The Man Who Invented Figure Skating Was Laughed Out of America

The Man Who Invented Figure Skating Was Laughed Out of America

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Nearly 60 years before the first Winter Olympics, long before figure skating was even a sport, an American named Jackson Haines became known for the pirouettes, dances and dramatic jumps he performed on the ice.

Haines’ road to fame and fortune wasn’t an easy one. He was laughed off the ice in his home country and spent years trying to convince European audiences that they wanted to watch ice dancing. But with a bit of talent and an ingenious head for business, the American athlete changed the way the world thinks about skating.

Thanks to Haines—now known as the Father of Figure Skating—dancing on ice has become a sport loved the world over.

Ice skating has been around for thousands of years—since around 3000 B.C., when indigenous Scandinavians used trimmed animal bones to propel themselves across the ice. But figure skating took a bit longer to come into existence. Though ice skating was a beloved pastime by the Victorian era, there was little artistry involved. During cold spells, skating enthusiasts would take to frozen ponds and lakes on rough hand-forged blades attached by leather straps to shoes.

In the years before the Civil War, the United States fell under the spell of a skating craze, forming clubs and ushering in the dawn of skating as a competitive sport. However, the stiff movements of these early skaters—most of whom practiced skating in “the English style”—would be nearly unrecognizable to modern-day audiences. On the ice, they performed their moves in response to a “caller,” who shouted the names of formations and movements to those moving about on the ice. In response, skaters would perform the different postures. Knees had to remain unbent and arms unlifted. It was formal, stuffy and technically exacting.

It took Jackson Haines to loosen things up on the ice. Born in New York in 1840, Haines was a trained dancer and a born entertainer. He wanted to translate his ballet moves to the ice. During the 1860s, Haines began to skate to music instead of callers’ instructions, performing fluid movements that were completely different from the frosty formations practiced by English-style skaters.

By all accounts, audiences weren’t sure of what to make of Haines’ improvisational, free-flowing skating. So he headed to Europe—leaving his wife and two small children behind—in search of more liberal audiences. Though it is unclear how he was received in England, records show he was appreciated by spectators in Sweden, Norway and Russia.

Haines’ skating exhibitions—complete with music, leaps and spins—became a must-see attraction for audiences throughout Europe, and he won prizes like a gold medal encrusted with precious gems and a diamond ring for his performances. To make his movements easier to achieve, Haines attached his skate blades directly to his boots.

Haines was creative, but he was also enterprising. When he became a darling of Viennese audiences, he capitalized on the Austrian capital’s obsession with waltzing by incorporating it into his program. At an 1868 performance attended by Emperor Franz Joseph I and other local luminaries, Haines showed off his dramatic new style of skating.

“He shot in on a long outside [spiral] which took in the whole circumference of the area, performed a pirouette and took off his hat to a Grand Duke who was present,” wrote one American spectator. “When the band turned from the overture to the waltz-tune, he broke into a double cross-roll backwards.”

The performance caused a “great sensation,” the spectator wrote—and Haines capitalized on the excitement. He set up at least one skating school in Vienna, and his style of ice dancing became known as the Viennese—and later the International—style. For the first time, spurred on by Haines, people began to perform social dances on ice.

In Vienna, Haines befriended a pupil named Franz Bellazzi. Together, they performed what appears to have been among the first examples of paired skating on ice during a routine in which Haines—dressed as a bear—waltzed with his “trainer.” Because of his participation in same-sex ice dancing, some sports historians consider him to be an LGBT pioneer.

Haines never got a chance to bring his popular ice dances back to the United States. In January 1875 (some sources say 1876), he died in Finland after supposedly contracting pneumonia while traveling from St. Petersburg to Stockholm by sled in a blizzard. As sports historian James R. Hines points out, this dramatic cause of death—and many other details of Haines’ life—is likely a legend. (Haines probably died of tuberculosis.)

Today’s artistic and athletic figure skating styles don’t bear much resemblance to the ice dancing that Haines helped make popular. But fans of the sport can still spot his influence on the ice in one of figure skating’s most basic moves: the sit spin. Next time you see a skater squatting on one leg while spinning in place, thank Haines—the flamboyant first gentleman of figure skating.

Archaeologists have been discovering ice skates made from bone throughout Northern Europe and Russia for years, leading scientists to posit that this method of transport was at one point not so much an activity as a necessity. A pair pulled from the bottom of a lake in Switzerland, dated back to about 3000 B.C., are considered to be one of the oldest skates ever found. They are made from the leg bones of large animals, with holes bored into each end of the bone into which leather straps were inserted and used to tie the skates to the foot. It is interesting to note that the old Dutch word for skate is schenkel, which means "leg bone."

However, a 2008 study of northern European geography and terrain concluded that ice skates likely appeared first in Finland over 4000 years ago. This conclusion was based on the fact that, given the number of lakes in Finland, its people would have had to invent a time-saving way to navigate across the country. Obviously, it would have saved precious time and energy to figure out a way to cross the lakes, rather than circumnavigate them.


In 1920, Zamboni — then just 19 — moved from Utah to Southern California with his brother, Lawrence. The two brothers soon began selling block ice, which local dairy wholesalers "used to pack their product that was transported by rail across the country," according to the Zamboni company's informative and lively website. "But as refrigeration technology improved, demand for block ice began to shrink" and the Zamboni brothers began to look for another business opportunity.

