Monday, August 21, 2006

Skiing, the roots of...

In my spree of going through books the library wants back, I have been looking at Sports and Games of the Ancients by Steve Craig.

He writes about Nordic Skiing, and describes it as something men do to feed their families.
As with so many activities that evolved into sporting recreations, Nordic skiing, of cross country skiing, as it is commonly called in the United States, has its root in man's instincts to provide for his family and to survive nature's harsh conditions.

This was a strange unfamiliar idea to me, considering the fact that skiing was the only way to get around, and women living in Norway 3000 years ago did not have the option to stay home knitting or taking the bus. The ancients did not consider skiing and the winter lands to be the land of the males. The deity of skiing was Skade, goddess of winter and the wilderness. Ull came later, when they combined skiing and warfare. He also married Skade after she left Njord, god of the oceans. Neither Skade nor Njord were happy apart from their realms, and so they had to part.

Anyway, you get my drift? Here it is again: if it has to do with games and sports, men did it first, they claim. But the truth is that the first person to get fed up with wading through the snow and decide to float on top on her way to check her traps may as easily have been Skade as Ull.


Alfred Thompson said...

My grandfather who was born in Norway at the end of the 1800s always thought of skiing as just basic transportation. He never adjusted to the idea of it as a sport or something one did for fun. I think the idea of it being a man's thing would have seemed quite wierd to him. Everyone had to get around and what other choice was there back in the old days?

Torill said...

Exactly :)