Sunday, 28 October 2007

The Skiing Postmen

I have just been researching an article on the history of skiing in Andorra for the Arinsal-Andorra website and I made the surprising discovery that the first skiers in the principality were neither tourists, nor ancient hunter gatherers as in other parts of the world. In fact, the first skier in Andorra was a Soldeu postman by the name of Miquel Farré.

Miquel and his colleagues originally used snowshoes to make their deliveries during the winter months. Once a week, he collected some mail from the French village of Porto, where the local inhabitants used long pieces of wood to travel over the snow. One day during the winter of 1924, Miquel returned to Soldeu on a pair of these contraptions. His collegues were duly impressed and adopted the idea. The Andorra Ski Club was founded in 1932 and the rest is history.

The only downside to this research is the discovery that Soldeu, and not Arinsal, was the birthplace of Andorran skiing. Oh well, we can't have everything.

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