About Skiing


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ABOUT ALPINE SKIING

People began strapping skis to their feet as far back as 5000 years ago. It is believed that Norwegians were the first - they used skis as a way of hunting across snow-covered terrain. From Norway, skiing spread throughout Scandinavia and Russia as a mode of winter transportation and eventually as a sport similar to cross-country skiing. Alpine skiing evolved from cross-country skiing. The first alpine skiing competition, a primitive downhill, was held in the 1850s in Oslo. A few decades later, the sport spread to the remainder of Europe and to the United States, where miners held skiing competitions to entertain themselves during the winter.

The first slalom was organised in 1922 in Mürren, Switzerland, and two years later such a race became the first Olympic Alpine event. The Arlberg-Kandahar, a combined slalom and downhill event, is now referred to as the first legitimate Alpine event - the race that planted the seed for Alpine's inclusion in the Olympic programme.

Alpine skiing became part of the Olympic programme at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games with a men's and women's combined event.

SKIING AND COMPETITION

The Olympic Alpine competition consists of ten events: five for women and five for men. The rules are the same for men and women, but the courses differ. In all cases, time is measured to .01 seconds and ties are permitted.


 

 
Skiing: An alpine event
 
 

THE ALPINE EVENTS

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Downhill

What is Alpine Downhill? The downhill features the longest course and the highest speeds in Alpine skiing. Each skier makes a single run down a single course and the fastest time determines the winner.

Super-G

What is Super G? Super-G stands for super giant slalom, an event that combines the speed of downhill with the more precise turns of giant slalom. The course is shorter than downhill but longer than a giant slalom course. Each skier makes one run down a single course and the fastest time determines the winner.

Giant slalom

What is giant slalom? Giant slalom is also known as the GS. It is a similar version to the slalom, with fewer turns and wider, smoother turns. Each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. Both runs take place on the same day, usually with the first run held in the morning and the second run in the afternoon. The times are added, and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Slalom

What is slalom? The slalom features the shortest course and the quickest turns. As in the giant slalom, each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. Both runs take place on the same day. The times are added and the fastest total time determines the winner. Combined: The combined event consists of one downhill followed by two slalom runs. The times are added together and the fastest total time determines the winner. The combined downhill and the combined slalom are contested independently of the regular downhill and slalom events, and the combined courses are shorter than the regular versions. In 2002, for the first time at an Olympic Winter Games, the entire combined event is being held on a single day at the same venue. Also, the combined slalom is held on the lower part of the combined downhill slope, which has not always been the case.


 

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