Skiing is one of the best mountain sports and dates all the way back to the 6300BC when skis were used for transport purposes. However, Skiing is a popular winter sport in recent times. There are numerous astonishing facts about skiing. Check out some of the craziest but fun facts about skiing here in this gallery.
SKI to the Moon!
Astronaut Harrison Schmitt spotted the mountainous rim of the Sea of Serenity when he landed on the moon in 1972. He saw it as a place to have “lunar skiing holidays.” He felt it because of the structure of the moon and the type of landscape. Appearing as white dust, it reminded him of the snow which made him feel that this could be an ideal spot for skiing. This is why it can be said that anyone who is lucky to visit the moon could also do some skiing there one day!
Skiing and the Director of Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried skiing for the first time in 1893 when he and his wife traveled to Switzerland. He had glowing things about to say about skiing, saying it took you “as near to flying as any earthbound man can.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has also been the creator of famous television series, Sherlock Holmes. He is also known for his works for skiing. He published numerous articles to aware the people about skiing in Great Britain. At that time, skiing was not a very popular sport. However, the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created awareness about skiing, its thrills, and dangers among the people.
Snowboarding and Olympics
Olympics have been launched for over a century now. However, despite the fact that the cross-country skiing has been part of the Winter Olympics since 1924, downhill or alpine skiing was only included in the Olympics in 1936. The sport of snowboarding was added in the Olympics in the year 1998. It seems quite weird how such an engaging sport did not get attention till 1998.
The Winter Olympic was inaugurated in 1924 and included disciplines like nordic skiing. However, it wasn’t until 1936 that alpine skiing became part of the Olympics, despite the first recorded race in Sweden 57 years earlier. The first recorded downhill ski race was held in 1879. The first alpine skiing as an Olympic sport was first held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Snurfers turned to Skis
The first snowboard was named “snurfer.” The word was coined in 1965 by Sherman Poppen from Michigan. He made a snowboard for his daughter by lashing two skis together to make some sort of skateboard for the snowy slopes, without wheels. Beyond that point, the sport became to be known as snowboarding, or skiing, rather than “snurfer.”
Skiing is Faster than Driving a Car
It might be shocking to you, but there is no rocket science involved here. A ski can be ridden faster than a car because of the steep slopes that speed skiers thrust themselves down. Downhill skiing can even outpace the car’s fastest speed! Italian Skier Simone Origone holds the current record of the fastest skiing with 156.2 mph. Comparing this figure with an average car, the typical maximum speed of a passenger car is 120 miles-per-hour which is significantly lower than the speed of ski.
The USA has the Most of Ski Resorts
It is estimated that more than 40 US states have ski resorts in them. More and more resorts are being opened up in different states. Colorado, a state renowned for its ski resorts, is home to Vail Mountain Resort, which is the biggest and most visited ski resort in the country, enjoying about 1.5 million annual visitors. There are various activities for the visitors there who can choose to ski, travel on a snowmobile, travel on a chair lift, and have a snowboarding experience with assistance.
Skiing in Other Countries
There are more than 80 countries in the world which have designated ski resorts for their citizens. A state like Dubai where there are no snowy mountains has made special resorts which have artificial snow. This gives almost the same experience to the visitors but in a safer manner. About 400 million across the world visit those ski resorts annually, another proof at how popular skiing really is.
Austria, Norway, and Switzerland have the highest participation levels as 25% of the total population of these countries is involved in some form of skiing. Nevertheless, USA, Germany, and France still lead for the greatest number of skiers if we’re talking about yearly visits — each enjoys about 12 million skiers annually. This number includes the number of foreign visitors too.
Skiing as a Manly Sport
In the late 1800s, skiing was considered a sport for men and not women. Instead, women were encouraged to participate in skating. However, with the arrival of the Olympics, this idea began to fall as women also started participating in skiing. Today, of course, skiing can also be enjoyed by women as well as men. In fact, there has been women division in major ski competitions such as the Alpine Skiing World Cup and alpine skiing in the Winter Olympics.
It is considered that the world population involved and up for skiing has been 400 million people from different parts of the world. Again, the Vail Mountain Resort in Colorado is the number one ski resort in the United States. Even in the whole World, it stands at number three with annual skier visits of 1,634,250.
For those who are not in the know about skiing, a ski lift is a transporting system that carries skiers or snowboarders up to the mountains. It can be a series of moving seats attached to an overhead cable, surface lifts, or helicopters. A ski lift is considered quite essential when going to the top of the mountain is not very easy and requires extra mountaineering gear. France, Austria, and the USA each have about 3000 ski lifts.
The Origin of the Word Ski
The word “ski” is originated from the Old Norse word “skíð” which means “stick of wood” which is used for the sport. Needless to say, Norway is the birthplace of skiing with a number of resorts and snowy mountains available for skiing.