If you like “Do you remember how it all began?” style stories, then you'll love it! The history of the USSR's introduction to the world famous sport, that is, alpine skiing, begins in the 20th century. An alpine ski section was equipped on the Sparrow Hills in Moscow. Training materials in this area and all the necessary equipment were brought from Scandinavia. Then ski facilities began to be built throughout the Soviet Union. Various competitions and sports days in downhill and slalom were held.
Alpine skiing in the USSR entered the masses in 1918, when V. Lenin signed a decree on the pre-war training of the people. Young people from 16 years old and adults up to 40 years old fell under it. This task was due to a difficult political situation. The civil war and foreign military intervention prompted the Soviet government to create a new system of military training and physical education of young people that would meet advanced standards.
Skis have become an integral part of the program. Alpine skiing clubs were organized, in which such outstanding athletes as N. Vasiliev, A. Nemukhin, P. Bychkov and others taught.
Skiing was not regarded as entertainment. So, in 1919, 75 companies of skiers were sent to the front. This helped to suppress the Kronstadt and kulak revolts. Ski companies contributed to the success of combat operations on the Northern and Eastern Fronts.
Since 1923, under the influence of the Red Army and Vsevobuch, the intensive development of alpine skiing began in the USSR. This is not for you to drink mulled wine in Courchevel!
Alpine skiing gained universal recognition in the early 60s, after the Soviet athlete, Evgenia Sidorova, took third place in slalom at the 1956 Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Initially, skiing was not considered exotic and was perceived not as a separate sport, but rather as an element of a hiking trip, which, in addition to skiing, included mountaineering and mountain tourism. This entertainment will acquire elitism a little later, when rest in high-class ski resorts will be equated to aristocratic resorts.
Skiing gained independence in 1962, when the governing body was organized - the Federation of Alpine Skiing in the USSR. From that moment on, alpine skiing ceased to exist only as a part of mountain tourism and turned into a self-sufficient sport.
At the end of January 1973, ten students of the Aviation Institute of the city of Kuibyshev (Samara), having closed the session, went on a ski trip to the Kola Peninsula. The route was chosen not the most difficult - II category. According to the plan, the transition was given less than a week: on January 25, the group left the village of Revda, and on the 31st it was supposed to reach Kirovsk.
On the second day of the journey, when passing the pass in the mountains of the Lovozero tundra over the Chivruai River, all ten people died.
The official version of death is hypothermia. However, when asked about the reasons for the death of the group, neither relatives nor friends received an answer.
Books are written about the Dyatlov Pass, films are made and even investigations are still being conducted. And even the locals know little about the mysterious tragedy on the Kola Peninsula. Relatives of the victims claim that the case was classified for 75 years.
The only article about the death of the Kuibyshevites was published in 1973 in the magazine "Tourist". The special correspondent of the publication reported that the students died due to lack of experience, although "they were neither cowards, nor alarmists and knew each other well." The material said that officials in charge of tourism in Kuibyshev and the Murmansk region were reprimanded for serious shortcomings in organizing tourist trips.
A more detailed article was published many years later, in 2007, in the newspaper "Samarskaya Pravda". Isay Fishgoyt, a member of the commission to investigate the tragedy at the regional Zhiguli tourist club, told the reporter the following about the commission's findings: “The group found itself in conditions incompatible with life.” According to Fishgoit, the commission was unable to get acquainted with the results of the official investigation: the documents were “closed”.
RT decided to find out the details of the mysterious death of students and talked with the participants in the investigation and the relatives of the victims.
The first victims were discovered by accident: a group of MAI students followed the same route one day behind. At the pass, they stumbled upon the bodies of Mikhail Kuznetsov, Sergei Gusev, Yuri Krivov, Alexander Novoselov and Anatoly Pirogov, already almost covered with snow. The tourists took photographs, found documents of one of the leaders of the group, Kuznetsov, in the belongings of the deceased, and, reaching Kirovsk, reported the emergency to the rescuers.
On February 2, an investigator from the prosecutor's office and a team of rescuers flew from Kirovsk on a civil aviation helicopter to the place where the bodies were found, including Vladimir Borzenkov, the head of the Moscow Aviation Institute's rescue service. He was personally acquainted with some of those who died on camping trips.
According to Borzenkov, all five students were lying on the tent, and Kuznetsov was holding its edge in his hand, with which he was obviously trying to cover himself and his comrades.
Later, servicemen from the Kandalash division were involved in the search. They combed the area with a mine detector.
However, it was only in March that two more members of the group were found - Lydia Martin and Yuri Ushkov. Their bodies, as noted by Borzenkov, were located about 300 meters from the place where the first victims were found.
