Giant slalom (GS) is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline. It involves skiing between sets of poles (gates) 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 Super-G and downhill. The technical events are normally 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 (820–1,480 ft) for men, and 250–400 m (820–1,310 ft) for women. The number of gates in this event is 56–70 for men and 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 (984 ft) 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 (25 mph).
Giant slalom skis are shorter than super-G and downhill skis, and longer than slalom skis.
In an attempt to increase safety for the 2003–04 season, the International Ski Federation (FIS) increased the minimum sidecut radius for giant slalom skis to 21 m (69 ft) and for the first time imposed minimum ski lengths for GS: 185 cm (72.8 in) for men and 180 cm (70.9 in) for women. A maximum stand height (the distance from the snow to the sole of the boot) of 55 mm (2.17 in) was also 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 (89 ft) for men and 23 m (75 ft) for women. Additionally, the minimum ski width at the waist was increased from 60 to 65 mm (2.36 to 2.56 in), and the maximum stand height for all disciplines was reduced to 50 mm (1.97 in). The best skiers tended to use a bigger sidecut radius, like Ted Ligety at 29 m (95 ft), and Lindsey Vonn at 27 m (89 ft).
For the 2012–13 season, the FIS increased the sidecut radius to 35 m (115 ft) and the minimal length to 195 cm (76.8 in). Many athletes criticized this decision. Often David Dodge was cited. Dodge argues that FIS used studies which do not represent a scientific proof. 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, Colorado, and debuted at the Winter Olympics in 1952 at Oslo, Norway, run at Norefjell. The GS has been run in every world championships and Olympics since. Originally a one-run event, a second run was added for men at the world championships in 1966, run on consecutive days, and at the Olympics in 1968. The second run for women was added at the world championships in 1978, and 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. Also 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 briefly displaced the combined event at the world championships; it was absent in 1950 and 1952. The combined returned in 1954 in Åre, Sweden, but as a "paper race," using the results of the three events (downhill, giant slalom, and slalom), a format used through 1980. The combined returned as a stand-alone event at the world championships in 1982 at Schladming, Austria, and at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. It was changed to the super-combined format (one run of slalom on same day as downhill) 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.
|1967||Jean-Claude Killy||Georges Mauduit||Jimmy Heuga|
|1968||Jean-Claude Killy||Edmund Bruggmann||Herbert Huber|
|1969||Karl Schranz||Reinhard Tritscher||Jean-Noel Augert|
|1970||Gustav Thöni|| Patrick Russel |
|1971|| Gustav Thöni |
|1972||Gustav Thöni||Edmund Bruggmann||Rogers Rossat-Mignod|
|1973||Hans Hinterseer||Erik Håker||Adolf Rösti|
|1974||Piero Gros||Hans Hinterseer||Gustav Thöni|
|1975||Ingemar Stenmark||Piero Gros||Erik Håker|
|1976||Ingemar Stenmark||Gustav Thöni||Piero Gros|
|1977|| Ingemar Stenmark |
|1978||Ingemar Stenmark||Andreas Wenzel||Phil Mahre|
|1979||Ingemar Stenmark||Peter Lüscher||Bojan Križaj|
|1980||Ingemar Stenmark||Hans Enn||Jacques Lüthy|
|1981||Ingemar Stenmark||Alexander Zhirov||Phil Mahre|
|1982||Phil Mahre||Ingemar Stenmark||Marc Girardelli|
|1983||Phil Mahre|| Ingemar Stenmark |
|1984|| Ingemar Stenmark |
|1985||Marc Girardelli||Pirmin Zurbriggen||Thomas Bürgler|
|1986||Joël Gaspoz||Ingemar Stenmark||Hubert Strolz|
|1987|| Pirmin Zurbriggen |
|1988||Alberto Tomba||Hubert Strolz||Helmut Mayer|
|1989|| Ole Kristian Furuseth |
