Paralympic alpine skiing is an adaptation of alpine skiing for athletes with a disability. The sport evolved from the efforts of disabled veterans in Germany and Austria during and after the Second World War; the sport is governed by the International Paralympic Committee Sports Committee. The primary equipment used includes outrigger skis, sit-skis, mono-skis. Para-alpine skiing disciplines include the Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Super Combined and Snowboard. Para-alpine skiing classification is the classification system for para-alpine skiing designed to ensure fair competition between alpine skiers with different types of disabilities; the classifications are grouped into three general disability types: standing and sitting. A factoring system was created for para-alpine skiing to allow the three classification groupings to compete against each other in the same race despite different functional skiing levels and medical problems. Alpine skiing was one of the foundation sports at the first Winter Paralympics in 1976 with Slalom and Giant Slalom events being held.
Different disciplines were added to the Paralympic programme over time. The 2010 Winter Paralympics para-alpine skiing events were held at Whistler Creekside; the disciplines at Whistler included Super-Combined, Super-G, Slalom and Giant Slalom. Skiing as a sport for people with disabilities traces its origins back to the Second World War, which produced large numbers of wounded soldiers. In Germany, Franz Wendel, an amputee who had lost a leg attached a pair of crutches to short skis. Sepp "Peppi" Zwicknagel, an Austrian veteran who had lost both his legs to a hand grenade, taught himself to ski and became a ski instructor at Kitzbühel, founded a division of the Austrian Ski Association for handicapped skiers. By 1947, annual races were being held in Austria. Ludwig Guttman, a key figure in the history of paralympic sport, helped organise ski events. In the United States, Gretchen Fraser began teaching skiing to amputees in army hospitals. By the 1960s, a number of organisations had been founded.
For a long time, disability skiing was restricted to amputees, but in 1969, blind skier Jean Eymere, a former ski instructor before he lost his eyesight, began a skiing program in Aspen, Colorado for blind skiers. The first international competition, the World Disabled Alpine Championships, was held in France in 1974. Alpine skiing was one of the foundation sports at the first Winter Paralympics in 1976 with Slalom and Giant Slalom events being held. At the 1984 Winter Paralympics, the Downhill event was added to the para-alpine programme, along with sit-skiing as a demonstration sport. At the 1992 Winter Paralympics in Albertville, Downhill and Slalom events were on the programme. At the 1994 Winter Paralympics, the Super Giant Slalom was added to the para-alpine skiing programme. In 1998, para-alpine skiing classes for sitting and visually impaired skiers were added as full medal events after only having standing classes competing in previous Games. At the 2002 Winter Paralympics, women's Downhill and men's visually impaired Downhill were held on day 1 with men's standing and sitting Downhill taking place on day 2.
Men's standing and sitting Super-G took place on day 3, with men's visually impaired and women's Super-G taking place on day 5. Men's standing and sitting Giant Slalom took place on day 7, with women's and men's visually impaired Giant Slalom taking place on day 8. Men's standing and sitting Slalom took place on day 9, with women's and men's visually impaired Slalom taking place on day 10. For the 2006 Winter Paralympics, major changes were made to the classification system used for the Games that combined the 14 classes used into three groups with the results factored across different classifications in the group. At those Games, in the Super-G, there were 55 male competitors compared to 18 women in the standing group; the 2010 Winter Paralympics para-alpine skiing events were held at Whistler Creekside. The disciplines at Whistler included Super-Combined, Super-G, Slalom and Giant Slalom, it was the first time. In the Downhill event, there were 25 men and 18 women in the standing class, 25 men and 10 women in the sitting class and 12 men and 10 women in the vision impaired class.
In the super-combined, there were 18 men and 14 women for standing, 18 men and 10 women for sitting and 10 men and 10 women for vision impaired. The Slalom race had the shortest course length of the major para-alpine events at the Games; the Downhill was held for both men and women in all classes on day 2. The Super-G was held for men and women in standing classes on day 3, with visual impaired and sit-skiers competing in the Super-G on day 4; the Super Combined for all classes and both genders was held on day 5. The standing Giant Slalom for men and women was held on day 7 and the remaining classes on day 8; the Slalom was held for standing men and women on day 9 and remaining classes on day 10. The 2014 Winter Paralympics para-alpine skiing took place at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Added to this discipline these games was the para-snowboard cross, held at Rosa Khutor along with the Super-G, Super-Combined and Giant Slalom. In the Downhill event for the visually impaired there were 6 women. For the Downhill standing, there were 8 women.
