A freestyle skier performs aerial skiing during a competition. Winter sports take place on snow or ice. Once only possible in winter, they can now be practised all year in any climate on artificial surfaces. Major individual sports include skiing, skating and snowboarding, while team sports include ice hockey, curling and bobsleigh. Each sport has its own events, but the major winter sports tournament is the Winter Olympics, begun in 1924 and now held every four years on a separate cycle to the Summer Olympics.
Ice skating includes three sports: speed skating, figure skating and ice dancing. All of them use skates: shoes with metal blades on the bottom to slide along ice. The first skating competition was in 1676.
The oldest skate, dated to around 3000 BC, was found at the bottom of a lake in Switzerland. The oldest ski, found in a Swedish peat bog, dates back to at least 2500 BC.
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