Skiing can be a means of transport, a recreational activity or a competitive winter sport in which the participant uses skis to glide on snow. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Skiing has a history of almost five millennia. Although modern skiing has evolved from beginnings in Scandinavia, it may have been practiced more than 100 centuries ago in what is now China, according to an interpretation of ancient paintings.
Asymmetrical skis were used in northern Finland and Sweden until at least the late 19th century. On one foot, the skier wore a long straight non-arching ski for sliding, and a shorter ski was worn on the other foot for kicking. The underside of the short ski was either plain or covered with animal skin to aid this use, while the long ski supporting the weight of the skier was treated with animal fat in a similar manner to modern ski waxing.
Skiing was primarily used for transport until the mid-19th century, but since then has also become a recreation and sport. Military ski races were held in Norway during the 18th century, and ski warfare was studied in the late 18th century. As equipment evolved and ski lifts were developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, two main genres of skiing emerged—Alpine (downhill) skiing and Nordic skiing. The main difference between the two is the type of ski binding (the way in which the ski boots are attached to the skis).
Also called "downhill skiing", Alpine skiing typically takes place on a piste at a ski resort. It is characterized by fixed-heel bindings that attach at both the toe and the heel of the skier's boot. Ski lifts, including chairlifts, bring skiers up the slope. Backcountry skiing can be accessed by helicopter, snowcat, hiking and snowmobile. Facilities at resorts can include night skiing, après-ski, and glade skiing under the supervision of the ski patrol and the ski school. Alpine skiing branched off from the older Nordic type of skiing around the 1920s when the advent of ski lifts meant that it was not necessary to walk any longer. Alpine equipment has specialized to the point where it can now only be used with the help of lifts.
The Nordic disciplines include cross-country skiing and ski jumping, which both use bindings that attach at the toes of the skier's boots but not at the heels. Cross-country skiing may be practiced on groomed trails or in undeveloped backcountry areas. Ski jumping is practiced in certain areas that are reserved exclusively for ski jumping.
Telemark skiing is a ski turning technique and FIS-sanctioned discipline, which is named after the Telemark region of Norway. It uses equipment similar to Nordic skiing, where the ski bindings are attached only at the toes of the ski boots, allowing the skier's heel to be raised throughout the turn.
The following disciplines are sanctioned by the FIS. Many have their own world cups and are included in the Winter Olympic Games.
Equipment used in skiing includes:
Originally and primarily a winter sport, skiing can also be practiced indoors without snow, outdoors on grass, on dry ski slopes, with ski simulators, or with roller skis. A treadmill-like surface can also be used, to enable skiing while staying in the same place. Sand skiing involves sliding on sand instead of snow, but the skier uses conventional skis, ski poles, bindings and boots.
Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing (cross-country, Telemark, or ski jumping), which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or sport, it is typically practised at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol.
"Off-piste" skiers—those skiing outside ski area boundaries—may employ snowmobiles, helicopters or snowcats to deliver them to the top of a slope. Back-country skiers may use specialized equipment with a free-heel mode for hiking up slopes and a locked-heel mode for descents.
Alpine skiing has been an event at the Winter Olympic Games since 1936.Alpine skiing combined
Combined is an event in alpine ski racing. A traditional combined competition consists of one run of downhill and two runs of slalom, each discipline run on separate days. The winner is the skier with the fastest aggregate time. (Until the 1990s, a complicated point system was used to determine placings in the combined event.) A modified version, the super combined, is a speed race (downhill or super-G) and only one run of slalom, with both portions scheduled on the same day.Biathlon
The biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. It is treated as a race where the contestant with the shortest total time wins. Depending on the competition, missed shots result in extra distance or time being added to the contestant's total.Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing is a form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance. Cross-country skiing is widely practiced as a sport and recreational activity; however, some still use it as a means of transportation. Variants of cross-country skiing are adapted to a range of terrain which spans unimproved, sometimes mountainous terrain to groomed courses that are specifically designed for the sport.
Modern cross-country skiing is similar to the original form of skiing, from which all skiing disciplines evolved, including alpine skiing, ski jumping and Telemark skiing. Skiers propel themselves either by striding forward (classic style) or side-to-side in a skating motion (skate skiing), aided by arms pushing on ski poles against the snow. It is practised in regions with snow-covered landscapes, including Northern Europe, Canada, Russia, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.Competitive cross-country skiing is one of the Nordic skiing sports. Cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship are the two components of biathlon, ski-orienteering is a form of cross-country skiing, which includes map navigation along snow trails and tracks.Cross-country skiing (sport)
The sport of cross-country skiing encompasses a variety of formats for cross-country skiing races over courses of varying lengths according to rules sanctioned by the International Ski Federation and by various national organizations, such as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Cross Country Ski Canada. International competitions include the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, and at the Winter Olympic Games. Such races occur over homologated, groomed courses designed to support classic (in-track) and freestyle events, where the skiers may employ skate skiing. It also encompasses cross-country ski marathon events, sanctioned by the Worldloppet Ski Federation, and cross-country ski orienteering events, sanctioned by the International Orienteering Federation. Related forms of competition are biathlon, where competitors race on cross-country skis and stop to shoot at targets with rifles, and paralympic cross-country skiing that allows athletes with disabilities to compete at cross-country skiing with adaptive equipment.
