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54530.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:43 pm Reply with quote

According to this site skiing is only possible in reykyavik (sp?) from January to March every year.

Anyone got a take on that?

54532.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:46 pm Reply with quote

This site says Jan-May, but all-round skiing can go on in the Glaciers.

Is glacier skiing difference to normal downhill, which could mean only a few months of practice?

54555.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:19 pm Reply with quote

I'm no expert but I should imagine that glacier skiing is somewhat different. I mean you have to avoid all of the crevases (sp?)

54556.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:20 pm Reply with quote

Name a country who are great skiers.


Well what you may not know is that one of the pantheons of Englishness, Sir Arthur Conan was a pioneer of Swiss skiing.

Conan Doyle had seen skiing a few years earlier in Norway. He noted that the topography and climate of Switzerland was perfect for the sport. He sent away to Norway for some skis.

He was also able to find some local skiers, the Branger brothers. The brothers had been practicing skiing for about a year before Conan Doyle's arrival. However skiing seemed so odd to the locals that the brothers had actually taken to practicing after dark to avoid being mocked and teased by local townsfolk

Doyle and the Branger Bros decided to put on a demonstration, and thanks in part to ACD's popularisation, it wasn't long before skiing became one of Switzerland's national sports.

54577.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:43 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

True enough that there aren't all that many Icelanders, but there are many fewer Liechtensteiners and they've won golds.

This is just a slur thrown almost at random, but how many of Liechtenstein's medallists were actually born there? Aren't there tax-breaks etc. for talented athletes who take L citizenship and cast sporting lustre on the country. And no that's not like Zola Budd: she was granted British citizenship for humanitarian reasons. The Home Office said so.

54586.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:56 pm Reply with quote


Last edited by monkbarns on Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

54608.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:28 pm Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
Well what you may not know is that one of the pantheons of Englishness, Sir Arthur Conan was a pioneer of Swiss skiing.

I thought Conan Doyle was Scottish ;)

54613.  Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:20 pm Reply with quote

monkbarns wrote:
Aren't there tax-breaks etc. for talented athletes who take L citizenship and cast sporting lustre on the country.

I don't know, is the honest answer to that - if so I haven't heard about any of the people they have "bought".

What I do know is that is in the Winter games of 1980 at Lake Placid (first one I was really old enough to watch properly) they had a two person skiing team, a brother and sister named Andi and Hanni Wenzel. The Wenzels were born in Germany, but had moved to Liechtenstein as small children, and I think they took home four medals between them.

She then married the Austrian skier Harti Weirather and I spotted the couple on TV a couple of days ago, covering the races from Italy for a Swiss TV channel.

I would humbly suggest that she has done more for Liechtenstein than a hundred Zola Pieterses ever did for Britain.

54658.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:51 am Reply with quote

I thought Conan Doyle was Scottish ;)

Apologies from an ignorant sassenach.

54661.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:53 am Reply with quote

Conan Doyle.....a hugely muscled author.



54835.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:56 am Reply with quote

I am convinced that the time will come when hundreds of English men will come to Switzerland for the skiing season. I believe I may be the first, save only two Switzers, to do any mountain work, but I am certain I will not by many thousands be the last.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

54837.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:00 am Reply with quote

I believe in fairies.

Same author, er, Arthur.

54938.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:10 pm Reply with quote

In addition to Denmark and Iceland, I find it curious that there a so few Polish athletes at these Olympics. Surrounding countries (Ukraine, Germany, Czech Republic etc) have plenty, so why not Poland?

54986.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:56 pm Reply with quote

Is'nt Poland relatively flat?

54990.  Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:05 pm Reply with quote

Now there's a question. When I was a kid I used to ask my dad why Canada was good at the Winter Olympics but Poland wasn't, and he never had much of an answer.

To "dispose" of Germany first. German Winter Olympians tend to be a) skiers from Bavaria and b) skaters from the north west. Both of these activities are fairly localised, and they prosper where they do for the same reasons that the Austrians ski and the Dutch skate. Similarly, Italy's skiers and sledgers tend to come from Alto Adige / Südtirol, a mainly German speaking area in the far north of Italy.

The Czech Republic is practically Alpine in the west, and it is from here that skiers tend to come. But the Czechs' main claim to winter sports fame is hockey, a game the Poles certainly play, but not with the fervor that the Czechs do. Polish speed skaters have been reasonably successful in the past though.

Ukraine is inland and has mountains, so its climate is more suited to skiing and stuff - Poland is mostly quite flat.

And then there's football. Soon after WWII, the Poles realised that football was the one thing they had much chance of beating the Russians at, so they concentrated their efforts on that.

Or maybe I'm just making excuses, and it's just that the Poles aren't all that good at winter sports ...


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