Thanks for this interesting question:
SKIING is the world's oldest sport. The post-glacial Stone Age people
of the northern latitudes in Europe and Russia used skis?not made for
speed but to keep hunters on top of the snow?to survive harsh winters.
The Norwegian island Rodoy rock carvings of a hunter on runners, 4500
years old, are above the Arctic Circle in Norway. The oldest ski,
found in Sweden, is 5000 years old.
Skiing also relates to religion in Scandinavia. The Vikings worshipped
Ull and Skade, god and goddess of skiing/winter.
Ull - God of winter, the chase and ritual combat. Spends the winters
hunting with Skade, and the summers in Helheim with Hel. Harsh, but
still approachable. Represents the Northern winter.
Skade - A giantess, estranged wife of Niord. Goddess of winter and the
chase. Hunting companion of Ull. Harsh, but approachable (the
inspiration for Hans C.Andersen's 'The Snow Queen').
In the US, skiing was reportedly introduced by Norwegian gold
minersBut some say the native Americans already had learned skiing.