I've always been curious about this. Certain countries (and regions in particular) really seem to dominate the alpine skiing events, whereas other countries (and regions) continuously do poor. What are the reasons?
Proximity to mountains?
-Makes sense logically, but there are plenty of mountains in Asia (China, Japan and Korea) and those countries all have the funds to send their athletes overseas to train.
-The Chinese are doing remarkably well in FIS Snowboarding events, and Japan is always well represented in Snowboarding as well.
-Japan is also doing fairly well in FIS Ski jumping events (see Daiki Ito)
-Where are the Aussies and the Kiwis? They have mountains and excellent skiing...
-The Asian countries are very invested financially in winning medals at the Olympics, as you can see by skating events
-Australia/NZ and the Asian countries seem to have the money to do very well in a wide variety of Summer and Winter sports, and are certainly not any "poorer" than Slovakia or Croatia
Lacking the "mental" aspect?
-Probably a bit racist and ignorant to think that athletes in Asia-Pacific (including Australia/NZ) are somehow mentally weaker, but perhaps this plays a part?
-But then see the above statement regarding good representation in Snowboarding events
Snow-sports just not popular?
-Japan has a world class ski resort and as anybody who has skiied in Japan knows, it is hugely popular and the infrastructure for skiing in Japan is world class
-Also, see above statement regarding Snowboarders
-I think this may play a bigger part than one might think, but then to be fair, how do you explain the decades long absence of athletes from these regions?
I think for skiing to continue to grow as a sport, we absolutely need to identify the reasons why skiing is "dominated" by just a few handful of countries (France, Swiss, Nor-Swe-Fin, Italy, Ger, Aut, USA, CAN, etc.), and why there isn't more interest or talent emerging from these massive other countries which literally have millions of potential skiers. It really is a huge untapped market and I wish there was a clear explanation as to why.