Here at Chalet Floralie, we’re mad about skiing! Below we have listed our top 10 favourite fun facts about the sport that you can use to impress your family and friends or, you never know, they might even come in handy the next time you attend a wintery pub-quiz!
1. The word ski is derived from the Norwegian word “Skiò”, meaning “split piece of wood”. For a brief history of this wonderful wintery sport, be sure to check out our blog on the subject!
2. The first recorded downhill race was held in Sweden in 1879.
3. Alpine skiing made its debut at the 1936 Winter Olympic Games. The Gold Medal was won by the German-born skier Franz Pfnür.
4. Perhaps one of the best fun facts about the sport, “skiing” is the only six-letter word in the English language to have a double “i” exactly in the middle.
5. Saint Bernard of Montjoux is the Patron Saint of skiers. The saint built a hospice on the Great St Bernard Pass in the mid-11th century and by the 17th century the hospice were breeding dogs for mountain rescue. These dogs were eventually named after the hospice’s founder, Saint Bernard.
6. Arthur Conan Doyle, of “Sherlock Holmes” fame, introduced skiing to Switzerland.
7. Skiing is one of the fastest non-motorised land sports. The current record was set in 2006 by Simone Origone at a whopping 156.2 mph!
8. Traditionally, skiers made offerings to the Norse god of winter, Ullr, to invoke a fresh dump of snow.
9. Astronaut Harrison Schmitt noticed the mountainous rim of the Sea of Serenity would make a perfect location for future “lunar skiing holidays”. Schmitt also set the moon-walking speed record after having trained as a cross-country skier prior to making his lunar expedition
10. The Norwegian Army formed a skiing battalion in the 18th century