The International Ski Federation - Fédération Internationale de Ski, Internationaler Ski Verband - is abbreviated in all languages as FIS. The organisation was founded on 2nd February 1924 during the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France with 14 member nations. FIS took the place of the International Skiing Commission which was set up at the first International Ski Congress in February 1910 in Christiania (NOR) and served from 1910-1924. Today, 118 National Ski Associations comprise the membership of FIS.
Whilst the existence of skiing as means of transport is very ancient, its practice as a sport is relatively recent. It was not developed in Norway until after 1850, when the first races were held around the town of Christiania, which later became the city of Oslo. From 1870 onwards, the Alpine countries were in turn affected by the rapid expansion of skiing as a sport: the first competitions in Germany in 1879, the foundation of the first Swiss Club in 1893 at Glaris initiated by Christoph Iselin. National Ski Associations appeared in turn in Russia (1896), Czechoslovakia (1903), the United States (1904), Austria and Germany (1905) and Norway, Finland and Sweden (1908). From 1910 to 1924, the International Skiing Commission strove to monitor the development of competitive skiing throughout the world. In 1924, at the time of the first Olympic Winter Games, this Commission gave birth to the Federation International de Ski.
For more information on the past International Ski Congresses, see here.