Before Scandinavia: These could be the first skiers
They are central Asians, Mongols, and Kazaks, living in the remote Altay mountains of Xinjiang province, where some claim skiing was first conceived.
Using curved planks whose design dates back 2,000 years, the Altaic peoples are formidable skiers. They might not win a medal on perfectly groomed Olympic trails. But they can break their own paths, track elk for days in deep snow, and capture them live.
They don't zig-zag through slalom courses or bump down moguls. But using a single pole, they plunge straight down mountainsides in a blaze of efficiency, and climb hills with a speed and grace that has wowed the few Western experts who have witnessed their prowess.
"These skiers wouldn't do well in the Olympics," says pro skier Nils Larsen. "But the Olympians from Turin couldn't make their skis do what the Altaic skiers can.
comments powered by Disqus
- 150 years later, schools are still a battlefield for interpreting Civil War
- Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?
- Richmond split over Confederate history
- The World's Jewish Population Is Nearing Pre-Holocaust Levels
- Bernie Sanders’s Revolutionary Roots Were Nurtured in ’60s Vermont
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- David Hackett Fischer wins $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military writing