Norwegian army units were skiing for sport (and prizes) in the 18th century. Starting in the latter part of the 20th century, technique evolved from the striding in-track classic technique to include skate-skiing, which occurs on courses that have been groomed with wide lanes for those using the technique. At the same time, equipment evolved from skis and poles that were made of wood and other natural materials to comprising such man-made materials as fiberglass, carbon fiber, and polyethylene plastics.Athletes train to achieve endurance, strength, speed, skill and flexibility at different levels of intensity. Offseason training often occurs on dry land, sometimes on roller skis. The organization of cross-country ski competitions aims to make those events accessible both to spectators and television audiences. As with other sports that require endurance, strength and speed, some athletes have chosen to use banned performance-enhancing drugs.FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are an alpine skiing competition organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS).FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships is a biannial nordic skiing event organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS). The World Championships was started in 1925 for men and opened for women's participation in 1954. World Championship events include nordic skiing's three disciplines: cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and nordic combined (the latter being a combination sport consisting of both cross-country and ski jumping). From 1924 to 1939, the World Championships were held every year, including the Winter Olympics. After World War II, the World Championships were held every four years from 1950 to 1982. Since 1985, the World Championships have been held in odd-numbered years.Freestyle skiing
Freestyle skiing is a skiing discipline comprising aerials, moguls, cross, half-pipe and slopestyle as part of the Winter Olympics. It can consist of a skier performing aerial flips and spins, and can include skiers sliding rails and boxes on their skis. It is also commonly referred to as freeskiing, jibbing, as well as many other names around the world.Giant slalom
Giant slalom (GS) is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline. It involves skiing between sets of poles (gates) spaced at a greater distance from each other than in slalom but less than in Super-G.
Giant slalom and slalom make up the technical events in alpine ski racing. This category separates them from the speed events of Super-G and downhill. The technical events are normally composed of two runs, held on different courses on the same ski run.International Ski Federation
The Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS; English: International Ski Federation) is the world's highest governing body for international winter sports. Founded in Chamonix on 2 February 1924, it is responsible for the Olympic disciplines of Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing and snowboarding. The FIS is also responsible for setting the international competition rules. The organization now has a membership of 118 national ski associations and is based in Oberhofen am Thunersee, Switzerland.Mogul skiing
Mogul skiing is a freestyle skiing competition consisting of one timed run of free skiing on a steep, heavily moguled course, stressing technical turns, aerial maneuvers and speed. Internationally, the sport is contested at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, and at the Winter Olympic Games.
Moguls are a series of bumps on a piste formed when skiers push snow into mounds as they do sharp turns. This tends to happen naturally as skiers use the slope but they can also be constructed artificially. Once formed, a naturally occurring mogul tends to grow as skiers follow similar paths around it, further deepening the surrounding grooves known as troughs. Since skiing tends to be a series of linked turns, moguls form together to create a bump field.
The term "mogul" is from the Bavarian/Austrian German word Mugel, meaning "mound, hillock".Nordic combined
Nordic combined is a winter sport in which athletes compete in cross-country skiing and ski jumping. Nordic combined at the Winter Olympics and the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup are ongoing.Nordic skiing
Nordic skiing encompasses the various types of skiing in which the toe of the ski boot is fixed to the binding in a manner that allows the heel to rise off the ski, unlike Alpine skiing, where the boot is attached to the ski from toe to heel. Recreational disciplines include cross-country skiing and Telemark skiing.
Olympic events are cross-country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined—competition in which athletes both cross-country ski and ski jump. The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships host these sports, plus Telemark skiing, at the championship level in the winter of every odd numbered year. Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, but is not included as a Nordic discipline under FIS rules. Instead, it is under the jurisdiction of the International Biathlon Union.The biomechanics of competitive cross-country skiing and ski jumping have been the subject of serious study. Cross-country skiing requires strength and endurance and ski jumping requires aerodynamic efficiency, both of which requirements translate into specific skills to be optimized in training and competition.Ski lift
Snowcat service in Colorado, USA]]
A ski lift is a mechanism for transporting skiers up a hill. Ski lifts are typically a paid service at ski resorts. The first ski lift was built in 1908 by German Robert Winnerbalder in Schollach/Eisenbach, Hochschwarzwald.Ski resort
A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. In Europe, most ski resorts are towns or villages in or adjacent to a ski area – a mountainous area with pistes (ski trails) and a ski lift system. In North America, it is more common for ski areas to exist well away from towns, so ski resorts usually are destination resorts, often purpose-built and self-contained, where skiing is the main activity.Slalom skiing
Slalom is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline, involving skiing between poles or gates. These are spaced more closely than those in giant slalom, super giant slalom and downhill, necessitating quicker and shorter turns. Internationally, the sport is contested at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, and at the Olympic Winter Games.
