What is Alpine Skiing?

Skiing is dated back to pre-historic times. It is a part of the history of Sami and Nordic people in which skiing was a part of their military manoeuvres, hunting and used as practical means of transportation. Since then skiing has become a professional and recreational sport that takes place all around the world. There are several variations of skiing that include freestyle, dry slope, adaptive, kite skiing, Para skiing and alpine skiing. Skiing has become the most popular sport among all the sports that are a part of the Winter Olympics.

Alpine skiing is also called downhill skiing, but got the name alpine from skiing near a tree line. It was first played in 1861 in Kiandra, Australia and the popularity of this particular variation of skiing has continued to grow rapidly since. Alpine skiing is one of the original sports of the Winter Olympics that took place in France in the year of 1924. It is the sport of riding down the snow-covered mountains on skis that have fixed-heel bindings. Though variations of alpine skiing does have free heel bindings like Nordic skiing and ski mountaineering.

There are four different disciplines which are Downhill, Slaloms, Giant Slaloms and Super Giant Slaloms. Downhill being the fastest and Slaloms being the slowest and shortest. When taking up alpine skiing the main techniques that has to be acquired are the control of the speed and direction of the descent of the skier downhill. Control is gained by making alternate right and left turns while skiing. The snowplough technique is used by skiers to control and maintain a designated speed or to come to a complete stop.

This technique involves the skier to point their ski or skis inward and by doing so the speed of the skier is adjusted. Other methods that are used are considered more difficult but more elegant as well are used by skier who are significantly more advanced. The most famous alpine skier is Ingmar Stenmark. He began skiing at the age of five and became an active skier from 1974 through 1989. Having won forty slaloms and forty-six giant slaloms for a total of eighty-six slaloms makes him the most rewarded skier in the history of all alpine skiers. He holds five gold medals, one silver and one gold. In a recent study in Austria was named the Salzburg Skiing for the Elderly Study. The study that took place that involved monitoring the effects alpine skiing has on the long-term health of older skiers.

The results showed skiers that are 67 who ski 2-3 times a week over 12 weeks has significant improvements in health. Their oxygen intake improves as well as their aerobic capacity. The strength and power in their legs is enhanced and the size of the quadriceps muscle is knowingly larger.

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