They found it in ice skating, which was skyrocketing in popularity in the late 1930s. "So in 1939, Frank, Lawrence, and a cousin built Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount," a city about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, notes the company's website. It was, at the time it opened in 1940 with 20,000 square feet of ice, the largest ice skating rink in the world and could accommodate up to 800 ice skaters at one time.

Business was good, but to smooth the ice, it took four or five workers — and a small tractor — at least an hour to scrape the ice, remove the shavings and spray a fresh coat of water onto the rink. It took another hour for the water to freeze. That got Frank Zamboni to thinking: "I finally decided I'd start working on something that would do it faster," Zamboni said in a 1985 interview. Nine years later, in 1949, the first Zamboni, called the Model A, was introduced.

20th-century champions

Figure skating currently contains more female than male participants, but this has not always been the case. At the first world championships, held in St. Petersburg in 1896, only a men’s event was skated. Pairs were not introduced until 1908 and ice dancing not until 1952. The first woman to participate in a world championship event, Madge Syers of Great Britain, did so in 1902. Because the rules did not specify the sex of participants, Syers entered the world championships held in London, and she finished second only to Salchow, who offered her his gold medal because he thought she should have won the event. The next year the ISU rules were changed to specify that women could not enter the event, but a separate women’s category, which Syers won for the first two years, was finally created three years later.

Twenty-one years later Sonja Henie emerged as the first major female skating star. She reigned as world champion from 1927 to 1936 and parlayed her fame into a Hollywood career. Winning her first world title at the age of 14, she was the youngest champion until Tara Lipinski won the world championship in 1997 at an age two months younger than Henie. Lipinski also dethroned Henie as the youngest female Olympic champion by winning the gold medal in 1998 when she was 15. Canadian Barbara Ann Scott, the first non-European to win a world championship, became a professional skater, as did both Henie and Lipinski, after she won an Olympic gold medal in 1948.

Dick Button was the first great American male star of the 20th century. Now regarded as the “voice of figure skating,” he won five world titles (from 1948 through 1952) and two Olympic gold medals (1948 and 1952) along with seven U.S. national championships (from 1947 through 1953). Button also completed a double axel at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the first skater to land such a jump in competition. While Button’s success paved the way for the emergence of more multirevolution jumps in figure skating, other male skaters developed different aspects of the sport. Karl Schäfer, for example, introduced new elements into spinning by creating a “blur spin,” or scratch spin, where the skater rapidly spins on one foot in an upright position.

The U.S. figure-skating community was devastated in 1961 by a plane crash that killed the entire U.S. team. The team was on its way to Prague for the world championships when the plane crashed on approach to Brussels. The championships were canceled. Although the United States had lost such potential world champions as Laurence Owen, American skating returned to world prominence in 1966 when Peggy Fleming, renowned for her elegance and grace, won the women’s world title in Davos, Switzerland, and an Olympic gold medal two years later in Grenoble, France. Fleming followed in the footsteps of such great American Olympic champions as Tenley Albright (1956) and Carol Heiss (1960). Janet Lynn, an Olympic bronze medalist in 1972 in Sapporo, Japan, and Dorothy Hamill, an Olympic gold medalist in 1976 at Innsbruck, Austria, were also part of the ascension of women’s skating in the United States. New coaches who went to the United States included Carlo Fassi, an Italian singles champion in the 1940s and ’50s. He coached Americans Fleming and Hamill as well as British Olympic champions John Curry and Robin Cousins.

Katarina Witt of East Germany, dominating women’s singles in a manner that had not been seen since Henie, won Olympic gold medals at both the 1984 (Sarajevo, Yugoslavia) and 1988 (Calgary, Alberta) Winter Games. American Scott Hamilton (see Sidebar: Scott Hamilton: Training for Olympic Gold) won four world championships (1981–84) as well as an Olympic gold medal in 1984. Earlier, American brothers Hayes and David Jenkins had won successive Olympic gold medals at the 1956 and 1960 Games. Brian Boitano continued the American Olympic dominance by winning the gold medal in 1988.

While the United States continued to produce singles champions, the Soviet Union was the master of pairs. French pairs skaters Andrée and Pierre Brunet won Olympic gold medals in both 1928 and 1932, but the dominance of the Soviet Union became apparent in the 1960s and lasted into the 21st century. Lyudmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov won Olympic gold medals at the 1964 (Innsbruck) and 1968 (Grenoble) Games. Irina Rodnina won three Olympic gold medals (from 1972 through 1980) with two different partners, Aleksey Ulanov and Aleksandr Zaytsev. This dominance continued into the 1980s when Yelena Valova and Oleg Vassilyev won the gold in 1984 (Sarajevo). Yekaterina Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov won the gold twice (1988 and 1994), as did Artur Dmitriyev (1992 and 1998) with two different partners, Natalya Mishkutenok and Oksana Kazakova. The 2002 Olympic gold medal was shared by two pairs because of a judging controversy—Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia and Jamie Salé and David Pelletier of Canada.

Ice dancing was introduced as an Olympic event in 1976, and Soviet teams dominated the sport. Teams from that country won an Olympic gold medal in 1976 (Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov), 1980 (Natalia Linichuk and Gennady Karponosov), 1988 (Natalia Bestemianova and Andrey Bukin), 1992 (Marina Klimova and Sergey Ponomarenko), and 1994 and 1998 (Oksana Grichuk and Yevgeny Platov). However, Great Britain’s Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean took the gold in 1984, and Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat of France placed first in 2002, winning France’s first gold medal in figure skating since 1932.

