Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing, which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or sport, it is practised at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming and ski patrol. "Off-piste" skiers—those skiing outside ski area boundaries—may employ snowmobiles, helicopters or snowcats to deliver them to the top of a slope. Back-country skiers may use specialized equipment with a free-heel mode for hiking up slopes and a locked-heel mode for descents. Alpine skiing has been an event at the Winter Olympic Games since 1936; as of 1994, there were estimated to be 55 million people worldwide. The estimated number of skiers, who practised alpine, cross-country skiing, related snow sports, amounted to 30 million in Europe, 20 million in North America, 14 million in Japan; as of 1996, there were 4,500 ski areas, operating 26,000 ski lifts and enjoying skier visits.
The predominant region for downhill skiing was Europe, followed by Japan and the US. The ancient origins of skiing can be traced back to prehistoric times in Russia, Finland and Norway where varying sizes and shapes of wooden planks were preserved in peat bogs. Skis were first invented to cross marshes in the winter when they froze over. In the 1760s, skiing was recorded as being used in military training; the Norwegian army held skill competitions involving skiing down slopes, around trees and obstacles while shooting. The birth of modern alpine skiing is dated to the 1850s. Skiing was an integral part of transportation in colder countries for thousands of years. In the late 19th century skiing converted from a method of transportation to a competitive and recreational sport. Norwegian legend Sondre Norheim first began the trend of skis with curved sides, bindings with stiff heel bands made of willow, the slalom turn style. Sondre Norheim was the champion of the first downhill skiing competition held in Oslo, Norway in 1868.
Two to three decades the sport spread to the rest of Europe and the U. S; the first slalom ski competition occurred in Mürren, Switzerland in 1922. A skier following the fall line will reach the maximum possible speed for that slope. A skier with skis pointed perpendicular to the fall line, across the hill instead of down it, will accelerate more slowly; the speed of descent down any given hill can be controlled by changing the angle of motion in relation to the fall line, skiing across the hill rather than down it. Downhill skiing technique focuses on the use of turns to smoothly turn the skis from one direction to another. Additionally, the skier can use the same techniques to turn the ski away from the direction of movement, generating skidding forces between the skis and snow which further control the speed of the descent. Good technique results in a flowing motion from one descent angle to another one, adjusting the angle as needed to match changes in the steepness of the run; this looks more like a single series of S's than turns followed by straight sections.
The oldest and still common form of alpine ski turn is the stem, turning the front of the skis sideways from the body so they form an angle against the direction of travel. In doing so, the ski pushes snow forward and to the side, the snow pushes the skier back and to the opposite side; the force backwards directly counteracts gravity, slows the skier. The force to the sides, if unbalanced, will cause the skier to turn. Carving is based on the shape of the ski itself; the contact between the arc of the ski edges and the snow causes the ski to tend to move along that arc, slowing the skier and changing their direction of motion. The snowplow turn is the simplest form of turning and is learned by beginners. To perform the snowplow turn one must be in the snowplow position while going down the ski slope. While doing this they apply more pressure to the inside of the opposite foot of which the direction they would like to turn; this type of turn allows the skier to keep a controlled speed and introduces the idea of turning across the fall line.
Modern alpine skis are shaped to enable carve turning, have evolved since the 1980's, with variants such as powder skis, freestyle skis, all-mountain skis, kid's skis and more. Powder skis are used when there is a large amount of fresh snow, as the shape of a powder ski is wide allowing the ski to float on top of the snow compared to a normal downhill ski which would most sink into the snow. Freestyle skis are used by skiers; these skis are meant to help a skier who skis jumps and other features placed throughout the terrain park. Freestyle skis are fully symmetric, meaning they are the same dimensions from the tip of the ski to the backside of the ski. All-mountain skis are the most common type of ski, tend to be used as a typical alpine ski. All-mountain skis are built to do a little bit of everything. Slalom race skis referred to as race skis are short, narrow skis, which tend to be stiffer because they are meant for those who want to go fast as well as make quick sharp turns; the binding is a device used to connect the skier's boot to the ski.
The purpose of the binding is to allow the skier to stay connected to the ski, but if the skier falls the binding can safely release them from the ski to prevent injury. There are two types of bindings: the heel and toe system and the plate system binding
Cortina d'Ampezzo referred to as Cortina, is a town and comune in the heart of the southern Alps in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Situated on the Boite river, in an alpine valley, it is a winter sport resort known for its skiing trails, accommodation and après-ski scene, for its jet set and aristocratic European crowd. In the Middle Ages Ampezzo fell under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia and of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1420 it was conquered by the Republic of Venice, it spent much of its history under Austrian rule undergoing some territorial changes under Napoleon, before being returned to Austria, who held it until 1918. From the nineteenth century, Ampezzo became a notable regional centre for crafts; the local handmade products were appreciated by early British and German holidaymakers as tourism emerged late nineteenth century. Among the specializations of the town were crafting wood for furniture, the production of tiled stoves and iron and glass items. Today, the local economy thrives on tourism during the winter season, when the population of the town increases from about 7,000 to 40,000.
