The History of Cross Country Skiing in Finland
For thousands of years skiing has been the most important way of
moving during the winter time in Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia.
Finnish word for the skis, which is "sukset", is about 6000 years
old. Interesting point is, that Finnish is the only language that has
a special word for skiing, "hiihtää". In other languages the same
thing is expressed as running or driving with the skis, for example
in Swedish it is said "åka skidor" ( = 'to drive skis'). In English,
there is only one word, ski, which is used as a verb and a noun.
Special word for skiing is a very good example of the fact that the
skis and skiing have been so important in the Finnish way of life and
culture for number of generations. Even a greek historian Prokopios
wrote in 550's about a people that lived in far north. He used word
"scrithifinnoi" which is later explained to mean "Skiing Finns". In
fact, that is the first known written information about skiing.