You know the feeling. I know you do.
The night before, you are glued to the tv, hoping against hope to see your town listed on the scrolling list at the bottom of the screen. Then you find yourself dejected when the alphabetical list doesn’t include your town.
You’re up and at it early the next morning, snow still falling from the night before, with what looks like more than a foot of snow. As you wolf down your bowl of Cheerios, you see it! You officially have a snow day! You call your best friend and both of you head to the huge hill behind the junior high school (the one that if you’re not careful, you’ll crash into the chain linked fence surrounding the baseball field), sleds in tow. Hours later, you arrive home in a state of froze bliss, your mom serving hot chocolate and cookies to warm you both up.
Most people have had the pleasure of sledding during their childhood and with their own children years later. Not as many have experienced skiing, particularly downhill. My personal skiing experience is limited to cross-country skiing, which is a blast in and of itself. We had a nature center on the edge of town during college that rented skis and had acres of trails. Not as “moteventurous” as the downhill variety, but what a workout it was nonetheless!
“Happiness is…fresh snow and a sled.”Unknown
“Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads.”Anonymous
Today’s “This or That” focuses on Chionophiles. What are Chionophiles you ask? A Chionophile is a person who loves cold weather and snow.
“When life gives you snow…go sledding.”Unknown
“Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.”Unknown
Before you vote, here are some fascinating facts about sledding and skiing:
- The Russians built the first toboggan slide—a high wooden structure with an ice-covered chute—in St. Petersburg in the late 1800s.
- The oldest know ski was discovered in Sweden and dates back to 4,500-2,500 BC.
- The sled gets its name because early competitors thought it helped to “bob” their heads on straightaways. (They were wrong—staying low makes the sled go faster.)
- 350 million people visit ski resorts or areas annually, all across the globe.
- The most famous sled in pop culture is Citizen Kane‘s Rosebud—a Yankee Clipper.
- Skiing was originally a form of transportation in the mountains of Europe before it became a sport.
- In 1915, around 120,000 flexible fliers were sold, with an average of 2000 sold per day. The smallest went for $2.50; the largest, which was 8.5 feet long, weighed 41 pounds and could hold six adults, sold for $12.
- Skiing downhill using moderate effort burns 350-400 calories per hour.
- A four-man bobsled race was an event in the first Winter Olympics, held in France in 1924. Only men competed until 2002, when two-woman teams were allowed to compete.
With those thoughts in mind, “This…or That?” this week will unscientifically determine whether we gravitate more toward the sport of skiing or the fast-paced fun of sledding.
While you consider your decision, watch a few videos that thematically deal with both activities.
You simply choose your favorite and review the results below.
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