Originally Posted by tinrobot
Skiing was first developed in Scandinavia in the Middle Ages, and that's where it continued to develop through the 19th century. The words ski and slalom are both Norwegian words.
A Norwegian named Sondre Norheim is known as the father of modern skiing. He developed all sorts of techniques as well as modern ski bindings and more efficient skis with curved sides. He emigrated to the US in the 1880's and moved to North Dakota.
Ok it seems you guys were right, but not completely. Though an important person in skiing, evidence does not support that Norhiem invented all of the things that are attributed to him since evidence exits that show most of his technologies existed before him. He is primarily the father of ski jumping.
As far as I know the first ski race was organized in 1843 in Norway. It is not clear in my research exactly which kinds of events were there beside ski jumping and some kind of cross country like race. I think a third event was some kind of alpine like downhill skiing but it is not clear as to what type of event exactly it was. Weather it was more of a gentle all downhill cross country type of event or a steeper, fast all gravity driven event. After that 1843 race, downhill skiing fell out of popularity and was no longer included in later races for many years and the American form of fast downhill skiing was even discouraged in Europe for many years. Thus the Scandinavian influence of skiing became more centered on cross country and jumping for many years. However, the skiers of Telemark probably invented the first methods for higher speed turning in downhill situations but it is uncertain when they invented this. At least as early as 1888 but it did not catch on in Europe until the early 1900's.
But the first organized "downhill" type of race that included high speeds of up to 90 mph were in the Sierra Nevadas in 1857. The miners were using downhill or alpine skiing techniques as early or earlier than the 1850's. So it seems that the genesis for the type of high speed skiing on a steep long course with long runs of straight skiing at high speed was pioneered by the miner's of the Sierra Nevada.
Last edited by Hezz; 10-25-08 at 07:37 PM.