Theories vary on the reason for the dominance of the former Soviet Union. One school of thought says the political and cultural forces in the country emphasized group accomplishments over individual achievement. The cultural emphasis on dance and ballet may also have been a factor, as well as the inclination of pairs and dance teams to stay together, since athletes were rewarded handsomely under the Soviet regime. Furthermore, the top singles coaches resided not in Russia but in western Europe and the United States. With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, however, many Russian coaches and their skaters moved to the United States to take advantage of its superior training facilities. European and American pairs and dance teams benefited from Russian coaching, and the gap between Russia and the rest of the world began to close. At the same time, the Russians began to produce better singles skaters, partially because of access to American facilities and coaching and partially because they used different training techniques, which set them apart. Russians began to dominate men’s figure skating in 1992 when Viktor Petrenko won the Olympic gold medal. In 1994 Aleksey Urmanov won the Olympic gold medal, while Ilya Kulik won it in 1998 and Aleksey Yagudin in 2002.

Who Invented Ice Skating?

The history of ice skating began 4,000 years ago in Finland. The earliest skates were strapped on the feet and people glided along. Who invented it, and for what purpose is unknown. Its later history, however, is well known.

Evolution of the Ice Skates

It was around the 13th century when steel blades were incorporated into the skates. This allowed the skate to cut through the ice. Some historians in fact assert that its proper history started in 14th century Europe. Aside from the steel blades, the lower parts were sharpened. It’s still not clear as to who came up with these innovations.

In any event, the history of ice skating indicate that skates became widely used. Both royals and common folk found the idea of rolling on skates enjoyable as a sport. One account states that King James II popularized the sport. He was on a visit to the Netherlands when he saw people ice skating.

Ice Skating Becomes Popular

By the start of the Renaissance, ice skating had spread throughout the continent. Several artworks from the period show people on skates. During this time, icing rinks began appearing. Emperor Rudolf II had a rink specially built for him.

Other royals who enjoyed the sport were French king Louis XVI and Napoleon III. As the history of ice skating evolved in Europe, the Stuart family also became enamored with the activity.

In certain parts of Europe, the activity was restricted to the aristocrats or royalty. But eventually ice skating reached down to the masses. Without question, this development was crucial in spreading the popularity of ice skating as a whole.

By the late 1500s, ice skating had become well known throughout the continent. In 1642, the Skating Club of Edinburgh was created. It became very popular with the laymen and would soon be followed by others.

Although it began as a leisurely activity, it eventually became a sporting competition. By the 1760s, several contests were being held. These events would prove very popular in England.

As the British made their way into America, they carried the sport with them. Throughout the 1800s, ice skating slowly became popular in the US. The sport had attained a great deal of popularity that by 1889, a world championship event was conducted in the Netherlands. It was the first in the history of ice skating.

Evolution of the Ice Skates

The all metal clamp was invented in 1848 in Philadelphia. For several years this was the device used by skaters. During the 1870s, the artificial ice skate rink was already set up in England. Another innovation took place in 1914. It was the invention of the toe blades.

Since that time, numerous innovations have been introduced. Competition among companies has resulted in many types and variants sold. Today, one can also purchase helmets so accidents can be avoided when ice skating.

The origin and history of ice skating is still subject to discussion and debate. But its popularity in many parts of the world can no longer be questioned.

The Man Who Invented Figure Skating Was Laughed Out of America - HISTORY

Watch: Kwan on latest episode of Ice Talk – Source,

Yuzuru Hanyu could be out longer than expected because of injury – Source, The Japan Times

Anna Pogorilaya to miss Olympics – by Nick Zaccardi,

Misha Ge: “All I know as a coach and choreographer is from my parents” – by Victoria Burdman, Figure Skaters Online

The Man Who Invented Figure Skating Was Laughed Out of America – by Erin Blakemore,

The Brothers Kermond: Pioneers in Ice Acrobatics – by Ryan Stevens, Skate Guard

The Junior Grand Prix Final 2017 Nagoya, Japan Day 3 (Photo Gallery) – Source, Absolute Skating

“I spoke on the four. With a plus. ” Zagitov and Sotskov flew to Moscow: At the airport “Sheremetyevo” athletes met a correspondent of “Soviet Sport” – by Nikolay Mysin,

Sui Wenjing Han Cong 2017 November Interview with English Subtitles – Source,

Men’s figure skating has mess on its hands (and knees, and butts) – by Philip Hersh, Globetrotting

The Bucket’s History of Ice Skating

G’day Bucketeers. Today I have a very special treat for you.

Most of my previous History Tutorials were the product of many hours poring over the Encyclopaedia Britannica or pawing my way through ancient manuscripts with white-gloved hands.

Occasionally however I took short cuts and copied information directly from all the documents which I stole from the National History Museum during the sixteen year period when I was having a torrid extracurricular love affair with the Curator’s widowed aunt.
She unceremoniously dumped me last year after developing a limp, a lisp and a drooping right eyelid, all of which she said were the result of stress caused by my tireless and persistent romantic ministrations.

For our subject today however, I am proudly able to draw upon a vast reserve of personal experience.

As an Australian living in the tropics I naturally have an extraordinary stash of ice-skating knowledge which has accrued from three main sources

1. Examining the behaviour of my de-icing spatula when, once or twice each year, I defrost the freezer compartment of my refrigerator.

