Skiing - History

History

The oldest and most accurately documented evidence of skiing origins is found in modern day Norway and Sweden. The earliest primitive carvings circa 5000 B.C. depict a skier with one pole, located in Rødøy in the Nordland region of Norway. The first primitive ski was found in a peat bog in Hoting, Sweden which dates back to 4500 or 2500 B.C. Joel Berglund reported in 2004 the discovery of a primitive ski, or "85cm long piece of wood", carbon tested by researchers in 1997 while excavating a Norse settlement near Nanortalik, Greenland. The primitive ski dated back to 1010, and is thought to be Greenland's oldest ski brought by Norsemen circa 980 A.D.

The word "ski" itself is one of a handful of words Norway has exported to the international community. It comes from the Old Norse word "skíð" which means split piece of wood or firewood.

Alpine ski racing as an organised sport commenced in both America and Australia. The first recreational ski club was formed in 1861 at Kiandra, Australia, where the first documented international downhill carnival was also held.

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