In ancient times, people strapped animal bones on their feet instead of ice skates to glide across frozen lakes. Skiing became a household word after a Norwegian adventurer made the first crossing of Greenland. And snowboarding was first known as snurfing—short for snow surfing.
Winter sports have come a long way.
In Beijing, competitions are already underway ahead of the February 4 opening ceremony for the 24th Winter Olympics. Sports like figure skating, ice hockey, curling, and cross-country skiing have been part of Olympic history since the first Winter Olympics was hosted in Chamonix, France, in 1924.
But the origins of many Olympic sports stretch back even further. Some evolved out of ancient adaptations to harsh weather—from the Indigenous people of