The working people of our country, freed from the oppression of the exploiters by the Great October Socialist Revolution, found themselves drawn into a long and difficult war imposed on them by the internal counter-revolution and international intervention. This war depleted the economic resources of semi-colonial Russia. Its backward economy fell into decay. The working class, having taken power into its own hands, gave all its strength to cleanse its native country of everything that hindered the creation of the world's first Soviet state.
Back in the years of the civil war, the country's economy began to recover, cultural and educational work was developing. Young people warmly responded to Lenin's call to learn literacy, conscientiousness, discipline in work, and high communist morality.
Paying great attention to the physical education of young people, the party and the government of the country took the first steps to create Soviet physical culture. By the decision of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of June 27, 1923, the Supreme Council of Physical Culture was created as a permanent commission under the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. Soon, Councils of Physical Education began to be created under the executive committees of local councils throughout the country. In accordance with a special resolution of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, physical culture and sports are being developed in trade unions.
A broad program for the further development of physical culture and sports in the country was given in the decree of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) of June 13, 1925, where it was emphasized that “physical culture should be an integral part of general political, cultural upbringing and education, renewal of the masses ”.
The desire of young people to engage in physical education has been increasing. If in 1923 there were 125 thousand athletes in the country, then a year later this figure tripled, and after the decision of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR of April 1, 1930 on the establishment of the All-Union Council of Physical Culture and Sports, millions of young men and women joined the physical culture movement. To a large extent, this was facilitated by the "Ready for Labor and Defense" (TRP) complex.
The growing scale of physical culture work has necessitated the creation of a unified management of physical culture and sports, as two inseparable sides of the overall work on the physical development of the country's youth. For these purposes, by a decree of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR and the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR of June 21, 1936, the All-Union Committee for Physical Culture and Sports was created under the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR. This decision contributed to the further improvement of this area of activity of the Soviet people.
The date of the birth of Soviet mountaineering is considered to be August 28, 1923, when eighteen students and scientific workers of Tbilisi, headed by prof. G. N. Nikoladze made an ascent to the top of Kazbek. Already in this first ascent, the main feature of Soviet mountaineering was visible - its massiveness.
On August 27, a group of Tiflis University students led by Associate Professor G. Nikoladze - went to the assault on Kazbek. Then 18 people made the ascent (including 5 girls).
On August 28, 1923, the "first Georgian expedition to Kazbek" reached its goal - the summit - in a frost of twenty degrees. “A dream come true for many years. We have something to be proud of, there are eighteen of us on the top ”, - wrote in his diary the leader of the ascent, prof. G. N. Nikoladze. On August 22, 1923, a group of 27 people arrived in the village of Kazbegi. After rest and training, including the ascent of a number of participants to the top of Shino, the climbers, accompanied by guides Y. Kazalikashvili, L. Kushiashvili and A. Bezurtanov, arrived on August 26 to the Devdorak glacier, along which the path to the top was planned. The next night they spent in the area of the dilapidated "Ermolovskaya hut". Those who had no climbing experience, the participants hardly moved to the top. A strong gusty wind was blowing, the frost reached 20 °. Some were forced to return, and the weaker ones had to be accompanied. Those who remained stubbornly continued to go towards the goal. At 15:30, 18 people, the most persistent, gathered on the top of Kazbek: G. Nikoladze, Y. Kazalikashvili, A. Agniashvili, G. Alikhanov, I. Kukavadze, Sh. Mamtavrishvili, I. Matiashvili, V. chedlishvili, K. Potenkorf, F. Baumgauer, M. Chinchiradze, P. Romankevich, the manager of the Sandro group (the names of the manager could not be established), as well as five girls - Maro Bezhanishvili, Eliko Lordkipanidze, Asmat Nikolayishvili, Maro Tkavadze and Lida Chkheidze.
Exhibition of A. Sidorenko 1986. MoscowPhoto: Yuri Alfredovich Mach
Exhibition of A. Sidorenko 1986. MoscowPhoto: Yuri Alfredovich Mach
Tkavadze Maro (Tbilisi), newspaper “Socialist Industry”, December 1, 1984: “… It's not about what height in meters you conquered. One has it - Everest, another - Kazbek, the third - a very small hill. The main thing is that for the person himself it should be HEIGHT. Your dream, goal, your business. It is not only the top that is important - the way to it is important ... And no one will pass this path for us - only we ourselves, After such an ascent, you can feel confident and strong in life ... I love mountains not only for their beauty. In them, you are not only above the clouds - above fear, helplessness, weakness. After all, they go to the mountains in order to lend a hand to a comrade who stumbled, to cheer up those who find it difficult, to help the tired, to protect them from a flying stone. And to lean on someone's shoulder ... ”.
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