Welcome to SnowSkiing.com

The history of snow skiing has its origins in ancient Northeast Europe which is now comprised of Russia, the Baltic countries, and throughout the Nordic countries. Archaeologists have found early aboriginal drawings of snow skis in Central Asia dating more than 5000 years old. Similar findings depict Norse Gods, the Sami people of what is modern day Finland, and in glacier receding areas of Iceland of people using skis as a mode of transportation.  Rock carvings of similar images depicting a skier have found in Finland, Norway and Sweden showing human figures using sticks and crude bows, during hunting expeditions, as ski poles. In 1938, one of the oldest skis was discovered in Finland with a purported age of 5,200 years old according to carbon-dating techniques.

Although snow skiing grew out of necessity for transportation in heavily snow dampened weather conditions, the sport of skiing emerged as a popular winter activity sport at the beginning the early to mid-1800’s. Officially sanctioned ski races, events and competitions were first reported in a Norwegian newspaper in 1843.  During the next 80 years, snow skiing as a sport gained international adoption and appeal.  Ski clubs (1860), snow skiing competitions such as ski jumping (1862), cross country (1884), and adoption in the Austrian Alps (1893), and the formation of the snow skiing and snow boarding organizations began to flourish culminating with the first downhill ski race held at 1938 Winter Olympics in Germany.  The evolution of snow skiing has transformed the sport to include events such as the Paralympic Games, and the inclusion of ski jumping for women as well as mogul and freestyle skiing at the Winter Olympic Games. New forms of snow skiing have also emerged such as ski dancing and ski archery.

Today, the ski industry is adapting to new climate patterns, economic headwinds, and changing demographics.  Since 2012 the industry has experienced year over year consecutive growth.  With more than 480 ski resorts in the United States, and ski resorts in more than 40 European countries (with Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland offering the most resorts), and with technological advances in gear and equipment, snow skiing is well positioned to continue gaining popularity in both the travel and leisure markets as well as a competitive sport in the Winter Olympics and the many professional snow skiing competitions.

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Guide to the Sport of Snow Skiing


Fast Facts

We have assembled some fast facts and trivia about snowskiing from around the world. This information was compiled from a variety of sources including Statista, Wikipedia, and the Olympic Games website.

Below is our country profile containing facts and information to familiarize you with Snow Skiing.

Below is our profile containing facts and information to familiarize you with the sport of Snow Skiing.

6000 BC: Age of earliest skis (Found in Russia)
1761: First use of ski wax
1808: First official world record in ski jumping (Olaf Rye, Norway)
1840: Snow skiing starts becoming a recreational activity.

1931: First snow skiing World Championship (Switzerland)
1936: Debut of alpine skiing at Olympic Games (Germany)
1939: First mechanical ski lifts for snow skiing installed (Sun Valley Idaho)

1940: First mechanical ski lift installed in Europe (Czechoslovakia)
1948: Debut of downhill skiing at Olympic Games (Switzerland)
1952: Debut of giant slalom at Olympic Games (Norway)
1959: First use of aluminum ski pole

1992: Freestyle skiing becomes an Olympic event (Albertville)
2011: First person to ski jump more than 246m (800 ft) (Johan Remen Evensen)
2017: 253m (832 ft); World record distance for ski jumper (Stefan Kraft, Austria)

Bill Johnson: First American to win Olympic gold medal in downhill skiing (1984)
Austria: Country with most Olympic Medals (2018)
50cm (20 in): Minimum amount of snow to safely ski
95m (31 ft): First world record ski jumping length (Olaf Rye, Norway)

15: Most Winter Olympic Medals (Cross-country skiing) (Marit Bjørgen)
26: Age of oldest Olympic Medalist in alpine skiing (Bode Miller)
37: Most Gold Olympic Medals (Austria) (2018)
43: Most ski lifts at North American resort (Squaw Valley, CA)
53: Most World Champion snow skiers (Austria) (2020)
121: Most Olympic Medals Austria (2018)
348: Most ski trails at a resort in North American (Park City, UT)
425: Most snow skiing resorts in a single country (USA)

13,487 ft: Tallest peak elevation at North America resort (Silverton Mountain, CO)
13,101 ft: Tallest base elevation at North America resort (Loveland Ski Resort, CO)
5,620 ft: Greatest vertical drop at North America resort (Revelstoke Resort, BC)
8,464 ac: Most skiable acres at North American resort (Powder Mountain, UT)

$209: Cost of daily ski lift ticket (Three Resorts in USA)
Deer Valley, Utah (USA): Most expensive snow skiing resort
Colorado (USA): State with most expensive ski resorts (4)