According to SkiingHistory.org, in early modern period skis were in regular use by Scandinavian farmers, hunters and warriors throughout the Middle Ages. By the 18th century, units of the Swedish Army trained and competed on skis.
On the other hand, traveling over snow on skis has a history of at least eight millennia. The earliest archaeological examples of skis were found in Russia and date to 6000 BC. According to Huntford, cave drawings suggest that man used skis even during the last Ice Age in the Paleolithic period.
Starting in the mid-1800s, skiing became a popular recreational activity and sport, practiced in snow-covered regions worldwide, and opened up a market for the development of ski resorts and their related communities.
The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France in 1924. The first Winter Games only had five sports (broken into disciplines): bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing (consisting of a military patrol, cross-country, Nordic combined and ski jumping disciplines) and skating (consisting of figure skating and speed skating disciplines).
The first ever gold medal awarded in the Olympic Winter games was won by Charles Jewtraw of the United States in the 500-meter speed skate. Athletes from 16 different nations competed in the first Winter Olympic Games, excluding Germany, who was banned from competing and instead hosted a series of games called Deutsche Kampfspiele.
A growing love of downhill skiing resulted in the inclusion of Alpine skiing in the 1936 Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. That same year writes John Fry in his book The Story of Modern Skiing, the chairlift was invented in the US, revolutionizing skiing as a recreational activity.
Nowadays, we at The MAN magazine are fans of the popular Skiers Cup in which teams from Europe and the United States compete in a free ride down dangerous hills.
What is your favorite discipline on snow?