For the Downhill sitting, 22 men and 6 women participated. In the Super-G for the visually impaired, there were 6 women; the Super-G standing event had 15 women. The Super-G sitting was participated by 8 women; the men's and women's Super Combined Downhill and Super Combined Slalom took place on March 11 and both gender's Para-Snowboard Cross events took place on March 14. International and n
Giant slalom is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline. It involves skiing between sets of poles spaced at a greater distance from each other than in slalom but less than in Super-G. Giant slalom and slalom make up the technical events in alpine ski racing; this category separates them from the speed events of downhill. The technical events are composed of two runs, held on different courses on the same ski run; the vertical drop for a GS course must be 250–450 m for men, 250–400 m for women. The number of gates in this event is 46 -- 58 for women; the number of direction changes in a GS course equals 11–15% of the vertical drop of the course in metres, 13–18% for children. As an example, a course with a vertical drop of 300 m would have 33–45 direction changes for an adult race. Although giant slalom is not the fastest event in skiing, on average a well-trained racer may reach average speeds of 40 km/h. Giant slalom skis are shorter than super-G and downhill skis, longer than slalom skis.
In an attempt to increase safety for the 2003–04 season, the International Ski Federation increased the minimum sidecut radius for giant slalom skis to 21 m and for the first time imposed minimum ski lengths for GS: 185 cm for men and 180 cm for women. A maximum stand height of 55 mm was established for all disciplines. In May 2006, the FIS announced further changes to the rules governing equipment. Beginning with the 2007–08 season, the minimum radius for GS skis was increased to 27 m for men and 23 m for women. Additionally, the minimum ski width at the waist was increased from 60 to 65 mm, the maximum stand height for all disciplines was reduced to 50 mm; the best skiers tended to use a bigger sidecut radius, like Ted Ligety at 29 m, Lindsey Vonn at 27 m. For the 2012–13 season, the FIS increased the sidecut radius to 35 m and the minimal length to 195 cm. Many athletes criticized this decision. David Dodge was cited. Dodge argues, he states that it is well known that if one tips the ski 7° more the 35 m ski will have the same turning radius as the 28 m ski.
He states as well that knee injuries are decreasing since the 1990s, when carving skis started to be used. The first giant slalom was set in 1935 on the Mottarone in Italy, over the Lake Maggiore, near Stresa, on January 20. After one month, the second giant slalom was set on the Marmolada in Italy's Dolomite mountains, by Guenther Langes; the giant slalom was added to the world championships in 1950 at Aspen and debuted at the Winter Olympics in 1952 at Oslo, run at Norefjell. The GS has been run in every world Olympics since. A one-run event, a second run was added for men at the world championships in 1966, run on consecutive days, at the Olympics in 1968; the second run for women was added at the world championships in 1978, made its Olympic debut in 1980. The world championships changed to a one-day format for the giant slalom in 1974, but the Olympics continued the GS as a two-day event through 1980. Scheduled for two days in 1984, both giant slaloms became one-day events after repeated postponements of the downhills.
Following the extra races added to the program in 1988, the GS has been scheduled as a one-day event at the Olympics. Upon its introduction, giant slalom displaced the combined event at the world championships; the combined returned in 1954 in Åre, but as a "paper race," using the results of the three events, a format used through 1980. The combined returned as a stand-alone event at the world championships in 1982 at Schladming, at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, it was changed to the super-combined format at the world championships in 2007 and the Olympics in 2010. In the following table men's giant slalom World Cup podiums from the World Cup first edition in 1967. Skiers having most podium in FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. Updated to 15 February 2019. List of Olympic medalists in men's giant slalom List of Olympic medalists in women's giant slalom List of Paralympic medalists in men's giant slalom List of Paralympic medalists in women's giant slalom List of World Champions in giant slalom Media related to Giant slalom skiing at Wikimedia Commons
Super giant slalom, or super-G, is a racing discipline of alpine skiing. Along with the faster downhill, it is regarded as a "speed" event, in contrast to the technical events giant slalom and slalom, it debuted as an official World Cup event during the 1983 season and was added to the official schedule of the World Championships in 1987 and the Winter Olympics in 1988. Much like downhill, a super-G course consists of set gates that racers must pass through; the course is set so that skiers must turn more than in downhill, though the speeds are still much higher than in giant slalom. Each athlete only has one run to clock the best time. In the Olympics, super-G courses are set on the same slopes as the downhill, but with a lower starting point. Super-G was run as a World Cup test event during the 1982 season, with two men's races and a women's race that did not count in the season standings. Approved by the International Ski Federation that summer, it was first run at the World Cup level in December 1982 at Val-d'Isère, France.
