Maybe I'll take a crack at the translation for skiers who were born after 1990...
The world of skiing and skiing equipment revolved around ski racing from the 1950's through at least 2000. Ski racing was the only thing that mattered in terms of equipment and technique through that entire time.
In the Killy/Stenmark/(even Tomba) days, all the equipment out there - even SLALOM racing skis - had design radii (that's the plural of radius) of more than 40 meters. That meant there was no way (as in zero possibility) of making a pure carved turn that would take the World Cup racer into the proper position for the next gate on a slalom or even giant slalom course. That's why stepping uphill or lateral projection or skating (or whatever) was required to get the world-class racer into position to make the next gate. It allowed the racer to carve part of the turn and then physically step uphill to get back high enough to make the next gate.
The first tiny step in the evolution of shaped and fun-shape skis that we're all enjoying today came from the racing world's shift to skis that could actually be tipped over onto their edges and fully CARVED into the next turn. The Elan SCX started the revolution but Bode Miller put an exclamation point on the division by winning the GS (I think) in the Junior Olympic Nationals in 1996 on K2 Fours, which were the most RADICAL skis on the market at the time.
Bode was inspired by the snowboarding racer carvers who were appearing on the scene at the time. At the same time, boarders were ripping big-mountain descents that even ski-to-die extreme skiers couldn't imagine because the boards gave turn radius and platform advantages that skis had never offered.
Pretty soon, boarders took off in their own direction while ski racers absolutely ATE UP the shorter turn radii that were being offered by some of the ski companies. The changes in carving skis revolutionized ski racing to the point that racers became so fast that courses became unsafe and the design parameters of the skis had to be dumbed down to keep the newly-insane racers from maiming and killing themselves. At the same time, ski companies started going fatter and fatter with recreational skis as they started to mimic the fun shapes that boarders were throwing into the backcountry world (specifically Alaska backcountry heli-access riding).
All of this led to the current state of free-for-all. The racing world has gotten faster and faster. The recreational skiing world has exploded with innumerable shapes for every possible subset of snow and terrain. And the universe of ski equipment has benefited enormously from all this insane feedback from across the skiing spectrum IN SPITE OF the rantings from dinosaurs like me who used to believe that skiers who have learned how to ski the "right" way should be able to ski any condition and any terrain with any ski.
With all of that as background, it's still really cool to see what Stenmark and Killy were capable of in their day and to marvel at what heights they might have reached if they'd had today's skis to work with.