Skiing can be a means of transport, a recreational activity or a competitive winter sport in which the participant uses skis to glide on snow. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Ski Federation (FIS).
A ski is a narrow strip of semi-rigid material worn underfoot to glide over snow. Substantially longer than wide and characteristically employed in pairs, skis are attached to ski boots with ski bindings, with either a free, lockable, or partially secured heel. For climbing slopes, ski skins can be attached at the base of the ski.
Snow refers to forms of ice crystals that precipitate from the atmosphere and undergo changes on the Earth's surface. It pertains to frozen crystalline water throughout its life cycle, starting when, under suitable conditions, the ice crystals form in the atmosphere, increase to millimeter size, precipitate and accumulate on surfaces, then metamorphose in place, and ultimately melt, slide or sublimate away. Snowstorms organize and develop by feeding on sources of atmospheric moisture and cold air. Snowflakes nucleate around particles in the atmosphere by attracting supercooled water droplets, which freeze in hexagonal-shaped crystals. Snowflakes take on a variety of shapes, basic among these are platelets, needles, columns and rime. As snow accumulates into a snowpack, it may blow into drifts. Over time, accumulated snow metamorphoses, by sintering, sublimation and freeze-thaw. Where the climate is cold enough for year-to-year accumulation, a glacier may form. Otherwise, snow typically melts seasonally, causing runoff into streams and rivers and recharging groundwater.
The International Olympic Committee is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
Skiing has a history of almost five millennia.Although modern skiing has evolved from beginnings in Scandinavia, it may have been practiced more than 100 centuries ago in what is now China, according to an interpretation of ancient paintings.
Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
The word "ski" is one of a handful of words that Norway has exported to the international community. It comes from the Old Norse word "skíð" which means "split piece of wood or firewood".
Old Norse was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th century.
Asymmetrical skis were used in northern Finland and Sweden until at least the late 19th century. On one foot, the skier wore a long straight non-arching ski for sliding, and a shorter ski was worn on the other foot for kicking. The underside of the short ski was either plain or covered with animal skin to aid this use, while the long ski supporting the weight of the skier was treated with animal fat in a similar manner to modern ski waxing.
Ski wax is a material applied to the bottom of snow runners, including skis, snowboards, and toboggans, to improve their coefficient of friction performance under varying snow conditions. The two main types of wax used on skis are glide waxes and grip waxes. They address kinetic friction—to be minimized with a glide wax—and static friction—to be achieved with a grip wax. Both types of wax are designed to be matched with the varying properties of snow, including crystal type and size, and moisture content of the snow surface, which vary with temperature and the temperature history of the snow. Glide wax is selected to minimize sliding friction for both alpine and cross-country skiing. Grip wax provides on-snow traction for cross-country skiers, as they stride forward using classic technique.
Early skiers used one long pole or spear. The first depiction of a skier with two ski poles dates to 1741.
Ski poles, also referred to as poles or sticks (UK), are used by skiers for balance and propulsion. Modern ski poles are most commonly made from aluminum and carbon fiber, though materials such as bamboo are still used. Poles are used in alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, and cross-country skiing. Ski jumpers do not use poles.
Skiing was primarily used for transport until the mid-19th century, but since then has also become a recreation and sport.Military ski races were held in Norway during the 18th century, and ski warfare was studied in the late 18th century. As equipment evolved and ski lifts were developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, two main genres of skiing emerged—Alpine (downhill) skiing and Nordic skiing. The main difference between the two is the type of ski binding (the way in which the ski boots are attached to the skis).
Ski warfare is the use of ski-equipped troops in war.
A ski lift is a mechanism for transporting skiers up a hill. Ski lifts are typically a paid service at ski resorts. The first ski lift was built in 1908 by German Robert Winnerbalder in Schollach/Eisenbach, Hochschwarzwald.
Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing, which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or sport, it is typically practised at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol.
Also called "downhill skiing", Alpine skiing typically takes place on a piste at a ski resort. It is characterized by fixed-heel bindings that attach at both the toe and the heel of the skier's boot. Ski lifts, including chairlifts, bring skiers up the slope. Backcountry skiing can be accessed by helicopter, snowcat, hiking and snowmobile. Facilities at resorts can include night skiing, après-ski, and glade skiing under the supervision of the ski patrol and the ski school. Alpine skiing branched off from the older Nordic type of skiing around the 1920s when the advent of ski lifts meant that it was not necessary to walk any longer. Alpine equipment has specialized to the point where it can now only be used with the help of lifts.
The Nordic disciplines include cross-country skiing and ski jumping, which both use bindings that attach at the toes of the skier's boots but not at the heels. Cross-country skiing may be practiced on groomed trails or in undeveloped backcountry areas. Ski jumping is practiced in certain areas that are reserved exclusively for ski jumping.
Telemark skiing is a ski turning technique and FIS-sanctioned discipline, which is named after the Telemark region of Norway. It uses equipment similar to Nordic skiing, where the ski bindings are attached only at the toes of the ski boots, allowing the skier's heel to be raised throughout the turn.