The Basilica Minore dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo was built between 1769 and 1775 on the site of two former thirteenth and sixteenth-century churches. The town contains the Rinaldo Zardini Palaeontology Museum, established in 1975, the Mario Rimoldi Modern Art Museum, the Regole of Ampezzo Ethnographic Museum. Although Cortina was unable to go ahead with the scheduled 1944 Winter Olympics because of World War II, it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and subsequently a number of world winter-sports events; the town is home to SG Cortina, a top league professional ice hockey team, Cortina is the start and end point of the annual Dolomites Gold Cup Race. Several films have been shot in the town notably The Pink Panther, For Your Eyes Only and Cliffhanger; the discovery in 1987 of a primitive tomb at Mondeval de Sora high up in the mountains to the south of Cortina testifies to the presence of Mesolithic man in the area as far back as the 6th millennium B. C. In the 6th century B. C. Etruscan writing was introduced in the province of Cadore, in whose possession is remained until the early 15th century.
From the 3rd century B. C. the Romans assimilated the Veneti people, giving the area the name of Amplitium, today's Ampezzo. No historical information exists on the Cadore region from the fall of the Roman Empire until the Lombard period, it is assumed that during the Barbarian invasions, the inhabitants fled to the Fassa, Badia and Ampezzo valleys. In the Middle Ages, Ampezzo fell under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1420, the village was conquered by the Republic of Venice. In 1508 it was conquered by Habsburgs, by 1511 people of Ampezzo swore loyalty to the Emperor Maximilian, that area was subsequently adjoined to the region of Pusterthal. In 1797, when the Treaty of Campo Formio was signed, Napoleon permitted Habsburg Empire to retain it, but in 1810 he added Ampezzo to the Department of Piave, following an attack on the town in which it was burned by the French, it was short-lived. The town gained a reputation as a health resort. In 1874 the Ampezzo forest became the property of the Carnic Woods Consortium.
Although remaining Austrian possession until 1920, aside from being home for an ethnic German-speaking minority, Ampezzo never became a German-speaking territory and conserved its original language, Ladin, a Rhaeto-Romance language. When Italy entered World War I in 1915, most of the male inhabitants were fighting for Austria-Hungary on the Russian front. 669 male inhabitants tried to fight the Italian troops. Outnumbered by the Italians, they had to retreat. After the Austrian recovery in 1917, the town was occupied again by the Tyrolean Standschützen. Following Italy's victory in World War I, Ampezzo was definitively ceded to Italy in 1920. Three years it was separated from Tyrol and incorporated into the province of Belluno, itself part of Veneto region. After the war the city was renamed "Cortina d'Ampezzo", adopting the name of one of the six villages that made up the territory of Ampezzo, located in the middle of the Ampezzo valley. An elite destination for the first British tourists in the late 18th and early 20th century, after World War I Cortina d'Ampezzo became a resort for upper-class Italians too.
Cortina d'Ampezzo was chosen as the venue of the 1944 winter Olympics, which did not take place due to World War II. Thanks to hosting the winter Olympics in 1956, Cortina grew into a world-famous resort, with a substantial increase in tourists. With a resident population of 6,150 people in 2008, Cortina has a temporary population of around 50,000 during peak periods such as the Christmas holidays and mid-August; the Ford Cortina, the UK's best-selling car of the 1970s, was named after Cortina d'Ampezzo. The town voted in October 2007 to secede from the region of Veneto and join the neighbouring region, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol; this was motivated by improved cultural ties with the small Ladin-speaking community in South Tyrol and the attraction of lower tax
Speed skating is a competitive form of ice skating in which the competitors race each other in travelling a certain distance on skates. Types of speed skating are long track speed skating, short track speed skating, marathon speed skating. In the Olympic Games, long-track speed skating is referred to as just "speed skating", while short-track speed skating is known as "short track"; the ISU, the governing body of both ice sports, refers to long track as "speed skating" and short track as "short track skating". An international federation was founded in the first for any winter sport; the sport enjoys large popularity in the Netherlands and South Korea. There are top international rinks in a number of other countries, including Canada, the United States, Italy, Japan and Kazakhstan. A World Cup circuit is held with events in those countries plus two events in the Thialf ice hall in Heerenveen, Netherlands; the standard rink for long track is 400 meters long, but tracks of 200, 250 and 3331⁄3 meters are used occasionally.
