Kind of sport
People began strapping skis to their feet as far back as 5000 years ago. It is believed that Norwegians were the first - they used skis as a way of hunting across snow-covered terrain. From Norway, skiing spread throughout Scandinavia and Russia as a mode of winter transportation and eventually as a sport similar to cross-country skiing. Alpine skiing evolved from cross-country skiing. The first alpine skiing competition, a primitive downhill, was held in the 1850s in Oslo. A few decades later, the sport spread to the remainder of Europe and to the United States, where miners held skiing competitions to entertain themselves during the winter.
The first slalom was organised in 1922 in Mürren, Switzerland, and two years later such a race became the first Olympic Alpine event. The Arlberg-Kandahar, a combined slalom and downhill event, is now referred to as the first legitimate Alpine event - the race that planted the seed for Alpine's inclusion in the Olympic programme.
Alpine skiing became part of the Olympic programme at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games with a men's and women's combined event.
The Olympic Alpine competition consists of ten events: five for women and five for men. The rules are the same for men and women, but the courses differ. In all cases, time is measured to .01 seconds and ties are permitted.