A lot of people think that because the name ‘ski’ has Scandinavian origins that skiing was invented there, but, as it turns out, there is historical evidence that skiing is a much older activity than its name or the Scandinavian countries most people think it came from. In fact, there are TWO cultures that can lay claim to the activity.
The Russians have been skiing since 6300 BCE
Yes, you read that right: the Russians have been skiing since about anywhere from 6300-5000 BCE. About 1,200 kilometers north of Moscow, at a place called Lake Sindor, archaeologists have uncovered fragments of ski-like instruments that date back that far, the implication being pretty obvious: the Russians have been learning how to survive in the Arctic conditions of Siberia for a long, long time. But, truth be told, there’s another culture that has probably been skiing even longer…
Chinese have been skiing for 10,00 years
Yep, it’s the Chinese who have actually been skiing the longest – and that sort of makes sense, that the country with the highest geological feature, the Himalayan Mountains, would have the culture that’s been learning to traverse that feature for the longest. We think the Chinese have been skiing for that long because archaeologists have found paintings that old showing ski-like instruments being used by aboriginal tribes in a region of China called the Altaic.
So, even though the Scandinavians have given the activity it’s name on the world stage, the Chinese and then the Russians have been doing it longer.