2. Studying Australia’s magnificent history of gold-medal skating performances at Winter Olympics.

A grand total of ONE.

In the men’s 1000 metre speed skating event at the 2002 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Steven Bradbury, after trailing for most of the race went on to win gold after every other competitor ended up in a spectacular pile-up on the final corner. Steven casually threaded his way through all the carnage to the finish line and in doing so covered himself and his country in the pompous pong of provincial superiority.

3. Viewing countless hours of figure skating on television. (Primarily involving shapely young women dressed in short diaphanous yellow skirts…..research can indeed be a very onerous and tedious task.)

or diaphanous browny colored costumes

I also once fell in sympathy-love with Nancy Kerrigan (pictured above) back in 1994 after the very charming Tonya Harding conspired to have harm done to Nancy’s gorgeous, long, splendid, shapely, sensuous, sylphen, sexy…… apologies…..I almost drifted off into old-man’s fantasies there. Now where was I up to?

Oh yes. Back to business. You are here for the formal history of ice skating, so here it is

* * * * * * * * * * *
Ice skating enables a minority of people in the world to make the most of the appalling decision their ancestors made in migrating from hospitable African climes to the frozen extremities of the planet.

It is generally accepted that ice skating began on the frozen canals of The Netherlands more than 1000 years ago, when animal rib or shin bones were strapped to the feet.

When Dutch people travelled to North America in the 19th century, they brought with them their schaatsen along with clogs, windmills, and (presumably) courage, elm disease, auctions and ovens.

The first steel skate blade appeared in 1860 and speed skating was introduced as a winter Olympic sport for men at Chamonix, France, in 1924, and for women at the 1960 Olympiad in Squaw Valley, California after a protest march by the girls demanded equal ankle-sprain and tibia-fracture rights with the men.

Canada gave birth to the game of Ice Hockey shortly after a mob of unemployed English soldiers were observed swinging sticks at a little flat rock on the icy surface of Kingston Lake, Ontario in 1867 before the whole lot of them were immediately confined to barracks then hauled off by their superior officer to the nearest Sanitorium for psychological intervention followed by repatriation back to Britain.

Figure skating is an activity originally perfected and made popular by Norwegian world champion Sonja Henie. (1913-1969)

I, for one, would like to thank Sonja.

Figure skating is without doubt the most beautiful, graceful and elegant sport in my world.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
P.S. I have just received an urgent communique from Father George O’Dowd who is The Bucket’s newly-appointed Consultant for matters of Morality, Pop-music, Childbirth and Contraception.
After viewing a draft of this Tutorial, he has invited me to spend some time in his confessional. Immediately.

This may take awhile folks.

So if you don’t mind I’ll just look at a couple more pictures to tide me over until I get out.

More of GOF’s comprehensive History Tutorials can be found HERE.

Timeline of Rollerblades

1983: Scott Olson founded Rollerblade, Inc. and the term "rollerblading" meant the sport of inline skating because Rollerblade, Inc. was the only manufacturer of inline skates for a long time. Still, the first mass-produced rollerblades, while innovative, had some design flaws. They were difficult to put on, adjust, and were prone to collecting dirt and moisture in the ball bearings. The wheels were also easily damaged and the brakes came from the old roller skate toe-brake and were not very effective.

The Olson brothers eventually sold Rollerblade, Inc., and the new owners had the funds to really improve the design. The first massively successful Rollerblade skate was the Lightning TRS. In this pair of skates, the flaws had vanished, fiberglass was used to produce the frames, the wheels were better protected, the skates were easier to put on and adjust, and stronger brakes were placed at the rear. With the success of the Lightning TRS, other inline skate companies appeared, such as Ultra Wheels, Oxygen, K2, and others.

1989: Rollerblade, Inc. produced the Macro and Aeroblades models, the first skates fastened with three buckles instead of long laces that needed threading.

1990: Rollerblade, Inc. switched to a glass-reinforced thermoplastic resin (Durethane polyamide) for their skates, replacing the polyurethane compounds used previously. This decreased the average weight of skates by nearly 50%.

1993: Rollerblade, Inc. developed ABT or "Active Brake Technology." A fiberglass post, attached at one end to the top of the boot and at the other end to a rubber-brake, hinged the chassis at the back wheel. The skater had to straighten one leg to stop, driving the post into the brake, which then hit the ground. Before ABT, skaters had been tilting their foot back to make contact with the ground. The new brake design increased safety.


The word ski comes from the Old Norse word skíð which means "cleft wood", "stick of wood" or "ski". [6] In Old Norse common phrases describing skiing were fara á skíðum (to travel, move fast on skis), renna (to move swiftly) and skríða á skíðum (to stride on skis). [7] Modern Norwegian and Swedish, however, do not form a verb from the noun. [8] [9] Other languages make a verb form out of the noun, such as to ski in English, skier in French, esquiar in Spanish and Portuguese, sciare in Italian, skiën in Dutch, or schilaufen (as above also Ski laufen or Ski fahren) in German. [ citation needed ] Finnish has its own ancient words for skis and skiing: "ski" is suksi and "skiing" is hiihtää. The Sami also have their own words for "skis" and "skiing": for example, the Lule Sami word for "ski" is sabek and skis are called sabega. The Sami use cuoigat for the verb "to ski" (the term may date back to 10,000 years before present). [10]

