed for the culture, establishing St. Moritz as Europe’s first true ski resort.
In the 1940s, the development of aluminum and steel made it possible to create lighter and faster skis. This in turn made it possible for more people to participate in the sport. The number of people skiing in St. Moritz has increased from 500 in 1941 to 10,000 in 1960. That’s a lot of people on ski slopes for the first time!
Modern Skiing Rules
Although skiing has become a lot safer over the years, it’s still considered a dangerous sport; one that requires a lot of practice to master. The basic rules of skiing were established in the 1950s and remain the same today. You must always ski in a ski zone, which is defined by the color of the snow on the slopes and the lighting conditions. This way, you can be sure that other skiers are also taking part in the fun.
In addition to this, you must wear a helmet when skiing and always obey the rules of the ski area you’re visiting. Most ski areas will expect you to be an expert skier by the time you’re 18 years old, so make sure you practice on the weekends!
The skiing experience has become a lot more fun since then. The number of participants around the world has increased as well, with 4 million people reported to be participating in the winter sport in the US alone in 2018.
This year, be sure to check out the 2018 Winter Olympics in the US, where the Olympic gold medal for men’s ski cross was won by a Norwegian athlete in a world record time of 7.47 seconds. You can follow the event live on the internet.