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For many people, "skiing" means recreational downhill skiing in which one visits a ski resort, purchases a lift ticket, dons cold-weather clothing, skis, ski boots and ski poles, and embarks on a chairlift, gondola lift, or other mechanical method of uphill propulsion. Upon reaching the summit, the skier disembarks from the ski lift and travels downhill, propelled by gravity. One should not attempt this unless one has been to ski school or otherwise learned how to turn and stop safely. If this is not the case, one's trajectory is likely to become uncontrollable and one's speed excessive, attenuated only by stationary objects such as trees.
In skiing's traditional core regions in the snowy parts of Scandinavia, both recreational and competitive skiing is as likely to refer to the cross-country variants as to the internationally more well-known downhill variants.
In addition to their role in recreation and sport, skiing is also used as a means of transport by the military, and many armies train troops for ski warfare. Ski troops played a key role in retaining Finnish independence from Russia during the Winter War, and from Germany during the Lapland War, although the use of ski troops was recorded by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus in the 13th century. The sport of Biathlon was developed from military skiing patrols.
Skiing was pronounced "she-ing" at the start of the 20th century, after the Norwegian pronunciation, and was usually written "ski-ing".
For the origins and development of skiing, see the History of skiing.
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