The oldest information about skiing is based on archaeological evidence. Two regions present the earliest evidence of skis and their use: the Altaic region of modern China where 5000-year-old paintings suggest the aboriginal use of skis, [2] and northern Russia, where the oldest fragments of ski-like objects, dating from about 6300–5000 BCE were found about 1,200 km northeast of Moscow at Lake Sindor. [11]

Rock carvings Edit

The earliest Scandinavian examples of skiing date to 3000 or 4000 BCE with primitive carvings. An image of a skier holding a single pole or an ax with both hands, is found in Norway. The Rødøy carving shows skis of equal length. A rock carving at Norway, from about 1000 or 500 BCE depicts a skier seemingly about to shoot with bow and arrow, with skis positioned in an angle (rather than parallel) to offer good support. [12] Rock drawings in Norway dated at 4000 BC [13] depict a man on skis holding a stick. Near the White Sea in Russia, rock carvings were discovered in 1926 and dated to 2000 or 2500 BCE. One of the Russian carvings depicts hunting of big game with hunters on equal length skis. The hunters apparently used their bow and spear as poles. [12]

Ski samples Edit

The first primitive Scandinavian ski was found in a peat bog in Hoting in Jämtland County in Sweden it dates back to 4500 or 2500 BCE. In 1938 a ski was found from Salla, Finland that has been dated back to 3245 BCE. Noted examples are the Kalvträskskidan ski, found in Sweden and dated to 3300 BCE, and the Vefsn Nordland ski, found in Norway and dated to 3200 BCE. [14] There are some 20 findings of ancient well-preserved skis found in drained bogs in Norway, indicating that skis have been widely used in Norway, particularly Northern Norway, since prehistoric times. Skis have also been uncovered in ancient graves. [15] In 2014, a ski complete with leather bindings emerged from a glacier in the Reinheimen mountains, Norway. The binding is at a small elevated area in the middle of the 172 cm long and 14,5 cm wide ski. According to the report the ski is some 1300 years old. Many organic artifacts have been well preserved for several thousand years by the stable glaciers of Oppland county and emerge when glaciers recede. [16] A ski excavated in Greenland is dated to 1010. [17] Based on findings in the Nordic countries and elsewhere, researchers have identified at least 3 main types of ski: arctic, southern and central Nordic. The arctic type was short and covered with fur, and used from northern Japan in the east to Ob river in the west. The Sami people probably brought this type to the Nordic region. The southern type had one short and one long ski, and was used in forest areas of Southern Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. The central Nordic type also had one short with fur (the andor) and one long, and was used in large parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland. [15]

Norse mythology describes the god Ullr and the goddess Skaði hunting on skis, Ullr and Skaði has later been regarded as the god and goddess of skiing and hunting. [18] Early historical evidence includes Procopius' (around CE 550) description of Sami people as skrithiphinoi (or skridfinns) translated as "ski running samis" (Sami people were commonly referred to as Finn). [18] Birkely argues that the Sami people have practiced skiing for more than 6000 years, evidenced by the very old Sami word čuoigat for skiing. [19] Paulus Diaconus mentioned what may have been Sami and described how they chased animals by a twisted piece of wood that they painstakingly shaped into resembling a bow. [15] Egil Skallagrimsson's 950 CE saga describes King Haakon the Good's practice of sending his tax collectors out on skis. [20] The Gulating law (1274) stated that "No moose shall be disturbed by skiers on private land." [18]

The saga of king Sverre of Norway reports how Sverre around year 1200 sent troops on ski to patrol the Aker area near Oslo. During Sverre's siege of Tønsberg Fortress, soldiers boldly skied down the steep cliff. According to the saga, Haakon IV of Norway as a baby in 1206 was transported by soldiers on skis through the hills between Gudbrandsdalen and Østerdalen valleys, this event inspired modern day Birkebeinerrennet ski marathon. [18] Ski warfare, the use of ski-equipped troops in war, is first recorded by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus in the 13th century. The speed and distance that ski troops are able to cover is comparable to that of light cavalry. Swedish writer Olaus Magnus's 1555 A Description of the Northern Peoples describes skiers and their climbing skins in Scricfinnia in what is now Norway. [21] The garrison in Trondheim used skis at least from 1675, and the Danish-Norwegian army included specialized skiing battalions from 1747 – details of military ski exercises from 1767 are retained. [22] Skis were used in military exercises in 1747. [23]

In 1799 French traveller Jacques de la Tocnaye visited Norway and wrote in his travel diary: [24]

In winter, the mail is transported through Filefjell mountain pass by a man on a kind of snow skates moving very quickly without being obstructed by snow drifts that would engulf both people and horses. People in this region move around like this. I've seen it repeatedly. It requires no more effort than what is needed to keep warm. The day will surely come when even those of other European nations are learning to take advantage of this convenient and cheap mode of transport.

