Alpine Skiing

Short History

     Skiing has a history of almost five millennia. It may have been practiced more than 100 centuries ago in what is now China, according to an interpretation of ancient paintings. The earliest Scandinavian examples of skiing date to 3000 or 4000 BCE with primitive carvings. Skiing was primarily used for transport until the mid-19th century. The birth of modern alpine skiing is often dated to the 1850s. Norwegian legend Sondre Norheim of Morgedal, Telemark first began the trend of skis with curved sides, bindings with stiff heel bands made of willow, and the slalom turn style. He was the champion of the first downhill skiing competition, reportedly held in Oslo, Norway in 1868. Two to three decades later, the sport spread to Europe and U.S.
     Alpine skiing evolved in the mountainous terrain of the Alps in central Europe. First International Ski Congress was held at Christiania, Norway in 1910. The first slalom ski competition occurred in Mürren, Switzerland in 1922. In 1924 The International Ski Congress became a permanent organization, the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS). FIS first recognized downhill racing in 1930, and the first world championships for downhill and slalom events were held in 1931 at Mürren, Switzerland. Women’s events were added in 1950. Alpine skiing both debuted on the Olympic programme in 1936. The only event that year was a combined competition of both downhill and slalom. In 1948, this was held along with separate downhill and slalom races.