The first official women's super-G was run a month in early January 1983, with consecutive events at Verbier, Switzerland. The first winner was Irene Epple of West Germany, Cindy Nelson of the United States won the next day on a different course; these were the only two races for women in super-G during the 1983 season. The event was not universally embraced during its early years, which included a boycott by two-time defending overall champion Phil Mahre in December 1982. For the first three seasons, super-G results were added into the giant slalom discipline for the season standings, it was added to the World Championships in 1987, held at Switzerland. Swiss skiers Pirmin Zurbriggen and Maria Walliser won gold medals to become the first world champions in the event. Super-G made its Olympic debut in 1988 in Calgary, where Franck Piccard of France and Sigrid Wolf of Austria took gold at Nakiska. Hermann Maier of Austria is regarded as the greatest male super-G racer, with 24 World Cup victories and five World Cup titles.
He won the world championship in 1999 and an Olympic gold medal in 1998, three days after a crash in the downhill. Maier's proficiency in super-G was attributed to his thorough course inspection and his aggressive course tactics. A serious motorcycle accident in August 2001 nearly resulted in an amputation of his lower right leg and sidelined him for the 2002 season, including the 2002 Olympics. After his return to the World Cup circuit in January 2003, Maier won eight more World Cup super-G events and his fifth season title in 2004. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway is second on the list with 15 wins in World Cup super-G races, Pirmin Zurbriggen third with his 10 wins. Svindal won Olympic gold in 2010 and his fifth season title in 2014, while Zurbriggen won four consecutive season titles and the first world championship in 1987. Another notable specialist was Kjetil André Aamodt of Norway, a triple gold medalist in Olympic super-G races, winning in 1992, 2002 and 2006. Aamodt won two world championship medals in the discipline.
Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg, a five-time overall World Cup champion, won nine World Cup super-G events. He won season titles in every discipline except super-G. Girardelli was the silver medalist in the super-G at the 1987 World Championships and the 1992 Olympics. On the women's side, Lindsey Vonn of the U. S. has won five season titles. Katja Seizinger of Germany won five season titles in the 1990s, with 16 World Cup wins in the discipline. While neither won gold in the super-G in the Olympics, they both won a world title, Vonn in 2009 and Seizinger in 1993. Renate Götschl of Austria won 17 World Cup events in super-G, three season titles, two medals in the world championships; the vertical drop for a Super-G course must be between 350–650 m for men, 350–600 m for women, 250–450 m for children. In the Olympic Winter Games, FIS World Ski Championships, FIS World Cups, minimums are raised to 400 m for both men and women. Courses are at least 30 m in width, but sections with lower widths are permissible if the line and terrain before and after allow it.
Higher widths can be required if deemed necessary. Gates must be between 6 m and 8 m in width for open gates, between 8 m and 12 m in width for vertical gates; the distance between turning poles of successive gates must be at least 25 m. The number of direction changes must be at least 7% of the course drop in meters. In an attempt to increase safety, the 2004 season saw the FIS impose minimum ski lengths for the super-G for the first time: to 205 cm for men, 200 cm for women; the minimum turning radius was increased to 45 m for the 2014 season. Men The following table contains the men's Super-G World Cup podiums since the first edition in 1986. Women Men Women WOG - Winter Olympic Games, WCH - FIS World Ski Championships FIS-Ski.com - results of first World Cup Super G race - Val-d'Isère- Dec-1982
Alpine skiing at the 2014 Winter Paralympics
Alpine skiing at the 2014 Winter Paralympics was held at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort near Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The thirty-two events occurred on 8–16 March 2014. Snowboarding made its Paralympic debut with the addition of men's and women's standing snowboard cross events to the alpine skiing program; the competition events are: Downhill: women – men Super-G: women – men Giant slalom: women – men Slalom: women – men Super combined: women – men Snowboard cross: women – men The following is the competition schedule for all thirty-two events. All times are. * Host nation Alpine skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympics
Alpine skiing at the 2010 Winter Paralympics
The alpine skiing competition of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics will be held at Whistler, British Columbia. The events were due to be held between 13 March, 21 March 2010. Events scheduled for 13 March, were postponed due to weather conditions – low visibility. In the Women's sitting giant slalom, Alana Nichols of the United States – a Paralympic champion in basketball from Beijing in 2008 – won her first of two skiing gold medals, becoming a rare winter-summer gold medalist. On 18 March, Viviane Forest became the first Canadian athlete to win a gold in both the Winter and Summer Paralympics, by winning the Women's Downhill for Visually Impaired, she had won gold in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Paralympics for women's goalball. Lauren Woolstencroft sets the gold medal record with 5 gold medals, for most gold medals won by any Winter Paralympian at a single Games; the competition events are: Downhill: women – men Super-G: women – men Giant slalom: women – men Slalom: women – men Super combined: women – menEach event has separate men's and women's competitions and separate standing and visually impaired classifications.