Norwegian immigrants used skis ("Norwegian snowshoes") in the US midwest from around 1836. Norwegian immigrant "Snowshoe Thompson" transported mail by skiing across the Sierra Nevada between California and Nevada from 1856. [18] In 1888 Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen and his team crossed the Greenland icecap on skis. Norwegian workers on the Buenos Aires - Valparaiso railway line introduced skiing in South America around 1890. [18] In 1910 Roald Amundsen used skis on his South Pole Expedition. In 1902 the Norwegian consul in Kobe imported ski equipment and introduced skiing to the Japanese, motivated by the death of Japanese soldiers during snow storm. [18]

The first recorded organized skiing exercises and races are from military uses of skis in Norwegian and Swedish infantries. For instance details of military ski exercises in the Danish-Norwegian army from 1767 are retained: Military races and exercises included downhill in rough terrain, target practice while skiing downhill, and 3 km cross-country skiing with full military backpack. [22] Slalom (Norwegian: slalåm) is a word of Norwegian origin that has entered the international skiing vocabulary. In the 1800s skiers in Telemark challenged each other on "wild slopes" (ville låmir), more gentle slopes had the adjective "sla". Some races were on "bumpy courses" (kneikelåm) and sometimes included "steep jumps" (sprøytehopp) for difficulty. These 19th century races in Telemark ran along particularly difficult trails usually from a steep mountain, along timber-slides and ended with a sharp turn ("Telemark turn") on a field or icy lake. [25]

  • 1809: Olaf Rye: first known ski jumper.
  • 1843: First public skiing competition ("betting race") held in Tromsø, Norway on March 19, 1843. Also the first skiing competition reported in a newspaper. [18]
  • 1861: First ski clubs: Inderøens Skiløberforening founded in the Trøndelag region of Norway [26] (possibly in 1862). Trysil Skytte- og Skiløberforning founded 20 May 1861 in Trysil. [27]Skiing established in Australia at Kiandra, which led to the founding of the Kiandra Snow Shoe Club. [28] Ski racing as an organised sport commences in America [29]
  • 1862: First public ski jumping competition held at Trysil, Norway, January 22, 1862. Judges awarded points for style ("elegance and smoothness"). [18]
  • 1863: First recorded female ski jumper at Trysil competition. [18]
  • 1864: From January 1864 "Trondheim Weapons Training Club" organizes regular training and competition races (cross-country and jumping), in Trondheim, Norway. [18]
  • 1872: The oldest ski club in North America still existing is the Nansen Ski Club, [30] which was founded in 1872 by Norwegian immigrants of Berlin, New Hampshire under a different name. [31]
  • 1878: On the occasion of the Exposition Universelle in Paris, the Norwegian pavilion presents a display of skis. This ancestral means of locomotion draws the attention of visitors who buy many of them. Henry Duhamel experiments with a pair at Chamrousse in the Alps. [32][33][34]
  • 1879: first recorded use of the word slalom. [35]
  • 1884: First pure cross-country competition held in Trondheim when ski jumping was dropped from the annual competition. [36]
  • 1893 Franz Reisch makes first descent on skis at Kitzbuhl [37]
  • 1893 William Adolf Baillie Grohman starts skiing in the Tyrol with his family using four pairs of skis sent from Norway as a present. [38]
  • 1893: Henrik Angell introduces skiing in Montenegro.
  • November 1895: creation of the Ski Club des Alpes in Grenoble by the friends of Henry Duhamel to whom he had distributed fourteen pairs of skis acquired during his trip to Finland
  • 1904: First ski race in Italy, at Bardonecchia. [22]
  • 1905: foundation of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. [39]
  • 1905/1906: The notion of "slalom" (Norwegian: "slalåm") used for the first time at a race in Sonnenberg. Skiing between poles with flags called "Wertungsfahren" at Münchenkuggel. [22]
  • 1906: A slalom race were held in Oslo. [40]
  • 1908: Sir Arnold Lunn founds the Alpine Ski Club
  • 1908: The Kiandra Snow Shoe Club of Australia holds an "international contest" of "ski running". [41]
  • 1922: start of the Vasaloppet.
  • 1922: Arnold Lunn creates modern slalom competitive skiing. [40][42]
  • 1922: First team ski race event at Varsity Trip between Oxford and Cambridge Universities. [43]
  • 1924: formation of the International Ski Federation, also the first Winter Olympics.
  • 1924: Kandahar Ski Club formed in Mürren, Switzerland[44]
  • 1929: Norwegian instructors arrive in Sapporo and train Japanese in ski jumping. [18]
  • 1931: FIS international slalom contest. [40]
  • 1932: start of the Birkebeinerrennet
  • 1936: Winter Olympics includes downhill race. [40] .: Women's Nordic skiing debuts debuts at the 1976 Winter Paralympics.
  • 1992: Mogul skiing and Freestyle skiing added to the 1992 Winter Olympics. : Appearance of sprint and mass start cross-country events in Salt Lake City.
  • 2009: campaign for the inclusion of women's ski jumping leads to its inclusion in the 2014 Winter Olympics. [45]
  • 1849: First public "ski tour" organized in Trondheim, Norway. [18]
  • 1868: Mountain resorts became commercially viable when city-dwellers could reach them in winter by train. [46]
  • 1901 : First skiing in the Pyrénées on January 29 at La Llagonne (Pyrénées-Orientales, France). [47]
  • 1910: first rope tow. [48]
  • 1936: The first chair lift is introduced at Sun Valley, Idaho
  • 1939: the Sno-Surf is patented in the USA. Made of solid white oak, it had an adjustable strap for the left foot, a rubber mat to hold the right foot, a rope with loop used to control speed and steer, and a guide stick used to steer. The first commercially successful, precursor to the snowboard, the snurfer was introduced in 1965. [49]
  • 1952: The first major commercial snow-making machinery installed at Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel in New York state, USA. [50]
  • 1970s: Telemark skiing undergoes a revival possibly inspired by Stein Eriksen and his book Come Ski With Me. [51]

Skis Edit

Asymmetrical skis were used at least in northern Finland and Sweden up until the 1930s. [10] On one leg the skier wore a long straight non-arching ski for sliding, and on the other a shorter ski for kicking. The bottom 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 similar manner to modern ski waxing. Early record of this type of skis survives in works of Olaus Magnus. [52] He associates them to Sami people and gives Sami names of savek and golos for the plain and skinned short ski. Finnish names for these are lyly and kalhu for long and short ski.

