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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 10, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Monday, February 10, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 33 Ski trials Ice tussle the challenge pursue for 120 young athletes scenic path By HANS BUHRMANN Cross country skiing is proud of its long history. The first known cross country skis date back to approxmately 2000 B.C. and were found well preserved in a great bog near Holing, Sweden. These long skis provided a primitive but effective means of winter transpor- tation in snowbound Scan- dinavia. As a competitive sport, cross country skiing is of relatively recent origin dating back slightly over one hundred years with Scandinavia as its birthplace. Since then it has gained wide popularity in many countries, especially Scan- dinavia, eastern and central Europe, Japan, and to a lesser degree North America. The popularity of cross; country skiing in Canada has increased at a breath taking rate over the last years. While a decade ago only a few people used the trails and choice skiing spots, today some of the more easily accessible areas show signs of overcrowding. In Edmonton alone several hundred people will be unable to gain ad- mission to learn to ski programs and workshops scheduled for this winter. Cross country skiing in Southern Alberta is still in its infancy because of climatic and topographic peculiarities. But the increased awareness of personal physical fitness and the staging of the Canada Winter Games at Castle Junction will see to it that this challenging, en- joyable, inexpensive ac- tivity will grow in leaps and bounds in the next years. The Alberta government is aware of the potential popularity of cross country skiing and has set aside the area between the Castle and Westcastle rivers and the base of the Barnaby ridge as a non- motorized winter recrea- tion area. The use of snowmobiles and all.- terrain vehicles has been banned in this area except for those need- ed by Canada Winter Games to .service, main- tain, and patrol the venue. This summer and fall with financial assistance from the department of culture, youth, and recreation, cross country ski trails were surveyed and established. This trail system con- tains a and 15 km (3, 6, and 9 miles) competitive course plus a network of touring trails. The trails are not only physically challenging but rate scenically as one of the most beautiful in Canada. After the Winter Games this area will no doubt serve as the homebase for Southern Alberta's cross country ski enthusiasts, es- pecially the recreational skiers who hope to spend a quiet day unmolested in an uncrowded, natural set- ting. The cross country ski events of the 1975 Canada Winter Games will be stag- ed at Castle Junction from February 13 to 16. The events include women's 10 km and 3 x 5 km relay, and men's 15 km and 3 x 10 km relay. The start and finish area is located right across from the Synclihe Group Campground. The campground itself will be used as the cross country skiing head- quarters with trailer facilities for changing, storage, waxing, of- ficiating, first aid, and warm-up. There will be 48 curlers taking part in the men's competition as a like number of women for the Canada Winter Games. A team coach and manager for each team will also be appointed. Total participation in the Games will involve 120 people in curling alone. Men and women must be un- der the ages of 19 as of January 1 this year. The teams must qualify within their own province. Methods of qualification have been left up to the rules com- mittees set up in each province. Where did curling originate? According to history deep are the mists that veil the origin of this game that has been given the unlikely name of knattleiker by some. While mystery does surround the game enough has been revealed by examination of literary and historical records to indicate Scotland as the birthplace of the roaring game. Thus the reference to deep surrounding the game. SKIING Wcdneiday, Feb. U 10 giant slalom-Run I giant slalom-Run giant slalom-Run 2-29 Thursday. Feb. 13 10 a.m.-Women's slalom-Run l-Westcastle-5B a.m.-Men's slalom-Run l-Westcastle-58 1 p-m.-Women's slalom-Run 2-Weslcastle-58 slalom-Run 11 10 km cross-country-Castle Friday, Feb. 14 10 dual slalom-qualifying 1 dual slalom-qualifying 11 15 km Saturday, Feb. 15 1 dual 11 3x5 cross-counlry 11 preliminary Sunday, Feb. 1C 1 dual 11 30 x 10 cross-country Junc.-127 11 competitive Some credit has been given to tales of Flemish immigrants from the Netherlands introduc- ing game called "kuting" to the land of the heather. At the same time Iceland had a game played on ice they called "Knattleieker" and the Bavarians played on artificial ponds with wooden blocks, contests called "icestiks" but in each of the above-cases there is little evidence to suggest any real similarity to the game the Scottish brought about. Be that as it may, curling seems to have appeared in Scotland as early as 1500 before the battle of Flodden, for an old 'kuting' stone dated 1511 was un- earthed near Stirling. .Thereafter both prose and verse refer frequently to the game called A shadowy past has failed to reveal any real organization of clubs before the beginning of the 18th century. In 1716 the curlers of Kilsyth in Stirlingshire form- ed a club and others in Central Scotland followed: but not until 1760 did the Edinburgh Cannon- mills Club come into being. The first set of rules for the game, and they have undergone many a change over the years, were set forth on Nov. by the Muthil Curling Club but they didn't give us much of an inkling as .to the methods of play, concerning themselves chiefly with conduct of members and penalties thereto for gambling, swearing and non attendance. Legend has it that after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, a few of General Wolfe's Highland soldiers connived with the regimental blacksmith to fashion curling 'stones by melting down cannon balls so that they could while away the hours, on the frozen surface of the St. Lawrence River. This pleasant interlude had lit- tle bearing on the introduction of curling as one of Canada's favorite winter pasttimes. The role was reserved for transplanted Scottish settlers to introduce the game to Canada. In Lethbridge Make Your Headquarters For Fin? English BONE CHIN A AND GIFT WARE A Large Selection to Choose From We welcome all Visitors and wish All Competitors Every Success in the Canada Winter Games DOWNTOWN 606-608 3rd Ave.S. Phone 327-5767 j f ;