Visually impaired skiers compete with the help of a sighted guide. The skier with the visual impairment and the guide are considered a team, dual medals are awarded. All times are Pacific Standard Time. Alpine skiing at the 2010 Winter Olympics Alpine Skiing – Sports – Vancouver 2010 Alpine Skiing Schedule
Slalom is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline, involving skiing between poles or gates. These are spaced more than those in giant slalom, super giant slalom and downhill, necessitating quicker and shorter turns. Internationally, the sport is contested at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, at the Olympic Winter Games; the term may refer to waterskiing on one ski. The term slalom comes from the Morgedal/Seljord word "slalåm": "sla", meaning inclining hillside, "låm", meaning track after skis; the inventors of modern skiing classified their trails according to their difficulty. Slalåm was a trail used in Telemark by boys and girls not yet able to try themselves on the more challenging runs. Ufsilåm was a trail with one obstacle like a jump, a fence, a difficult turn, a gorge, a cliff and more. Uvyrdslåm was a trail with several obstacles. A Norwegian military downhill competition in 1767 included racing downhill among trees "without falling or breaking skis". Sondre Norheim and other skiers from Telemark practiced uvyrdslåm or "disrespectful/reckless downhill" where they raced downhill in difficult and untested terrain.
The 1866 "ski race" in Oslo was a combined cross-country and slalom competition. In the slalom participants were allowed use poles for braking and steering, they were given points for style. During the late 1800s Norwegian skiers participated in all branches with the same pair of skis. Slalom and variants of slalom were referred to as hill races. Around 1900 hill races are abandoned in the Oslo championships at Holmenkollen. Mathias Zdarsky's development of the Lilienfeld binding helped change hill races into a specialty of the Alps region; the rules for the modern slalom were developed by Arnold Lunn in 1922 for the British National Ski Championships, adopted for alpine skiing at the 1936 Winter Olympics. Under these rules gates were marked by pairs of flags rather than single ones, were arranged so that the racers had to use a variety of turn lengths to negotiate them, scoring was on the basis of time alone, rather than on both time and style. A course is constructed by laying out a series of gates, formed by alternating pairs of red and blue poles.
The skier must pass between the two poles forming the gate, with the tips of both skis and the skier's feet passing between the poles. A course has 40 to 60 for women; the vertical drop for a men's course is 180 to 220 m and less for women. The gates are arranged in a variety of configurations to challenge the competitor; because the offsets are small in slalom, ski racers take a direct line and knock the poles out of the way as they pass, known as blocking. Racers employ a variety of protective equipment, including shin pads, hand guards and face guards. Traditionally, bamboo poles were used for gates, the rigidity of which forced skiers to maneuver their entire body around each gate. In the early 1980s, rigid poles were replaced by hard plastic poles, hinged at the base; the hinged gates require, according to FIS rules, only that the skis and boots of the skier go around each gate. The new gates allow a more direct path down a slalom course through the process of cross-blocking or shinning the gates.
Cross-blocking is a technique in which the legs go around the gate with the upper body inclined toward, or across, the gate. Cross-blocking is done by pushing the gate down with hands, or shins. By 1989, most of the top technical skiers in the world had adopted the cross-block technique. With the innovation of shaped skis around the turn of the 21st century, equipment used for slalom in international competition changed drastically. World Cup skiers skied on slalom skis at a length of 203–207 centimetres in the 1980s and 1990s but by the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the majority of competitors were using skis measuring 160 cm or less; the downside of the shorter skis was that athletes found that recoveries were more difficult with a smaller platform underfoot. Out of concern for the safety of athletes, the FIS began to set minimum ski lengths for international slalom competition; the minimum was set at 155 cm for men and 150 cm for women, but was increased to 165 cm for men and 155 cm for women for the 2003–2004 season.
