About Skiing

Skiing is an activity that dates back to the prehistory Nordic and Sami tribes who used skis to hunt, conduct military operations, and as their method of basic transportation. Since then, skiing has evolved into a popular sport, especially in countries with lots of snow and average temperatures of below water's freezing point.

The two main types of skiing are alpine or downhill skiing and cross-country skiing. Competitive alpine skiing is a form of downhill skiing further subdivided into Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom, and Slalom events.

The two speed events are the Downhill and the Super G. Downhill is all about speed, with some reaching speeds around 90 miles per hour during certain stretches. Skiers have long straightaways and few tight turns. Super G, short for Super Giant Slalom, is another speed event, but with the pace slightly slower than Downhill.

The technical disciplines are the Giant Slalom and Slalom events. These require participants to maneuver between sets of poles called "gates" as they travel down the slope. Slalom originated from Norwegian "sla", inclining hillside, and "lam", track after skis. There are typically 55 to 75 gates for men and 40 to 60 gates for women to pass through on their way down. Modern slalom was adopted by the 1936 Winter Olympics.

Giant Slalom involves sets of gates spaced at a smaller distance to each than in Super G, making turns tighter. It was first run in the 1950 World Championship in 1950 in Aspen, Colorado. It debuted two years later at the Oslo, Norway Olympics in 1952.

Slalom is the most technical event, typically the slowest of the four. The gates are spaced closer together, making the turns more difficult and the times higher.

Cross-country skiing is part of the Nordic skiing family. Recreational cross-country skiing takes place in cold climate countries with wide expanses. This includes much of Northern Europe, Canada, and Alaska. Unlike alpine skiing, terrain traveled will vary, with some of it being uphill, some flat, and some downhill.

As a sport, cross-country skiing is very demanding, using every major muscle group. Nordic skiing Olympic events are Cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and the biathlon. Modern World Cup and Olympic events have distances between 1Km to 30km.

Ski jumping is a sport in which skiers ski down a takeoff ramp, jump, and attempt to land as far as possible down the hill below. Points are awarded for distance and the style of the jump. Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. All cross-country skiing techniques are permitted.



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