Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Lilly. Lilly Wonders, “Where did skiing come from?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Lilly!

Have you ever made a snow angel? Maybe you think it’s more fun to build a snowman. Or perhaps you’d rather sled down a hill. Kids and adults alike have long enjoyed playing in the snow! If you live in a place with a cold climate, you might even have experience with skiing. 

Do you like to ski? Many people say it’s one of the best winter sports. There’s nothing like speeding down a mountainside atop a thick layer of snow. As the wind whips in your face, it can feel like you’re flying!

Have you ever WONDERed who invented skiing? It’s impossible to tell. Some historians believe skiing was invented before the wheel. That’s based on evidence from ancient humans. The oldest skis ever found were in Russia and may have been made as early as 8000 B.C.E. Many ancient skis have also been found in other areas, including Norway and China

The earliest skis were made for transportation. In areas with heavy snowfall, early humans needed skis to help them get around. The Sami people of Norway have been known to use skis while hunting since the time of the Roman Empire. In Scandinavia, the Vikings also used skis to help them get around.

Skis have also been used by the military since at least the 13th century. Soldiers in Norway, Finland, Russia, Poland, and Sweden have long traveled on skis. Many troops today still train in ski combat.

When did skiing become a sport? The Norwegian military held its first ski competition in 1767. It was later included as an event in the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924. After the second World War, veterans helped spread the sport of skiing across the globe. 

Since then, the sport of skiing has grown quite a bit. Today, people can compete in more than one type of skiing. Some enjoy Nordic skiing, which includes cross-country and ski jumping competitions. Others prefer Alpine skiing. These are downhill races. Many people also enter freestyle skiing competitions, which include acrobatics.

Of course, not everyone who skis does so to compete. Many people just enjoy skiing for fun. The invention of ski lifts made it possible for more people to take part in the sport. 

Have you ever gone skiing? If so, you know it can be a lot of fun. Today, many people prefer the more modern invention of snowboarding. There are many options to take part in winter recreation!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.4

Wonder What's Next?

Learn more about a childhood illness in tomorrow's Wonder of the Day.