The term may also refer to waterskiing on one ski.Water skiing
Water skiing (also waterskiing or water-skiing) is a surface water sport in which an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation over a body of water, skimming the surface on two skis or one ski. The sport requires sufficient area on a smooth stretch of water, one or two skis, a tow boat with tow rope, three people (depending on state boating laws), and a personal flotation device. In addition, the skier must have adequate upper and lower body strength, muscular endurance, and good balance.
There are water ski participants around the world, in Asia and Australia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In the United States alone, there are approximately 11 million water skiers and over 900 sanctioned water ski competitions every year. Australia boasts 1.3 million water skiers.There are many options for recreational or competitive water skiers. These include speed skiing, trick skiing, show skiing, slaloming, jumping, barefoot skiing and wakeski. Similar, related sports are wakeboarding, kneeboarding, discing, tubing, and sit-down hydrofoil.Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Olympic Games (French: Jeux olympiques d'hiver) is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years for sports practiced on snow and ice. The first Winter Olympic Games, the 1924 Winter Olympics, were held in Chamonix, France. The modern Olympic Games were inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, leading to the first modern Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.
The original five Winter Olympic sports (broken into nine disciplines) were bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing (consisting of the disciplines military patrol, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and ski jumping), and skating (consisting of the disciplines figure skating and speed skating). The Games were held every four years from 1924 to 1936, interrupted in 1940 and 1944 by World War II, and resumed in 1948. Until 1992, the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games were held in the same year, and in accordance with the 1986 decision by the IOC to place the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years, the next Winter Olympic Games after 1992 were held in 1994.
The Winter Olympic Games have evolved since their inception. Sports and disciplines have been added and some of them, such as Alpine skiing, luge, short track speed skating, freestyle skiing, skeleton, and snowboarding, have earned a permanent spot on the Olympic programme. Some others, including curling and bobsleigh, have been discontinued and later reintroduced; others have been permanently discontinued, such as military patrol, though the modern Winter Olympic sport of biathlon is descended from it. Still others, such as speed skiing, bandy and skijoring, were demonstration sports but never incorporated as Olympic sports. The rise of television as a global medium for communication enhanced the profile of the Games. It generated income via the sale of broadcast rights and advertising, which has become lucrative for the IOC. This allowed outside interests, such as television companies and corporate sponsors, to exert influence. The IOC has had to address numerous criticisms over the decades like internal scandals, the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Winter Olympians, as well as a political boycott of the Winter Olympic Games. Countries have used the Winter Olympic Games as well as the Summer Olympic Games to proclaim the superiority of their political systems.
The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted on three continents by twelve different countries. They have been held four times in the United States (1932, 1960, 1980 and 2002), three times in France (1924, 1968 and 1992) and twice each in Austria (1964 and 1976), Canada (1988 and 2010), Japan (1972 and 1998), Italy (1956 and 2006), Norway (1952 and 1994) and Switzerland (1928 and 1948). Also, the Winter Olympic Games have been held just once each in Germany (1936), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1984), Russia (2014) and South Korea (2018). The IOC has selected Beijing, China, to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, and the host of the 2026 Winter Olympics will be selected on June 23, 2019. As of 2018, no city in the Southern Hemisphere has applied to host the cold-weather-dependent Winter Olympic Games, which are held in February at the height of the Southern Hemisphere's summer.
To date, twelve countries have participated in every Winter Olympic Games – Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. Six of these countries have won medals at every Winter Olympic Games – Austria, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United States. The only country to have won a gold medal at every Winter Olympic Games is the United States. Germany (combining both West Germany and East Germany) leads the all-time medal table of the Winter Olympic Games both on number of gold and overall medals won, followed by Norway, Russia and the United States.Winter sports
Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice. Most are variations of skiing, ice skating and sledding. Traditionally, such games were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and artificial ice allow more flexibility. Artificial ice can be used to provide ice rinks for ice skating, ice hockey, and bandy in a milder climate.
Common individual sports include cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, speed skating, figure skating, luge, skeleton, bobsleigh, ski orienteering and snowmobiling. Common team sports include ice hockey, curling, and bandy. Based on the number of participants, ice hockey is by far the world's most popular winter sport, followed by bandy. Winter sports have their own multi-sport events, such as the Winter Olympic Games and the Winter Universiade.
Skiing and snowboarding
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