Turin: birthplace of Italian skiing
Not everyone is aware that Turin, the city that will host the next Olympic Winter Games, is the birthplace of Italian skiing. It was indeed in the city of the "Mole", in 1896 that a pair of skis, at that time called snow skates, were worn for the first time in Italy. The first national and international skiing competitions were organised in the Olympic Mountains. One hundred years later - and about 500 days from the great Olympic event - Turin pays tribute to the ancestor of skiing, an absolute symbol of winter sports.
"Snow Skates. From the Ancient Scandinavian Skis to Turin 2006" is the title of the exhibition that is currently open in the Atrium pavilion in Piazza Solferino in Turin, which will run until 30 November. To illustrate the fascinating route that transformed snow skates to the high-technology skis we use today, Amedeo Macagno, curator of the show, and Aldo Audisio,Director of the Mountain Museum, visited the north of Europe looking for precious and rare vintage articles.
Oslo and Turin
"We received a message from the Oslo museum, the only one in the world today, with Turin, that has vintage skis built in Scandinavia. They were the property of a Dutch antique dealer who had offered them to the Norwegians. We went to Oslo and succeeded in acquiring some extremely rare pieces, which were very important to complete the permanent exhibit that is part of our Historical Museum of the Monte dei Cappuccini", says the curator.
Turin: Capital of the Alps
The exhibition is a challenge, a first step for a real and lasting collaboration between the city of Turin and the Mountain Museum, another step to really make the city the capital of the Alps. The skis, the film "Vertigine Bianca" on the Olympic Games of Cortina in 1956, as well as the link that unites the Ampezzan event to that of Turin 2006, are the starting points of the exhibition.
Thoeni, Belmondo and Tomba
Moreover, there are also some famous modern skis, those used by the great champions of Italian skiing, such as Gustav Thoeni, Deborah Compagnoni, Stefania Belmondo, Zeno Colò and Alberto Tomba.