The following disciplines are sanctioned by the FIS. Many have their own world cups and are included in the Winter Olympic Games.
Equipment used in skiing includes:
Technique has evolved along with ski technology and ski geometry. Early techniques included the telemark turn, the stem, the stem Christie, snowplough, and parallel turn.
New parabolic designs like the Elan SCX have enabled the more modern carve turn.
Originally and primarily a winter sport, skiing can also be practiced indoors without snow, outdoors on grass, on dry ski slopes, with ski simulators, or with roller skis. A treadmill-like surface can also be used, to enable skiing while staying in the same place. Sand skiing involves sliding on sand instead of snow, but the skier uses conventional skis, ski poles, bindings and boots.
Slalom is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline, involving skiing between poles or gates. These are spaced more closely than those in giant slalom, super giant slalom and downhill, necessitating quicker and shorter turns. Internationally, the sport is contested at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, and at the Olympic Winter Games.
Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice. Most are variations of skiing, ice skating and sledding. Traditionally, such games were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and artificial ice allow more flexibility. Artificial ice can be used to provide ice rinks for ice skating, ice hockey, and bandy in a milder climate.
Snowboarding is a recreational activity and Winter Olympic and Paralympic sport that involves descending a snow-covered slope while standing on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet.
Nordic combined is a winter sport in which athletes compete in cross-country skiing and ski jumping. Nordic combined at the Winter Olympics and the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup are ongoing.
Nordic skiing encompasses the various types of skiing in which the toe of the ski boot is fixed to the binding in a manner that allows the heel to rise off the ski, unlike Alpine skiing, where the boot is attached to the ski from toe to heel. Recreational disciplines include cross-country skiing and Telemark skiing.
Telemark skiing is a skiing technique that combines elements of Alpine and Nordic skiing. Telemark skiing is named after the Telemark region of Norway, where the discipline originated. Sondre Norheim is often credited for first demonstrating the turn in ski races, which included cross country, slalom and jumping, in Norway around 1868. Sondre Norheim also experimented with ski and binding design, introducing side cuts to skis and heel bindings.
Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine ski racing in Canada. Alpine Canada represents coaches, officials, supporters and athletes, including the racers of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Canada's Ski Cross Team and the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team. Alpine Canada is also involved in promoting participation within Canada's four million recreational skiers.
The U.S. Ski Team, operated under the auspices of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), develops and supports men's and women's athletes in the sports of alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, cross-country, ski jumping, and Nordic combined. Since 1974 the team and association have been headquartered in Park City, Utah.
The 2022 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIV Olympic Winter Games, and commonly known as Beijing 2022, is an international winter multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from 4 to 20 February 2022, in Beijing and towns in the neighbouring Hebei province, China.
The FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships is the world championship organized by the FIS for freestyle skiing. It was first organized in 1986 and is now held every odd year. Currently, the events included in the world championships are Moguls, Dual Moguls, Aerials, Ski cross, Slopestyle and Half-pipe. Formerly, Acroski and a combined event were held.
Peter Graves is an American television sportscaster and public address announcer specializing in Olympic, lifestyle and action sports. He was also the former cross-country ski coach for Harvard University.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to skiing:
FIS World Cup may refer to:
The 2012–13 FIS Snowboard World Cup was a multi race tournament over a season for snowboarding. The season started on 28 August 2012 and ended on 27 March 2013. The World Cup was organised by the FIS which also runs world cups and championships in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, nordic combined and freestyle skiing. The FIS Snowboarding World Cup consisted of the parallel slalom, snowboard cross and the halfpipe. The men's side of the world cup also consisted of a big air competition.
LW5/7 is a standing para-Alpine and para-Nordic skiing classification for skiers with upper extremity issues in both limbs that may include double amputation of both arms and hands or dysmelia of the upper limbs. The class has three subclasses defined by the location of the disability on the upper extremities. International classification is done by IPC Alpine Skiing and IPC Nordic Skiing. On the national level, classification is handled by national sports federation such as Cross-Country Canada.
The Russian Ski Association (RSA) is a non-governmental organization, which represents Russian ski sports in the international field. Organization includes 4 all-Russian sports Federations: Russian Alpine Skiing and Snowboard Federation, Cross-Country Ski Federation of Russia, Freestyle Federation of Russia, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Federation of Russia.
The sport of cross-country skiing encompasses a variety of formats for cross-country skiing races over courses of varying lengths according to rules sanctioned by the International Ski Federation and by various national organizations, such as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Cross Country Ski Canada. International competitions include the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, and at the Winter Olympic Games. Such races occur over homologated, groomed courses designed to support classic (in-track) and freestyle events, where the skiers may employ skate skiing. It also encompasses cross-country ski marathon events, sanctioned by the Worldloppet Ski Federation, and cross-country ski orienteering events, sanctioned by the International Orienteering Federation. Related forms of competition are biathlon, where competitors race on cross-country skis and stop to shoot at targets with rifles, and paralympic cross-country skiing that allows athletes with disabilities to compete at cross-country skiing with adaptive equipment.
This glossary of skiing and snowboarding terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon used in skiing, snowboarding, and related winter sports.