Alpine Skiing

Zach Gregarek ‘14


Alpine skiing has been a part of the Winter Olympics since 1936. The event is divided into five different parts: downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super giant, and super combination.
According to, downhill takes place on the longest courses and reaches the highest speeds. Some skiers reach speeds as high as 120 miles per hour. The skier with the fastest time through the course wins. In the slalom event, the course’s flags and gates are placed much closer together than any other event. The skier also runs the course twice; the sum of the two runs is his or her final time.
In the giant slalom, the flags and gates are placed further away from each other than in the original slalom. Men’s courses have 56 to 70 gates spread out through the course and the female courses have 46 to 58. Like the regular slalom, the skier runs the course twice.
The super-giant is a combination of the downhill event and the giant slalom. Skiers can once again reach speeds of 120 miles per hour and the course they ski on is similar. Unlike the slalom and giant slalom, competitors only ski the super-giant once.
Super combination is a combination of the downhill and slalom.
For the USA team, Ted Ligety brought home a gold medal, Mikaela Shiffrin captured gold, Andrew Weibrecht won silver, while Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso brought home bronze medals at Sochi.
Skiers use equipment such as boots, binding, goggles, ski poles, skin-tight suits to minimize air resistance, and of course, skis to help them conquer the slopes!