The equipment minimums and maximums imposed by the International Ski Federation have created a backlash from skiers and fans. The main objection is that the federation is regressing the equipment, hence the sport, by two decades. American Bode Miller hastened the shift to the shorter, more radical sidecut skis when he achieved unexpected success after becoming the first Junior Olympic athlete to adopt the equipment in giant slalom and super-G in 1996. A few years the technology was adapted to slalom skis as well. In the following table men's slalom World Cup podiums in the World Cup since first season in 1967. Media related to Slalom skiing at Wikimedia Commons
Winter Paralympic Games
The Winter Paralympic Games is an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete in snow & ice sports. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations and cerebral palsy; the Winter Paralympic Games are held every four years directly following the Winter Olympic Games. The Winter Paralympics are hosted by the city that hosted the Winter Olympics; the International Paralympic Committee oversees the Winter Paralympics. Medals are awarded in each event: with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, following the tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904; the Winter Paralympics began in 1976 in Sweden. Those Games were the first Paralympics; the Games have expanded and grown to be part of the largest international sporting event after the Olympic Games. Given their expansion, the need for a specific classification system has arisen; this system has given rise to controversy and opened the door for cheating. Winter Paralympians have been convicted of steroid use and other forms of cheating unique to Paralympic athletes, which has tainted the integrity of the Games.
The origins of the Winter Paralympics are much similar to the Summer Paralympics. Injured soldiers returning from World War II sought sports as an avenue to healing. Organized by Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, sports competitions between British convalescent hospitals began in 1948 and continued until 1960 when a parallel Olympics was held in Rome after the 1960 Summer Olympics. Over 400 wheelchair athletes competed at the 1960 Paralympic Games, which became known as the first Paralympics. Sepp Zwicknagl, a pioneer of snow sports for disabled athletes, was a double-leg amputee Austrian skier who experimented skiing using prosthetics, his work helped pioneer technological advances for people with disabilities who wished to participate in winter sports. Advances were slow and it was not until 1974 that the first official world ski competition for physically impaired athletes, featuring downhill and a cross-country skiing, was held; the first Winter Paralympics were held in 1976 at Örnsköldsvik, Sweden from February 21–28.
Alpine and Nordic skiing for amputees and visually impaired athletes where the main events but ice sledge racing was included as a demonstration event. There were 198 participating athletes from 16 countries, it was the first time athletes with impairments other than wheelchair athletes were permitted to compete. Starting in 1988 the Summer Paralympics were held in the same host city as the Summer Olympic Games; this was due to an agreement reached between the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. The 1992 Winter Paralympics were the first Winter Games to use the same facilities as the Winter Olympics. Athletes have cheated by over-representing impairment to have a competitive advantage, the use of performance-enhancing drugs. German skier Thomas Oelsner became the first Winter Paralympian to test positive for steroids in 2002, he was stripped of his medals. One concern now facing Paralympic officials is the technique of boosting blood pressure, known as autonomic dysreflexia.
The increase in blood pressure can improve performance by 15% and is most effective in the endurance sports such as cross-country skiing. To increase blood pressure athletes will deliberately cause trauma to limbs below a spinal injury; this trauma can include breaking bones, strapping extremities in too and using high-pressured compression stockings. The injury is painless to the athlete but affects the body and impacts the athlete's blood pressure, as can techniques like allowing the bladder to overfill. International Paralympic Committee found evidence that the Disappearing Positive Methodology was in operation at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi. On 7 August 2016, the IPC's Governing Board voted unanimously to ban the entire Russian team from the 2016 Summer Paralympics, citing the Russian Paralympic Committee's inability to enforce the IPC's Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code, "a fundamental constitutional requirement". IPC President Sir Philip Craven stated that the Russian government had "catastrophically failed its Para athletes".
IPC Athletes' Council Chairperson Todd Nicholson said that Russia had used athletes as "pawns" in order to "show global prowess". The IPC has established six disability categories applying to both the Summer and Winter Paralympics. Athletes with one of these physical disabilities are able to compete in the Paralympics though not every sport can allow for every disability category. Amputee: Athletes with a partial or total loss of at least one limb. Cerebral Palsy: Athletes with non-progressive brain damage, for example cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke or similar disabilities affecting muscle control, balance or coordination. Intellectual Disability: Athletes with a significant impairment in intellectual functioning and associated limitations in adaptive behavior. Wheelchair: Athletes with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities which require them to compete in a wheelchair. Visually Impaired: Athletes with vision impairment ranging from partial vision, sufficient to be judged blind, to total blindness.
Les Autres: Athletes with a physical disability that does not fall under one of the other five categories, such as dwarfism, multiple sclerosis or congenital deformities of the limbs such as that caused by thalidomide. Within the six disability categories the athletes still need to be divided according to their level of impairment