Saturday, February 8, 2020

Skying in Germany

Are you passionate about skiing or snowboarding? Well, so are Germans! In fact, Germany has more skiers than any other country in Europe, with more than 14.6 million Germans partaking in the sport.

But where did this winter sport originate?


Archeological research suggests that ski-like objects date back to 6000 BC, used primarily as tools to cross frozen wetlands and marshes in the wintertime. But recreational skiing is a much more recent activity.


In the 1700s, the Norwegian army held competitions where soldiers would learn how to shoot while skiing. Those races were the precursors to skiing as an Olympic sport. And it didn't take long for it to spread through Europe. Downhill skiing gained popularity in the 1800s and in 1924, the first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France and featured cross-country skiing.


In 1936, downhill skiing was included for the first time in the Winter Olympics, held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Soon thereafter, people began constructing chair lifts and ski resorts, which caused recreational skiing to grow in popularity - especially in the 1950s and 60s.


Today, Germany has about 700 ski resorts, 1,384 ski lifts and 864 miles of slopes, making it a perfect wintertime destination for ski lovers. Many of these lie in the mountainous state of Bavaria. But other regions of Germany - including the Ore Mountains in Saxony - also have their share of winter sports destinations. With that being said, we hope you have a great weekend, potentially on the slopes!



Nicole Glass, Editor, The Week in Germany






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