It is one of the one with the longer history. International Skating Union rules allow radius of curves. Short track speed skating takes place on a smaller rink the size of an ice hockey rink, on a 111.12 m oval track. Distances are shorter than in long-track racing, with the longest Olympic individual race being 1500 meters. Event are held with a knockout format, with the best two in heats of four or five qualifying for the final race, where medals are awarded. Disqualifications and falls are not uncommon. There are variations on the mass-start races. In the regulations of roller sports, eight different types of mass starts are described. Among them are elimination races, where one or more competitors are eliminated at fixed points during the course. Races have some rules about disqualification if an opponent is unfairly hindered. In long track speed skating any infringement on the pairmate is punished, though skaters are permitted to change from the inner to the outer lane out of the final curve if they are not able to hold the inner curve, as long as they are not interfering with the other skater.
In mass-start races, skaters will be allowed some physical contact. Team races are held. Relay races are held in short track and inline competitions, but here, exchanges may take place at any time during the race, though exchanges may be banned during the last couple of laps. Most speed skating races are held on an oval course. Oval sizes vary. Inline skating rinks are between 125 and 400 metres, though banked tracks can only be 250 metres long. Inline skating can be held on closed road courses between 400 and 1,000 metres, as well as open-road competitions where starting and finishing lines do not coincide; this is a feature of outdoor marathons. In the Netherlands, marathon competitions may be held on natural ice on canals, bodies of water such as lakes and rivers, but may be held on artificially frozen 400 m tracks, with skaters circling the track 100 times, for example; the roots of speed skating date back over a millennium to Scandinavia, Northern Europe and the Netherlands, where the natives added bones to their shoes and used them to travel on frozen rivers and lakes.
In contrast to what people think, ice skating has always been an activity of joy and sports and not a matter of transport. For example, winters in the Netherlands have never been stable and cold enough to make ice skating a way of travelling or a mode of transport; this has been described in 1194 by William Fitzstephen, who described a sport in London. In Norway, King Eystein Magnusson King Eystein I of Norway, boasts of his skills racing on ice legs; however and speed skating was not limited to the Netherlands and Scandinavia. It was iron-bladed skates. By 1642, the first official skating club, The Skating Club Of Edinburgh, was born, and, in 1763, the world saw its first official speed skating race, on the Fens in England organized by the National Ice Skating Association. While in the Netherlands, people began touring the waterways connecting the 11 cities of Friesland, a challenge which led to the Elfstedentocht. By 1851, North Americans had discovered a love of the sport, indeed the all-steel blade was developed there.
The Netherlands came back to the fore in 1889 with the organization of the first world championships. The ISU was born in the Netherlands in 1892. By the start of the 20th century and speed skating had come into its own as a major popular sporting activity. Organized races on ice skates developed in the 19th century. Norwegian clubs hosted competitions with races in Christiania drawing five-digit crowds. In 1884, the Norwegian Axel Paulsen was named Amateur Champion Skater of the World after winning competitions in the United States. Five years a sports club in Amsterdam held an ice-skating event they called a world championship, with participants from Russia
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Alpine skiing at the 1956 Winter Olympics – Men's slalom
The men's slalom at the 1956 Winter Olympics was held on the Col Druscié run on Tuesday, 31 January. The course length was 617 metres with a vertical drop of 251 m. Fifty-seven athletes finished both runs and 23 were disqualified during the first run, eight during the second. Twenty-nine countries were represented and Toni Sailer of Austria won the second of his three gold medals at these Games. Chiharu Igaya won the silver and Stig Sollander of Sweden took the bronze. U. S. Head coach Robert Sheehan filed a protest that Igaya straddled a gate on the second run, a five-second penalty at the time. Although backed up by the Swedish coach, an infraction was not called and after hours of deliberation, Igaya was awarded the silver medal. * 5 seconds penalty added.** 10 seconds penalty added. Source: Olympic Games International Olympic Committee List of IOC country codes 1956 Winter Olympics
Australia at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Australia participated at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A team of forty athletes was selected to compete in eleven sports; the Chef de Mission was Ian Chesterman. Australia achieved its best results, winning two gold medals. To date Australia has won a total of five gold medals, one silver medal and three bronze medals in Winter Olympic competition. Men's team – aerials and mogulsMen's team – ski crossWomen's team – aerials and mogulsWomen's team – ski cross HalfpipeParallel giant slalomSnowboard cross Australia at the 2010 Winter Paralympics