The seal hunters at the Gulf of Bothnia had developed a special long ski to sneak into shooting distance to the seals' breathing holes, though the ski was useful in moving in the packed ice in general and was made specially long, 3–4 meters, to protect against cracks in the ice. This is called skredstång in Swedish. [53]

Around 1850 artisans in Telemark, Norway invent the cambered ski. This ski arches up in the middle, under the binding, which distributes the skier's weight more evenly across the length of the ski. Earlier plank-style skis had to be thick enough not to bow downward and sink in the snow under the skier's weight. [54] Norheim's ski was also the first with a sidecut that narrowed the ski underfoot while the tip and tail remained wider. This enabled the ski to flex and turn more easily. [54]

In 1950 Howard Head introduced the Head Standard, constructed by sandwiching aluminum alloy around a plywood core. The design included steel edges (invented in 1928 in Austria, [54] ) and the exterior surfaces were made of phenol formaldehyde resin which could hold wax. This hugely successful ski was unique at the time in having been designed for the recreational market, rather than for racing. [55] 1962: a fibreglass ski, Kneissl's White Star, was used by Karl Schranz to win two gold medals at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. [55] By the late '60s fibreglass had mostly replaced aluminum.

In 1975 the torsion box ski construction design is patented. [56] The patent is referenced by Kästle, Salomon, Rottefella, and Madshus, but in fact torsion box skis became common beginning in 1962 with the introduction of the Dynamic VR7 and VR17 race skis. [57] In 1993 Elan introduced the Elan SCX. These introduced a new ski geometry, common today, with a much wider tip and tail than waist. When tipped onto their edges, they bend into a curved shape and carve a turn. Other companies quickly followed suit, and it was realized in retrospect that "It turns out that everything we thought we knew for forty years was wrong." [54] The modern Twin-tip ski was introduced by Line in 1995. [58]

Bindings Edit

In the early days of skiing the binding was also similar to those of a contemporary snowshoe, generally consisting of a leather strap fastened over the toe of the boot. In the 1800s, skiing evolved into a sport and the toe strap was replaced by a metal clip under the toe. This provided much greater grip on the boot, allowing the ski to be pushed sideways. The heel strap also changed over time in order to allow a greater range of motion, a spring was added to allow the strap to lengthen when the boot was rotated up off the ski.

This buckled strap was later replaced by a metal cable. [59] The cable binding remained in use, and even increased in popularity, throughout this period as cross-country skiing developed into a major sport of its own. Change eventually came through the evolution of the Rottefella binding, first introduced in 1927. The original Rottefella eliminated the heel strap, which held the boot forward in the binding, by drilling small holes in the sole of the boot which fit into pins in the toe piece. This was standardized as the 3-pin system, which was widespread by the 1970s. [60] It has now generally been replaced by the NNN system.

The introduction of ski lifts in 1908 led to an evolution of skiing as a sport. In the past, skiers would have to ski or walk up the hills they intended to ski down. With the lift, the skiers could leave their skis on, and would be skiing downhill all the time. The need to unclip the heel for cross-country use was eliminated, at least at resorts with lifts. As lifts became more common, especially with the introduction of the chairlift in 1936, the ski world split into cross-country and downhill, a split that remains to this day.

In 1937 Hjalmar Hvam broke his leg skiing, and while recuperating from surgery, invented the Saf-Ski toe binding. [61]

Boots Edit

Ski boots were leather winter boots, held to the ski with leather straps. As skiing became more specialized, so too did ski boots, leading to the splitting of designs between those for alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. [62]

Modern skiing developed as an all-round sport with uphill, downhill and cross-country portions. The introduction of the cable binding started a parallel evolution of binding and boot. [63] Boots with the sole extended rearward to produce a flange for the cable to firmly latch became common, as did designs with semi-circular indentations on the heel for the same purpose.

With the introduction of ski lifts, the need for skiing to get to the top of the hill was eliminated, and a much stiffer design was preferred, providing better control over the ski when sliding downhill.

Glide and grip Edit

Johannes Scheffer in Argentoratensis Lapponiæ (History of Lapland) in 1673 probably gave the first recorded instruction for ski wax application [64] He advised skiers to use pine tar pitch and rosin. Ski waxing was also documented in 1761. [65]

1934 saw limited production of solid aluminum skis in France. Wax does not stick to aluminum, so the base under the foot included grips to prevent backsliding, a precursor of modern fish scale waxless skis. [66] In 1970 waxless Nordic skis were made with fishscale bases. [55] Klister, a sticky material, which provides grip on snow of all temperatures that has become coarse-grained as a result of multiple freeze-thaw cycles or wind packing, was invented and patented in 1913 by Peter Østbye. [67] Recent advancements in wax have been the use of surfactants, introduced in 1974 by Hertel Wax, and fluorocarbons, introduced in 1986, to increase water and dirt repellency and increase glide. [68] Many companies, including Swix, Toko, Holmenkol, Briko, and Maplus are dedicated to ski wax production and have developed a range of products to cover various conditions.

