• Some of the earliest evidence of skiing is found in Norwegian rock paintings from about 4000 BCE. In fact, ski is taken from an Old Norse word meaning "stick of wood." Modern alpine skiing traces its roots to 19th-century Europe.
  • In the 19th century, Austrian inventor Mathias Zdarsky introduced rigid steel bindings mounted on springs. These bindings allowed skiers to remain secure on their skis while still being able to maneuver over hills and rugged terrain.
  • Norwegian skier Sondre Norheim introduced skis with curved sides in the late 19th century. This allowed skiers to make turns much more easily than they could with flat, rectangular skis.
  • Freestyle skiing, which combines speed, acrobatics, and performance skill, was recognized by the International Ski Federation in 1979. It made its Olympic debut in Calgary, Canada, in 1988.
  • In addition to alpine and freestyle, the Olympics also includes snowboard, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, and Nordic combined (which combines ski jumping and cross-country) as skiing events.
  • The earliest evidence of skis in North America dates to about 1010, in Greenland.
acrobatic
Adjective

having good balance, flexibility, and the ability to perform athletic jumps and other activities.

alpine skiing
Noun

sport involving skiing down a mountain or hill. Also called downhill skiing.

cross-country skiing
Noun

sport where athletes on skis race across a relatively flat landscape.

evidence
Noun

data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.

freestyle skiing
Noun

art and sport where athletes compete in acrobatic jumps and over obstacles on skis.

maneuver
Noun

a skillful movement.

Nordic combined
Noun

sport involving cross-country skiing and ski jumping.

rigid
Adjective

stiff.

secure
Verb

to guarantee, or make safe and certain.

skiing
Noun

art and sport of gliding across snow on long, narrow boards strapped to the bottom of the athlete's feet.

snowboarding
Noun

art and sport of gliding across snow on a short piece of wood and/or fiberglass attached to the bottom of the athlete's foot.

terrain
Noun

topographic features of an area.