Poles Edit

Early skiers used one long pole or spear. The first depiction of a skier with two ski poles dates to 1741. [69] In 1959 Ed Scott introduced the large-diameter, tapered shaft, lightweight aluminum ski pole. [55]

Who was the first person who invented figure skating?

The sport known as figure skating has been known for a couple of centuries. The first known paper written on it is by Englishman Robert Jones in 1772. The American "father" of figure skating is Jackson Haines who developed the "modern" style from which the current sport has been developed. From the pictures of the time of Jackson Haines, he also developed the first skating costume. and possibly the current styling of men's undergarments, although I have not researched this theory. But. A lesser known member of the tribe called Crank invented figure skating. and ice skating in the process. Crank was an curious child, always getting into mischief. He had this habit of wandering off after Rhonda to see what she would find. But, being a child, he would get tired and simply lie down and go to sleep wherever he was. The tribe would often find him in the fields around the encampment fast asleep, and when they woke him (he was a bit big to simply pick up by one person) he was short tempered and irritable, so they named him Crank. One fine morning, Rhonda decided to make an expedition near the Kokonee mountain to see what else the area contained. She had never been entirely satisfied with the previous two expeditions and just knew that there had to be something else worthwhile in that area beside the huge mountain. Crank saw her making preparations and he grabbed his own purse and followed her out of the camp. As Rhonda strode purposefully into the wilderness, Crank was fascinated by the many wonders of the area outside of the camp. He had seen some of the smaller animals, but the medium animals were an unknown. On the second day, Crank found himself lagging farther and farther behind Rhonda, but he gamely moved in her footsteps trying to catch up. But it was no use a child simply could not keep up with the much swifter and more fit Rhonda. By this time Crank could see the top of the mountain however, so he knew that Rhonda was making a line for it. Immediately he figured that this was a total bust, so he cast about for a reasonable place to make a mini camp for himself. He soon found a rather shallow but wide stream near a stand of trees and sat down to rest. As he munched on cold paste that Sheila had cooked the day before, he casually looked around. The trees (as usual) were oozing that sticky stuff that was so hard to get off the body, and there were a couple of smallish animals frolicking in the underbrush. Seeing nothing to alarm him, he set about making a fire for the evening to discourage those animals from disturbing him. While he slept, the night grew very cold as was usual for those parts, and the little stream froze over. Crank was warm and comfortable so he didn't even notice much lower temperature until the next morning when he awoke. He noticed the crispness in the air and quickly killed a bird for breakfast. After finishing the bird, he set off to go back to camp. However. he had forgotten that the stream was between him and the path back to the camp. As all children will, he simply decided to cross the stream again and continue on his way. But he only took a couple of steps when he landed flat on his backside. The water was hard and he soon found out that it was very slippery too. He managed to get back to the bank with the aid of some refuse dotting the shoreline and went back to his camp to ponder the problem. As he arrived at his campsite, the bird bones were the first thing to catch his eye. Since he thought that he needed something for traction on the slippery stuff, the breast bone looked like just the thing because the sharp edge looked like it would bite into the hard water. He slipped his mukluk into the ribcage of the bird and it indeed fit. So, taking it off, he immediately killed another bird and speedily skinned and removed the meat. Now he had two ribcages to work with, so he went back to the icy stream with his bird bones. Crank shoved his feet into the bones and gingerly tried the stream. Instead of falling immediately, he was able to glide over the ice on that breast bone! Even as he fell from the lack of balance, he was intrigued. Struggling to regain his feet, he made it and by slowly and carefully shifting his weight, he was able to glide across the ice. Soon Crank was gliding across the ice with ever greater control and precision. His aim improved tremendously, and in a very few minutes, he was enthralled with the swiftness of his progress across the ice. Not since Powl had had his accident had anyone moved so swiftly. He discovered by accident that if one turned the foot just a bit, one could go in circles. Voila! The first skating figure. As he turned the circle, he noticed that the pattern was still on the ice. He retraced the circle, then inspected his handiwork, becoming the first Ice Skating Judge, since one's self is the hardest judge to please. This was fun stuff ideed..much better than following Rhonda! As Crank grew more absorbed in his new occupation, he never noticed that the sun was rising higher in the sky and to his dismay, the ice started to become soft and it broke in chunks around his skates. Swiftly moving to the other side of the shallow brook, he removed his ribcages and went on his way back toward the camp. But his new passtime intrigued him so much that he didn't fall asleep on the way back. Arriving at the camp late in the afternoon, he found a few playmates and told them of his fun new sport. The next few days saw a huge increase in industry among the young population as they all wanted to try the new passtime. About a dozen children became avid hunters of birds and in the process, became critics of the various skeletons as to durability and function on that shallow brook. The tribe had an increase in provender and the children were becoming independent which made their mothers somewhat alarmed. Crank became very popular so much so that his sleep was interrupted by the other eager novices in this new sport. He grumpily led expeditions to the brook and demonstrated the technique to his pupils. On one of these expeditions, he was so irritable that he leaped upon the ice. To everyone's surprise, he not only stayed upright, but because of the way he landed on his bones. he started to spin. Crank had invented the flying spin, perfected many eons later by the famous Dick Button. The tribe was so enthralled by Crank's new achievement that to this day we remember him. Crank It Up isn't about music. it's about how Crank invented figure skating.

Watch the video: Alan Walker - Faded. Figure skating Elena Radionova (May 2022).


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