|1990|| Günther Mader |
Ole Kristian Furuseth
|1991||Alberto Tomba||Rudolf Nierlich||Marc Girardelli|
|1992||Alberto Tomba||Hans Pieren||Paul Accola|
|1993||Kjetil André Aamodt||Alberto Tomba||Marc Girardelli|
|1994||Christian Mayer||Kjetil André Aamodt||Franck Piccard|
|1995||Alberto Tomba||Jure Košir||Harald Strand Nilsen|
|1996||Michael von Grünigen||Urs Kälin||Lasse Kjus|
|1997||Michael von Grünigen||Kjetil André Aamodt||Hans Knauß|
|1998||Hermann Maier||Michael von Grünigen||Christian Mayer|
|1999||Michael von Grünigen||Stephan Eberharter||Hermann Maier|
|2000||Hermann Maier||Christian Mayer||Michael von Grünigen|
|2001||Hermann Maier||Michael von Grünigen||Erik Schlopy|
|2002||Frederic Covili||Benjamin Raich||Stephan Eberharter|
|2003||Michael von Grünigen||Bode Miller||Hans Knauß|
|2004||Bode Miller||Kalle Palander||Massimiliano Blardone|
|2005||Benjamin Raich||Bode Miller||Thomas Grandi|
|2006||Benjamin Raich||Massimiliano Blardone||Fredrik Nyberg|
|2007||Aksel Lund Svindal||Massimiliano Blardone||Benjamin Raich|
|2008||Ted Ligety||Benjamin Raich||Manfred Mölgg|
|2009||Didier Cuche||Benjamin Raich||Ted Ligety|
|2010||Ted Ligety||Carlo Janka||Benjamin Raich|
|2011||Ted Ligety||Aksel Lund Svindal||Cyprien Richard|
|2012||Marcel Hirscher||Ted Ligety||Massimiliano Blardone|
|2013||Ted Ligety||Marcel Hirscher||Alexis Pinturault|
|2014||Ted Ligety||Marcel Hirscher||Alexis Pinturault|
|2015||Marcel Hirscher||Alexis Pinturault||Ted Ligety|
|2016||Marcel Hirscher||Alexis Pinturault||Henrik Kristoffersen|
|2017||Marcel Hirscher||Mathieu Faivre||Alexis Pinturault|
|2018||Marcel Hirscher||Henrik Kristoffersen||Alexis Pinturault|
|2019||Marcel Hirscher||Henrik Kristoffersen||Alexis Pinturault|
|2020||Henrik Kristoffersen||Alexis Pinturault||Filip Zubčić|
Skiers having most podium in FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.
Updated to 10 March 2021.
|3||Michael von Grünigen||46||15-03-2003|
In the following table women's giant slalom World Cup podiums from the World Cup first edition in 1967.
|1967||Nancy Greene||Erika Schinegger||Annie Famose|
|1968||Nancy Greene||Fernande Bochatay||Florence Steurer|
|1969||Marilyn Cochran||Michèle Jacot||Gertrud Gabl|
|1970|| Michèle Jacot |
|1971||Annemarie Moser-Pröll||Michèle Jacot||Françoise Macchi|
|1972||Annemarie Moser-Pröll||Monika Kaserer||Britt Lafforgue|
|1973||Monika Kaserer||Annemarie Moser-Pröll||Hanni Wenzel|
|1974||Hanni Wenzel||Fabienne Serrat||Monika Kaserer|
|1975||Annemarie Moser-Pröll||Fabienne Serrat||Monika Kaserer|
|1976||Lise-Marie Morerod||Monika Kaserer||Rosi Mittermaier|
|1977||Lise-Marie Morerod||Monika Kaserer||Annemarie Moser-Pröll|
|1978||Lise-Marie Morerod||Hanni Wenzel||Maria Epple|
|1979||Christa Kinshofer||Hanni Wenzel||Irene Epple|
|1980||Hanni Wenzel|| Marie-Thérèse Nadig |
|1981||Tamara McKinney||Marie-Thérèse Nadig|| Irene Epple |
|1982||Irene Epple||Maria Epple||Erika Hess|
|1983||Tamara McKinney||Cindy Nelson||Maria Epple|
|1984||Erika Hess||Christin Cooper||Tamara McKinney|
|1985|| Michela Figini |
|1986||Vreni Schneider||Traudl Hächer||Mateja Svet|
|1987|| Vreni Schneider |
|Blanca Fernández Ochoa|
|1988||Mateja Svet||Catherine Quittet||Vreni Schneider|
|1989||Vreni Schneider||Mateja Svet||Maria Walliser|
|1990||Anita Wachter||Mateja Svet||Petra Kronberger|
|1991||Vreni Schneider||Anita Wachter||Pernilla Wiberg|
|1992||Carole Merle||Vreni Schneider||Diann Roffe|
|1993||Carole Merle||Anita Wachter||Martina Ertl|
|1994||Anita Wachter||Vreni Schneider||Deborah Compagnoni|
|1995||Vreni Schneider||Heidi Zeller-Bähler||Špela Pretnar|
|1996||Martina Ertl||Katja Seizinger||Anita Wachter|
|1997||Deborah Compagnoni||Katja Seizinger||Anita Wachter|
|1998||Martina Ertl||Deborah Compagnoni||Alexandra Meissnitzer|
|1999||Alexandra Meissnitzer||Anita Wachter||Andrine Flemmen|
|2000||Michaela Dorfmeister||Sonja Nef||Anita Wachter|
|2001||Sonja Nef||Anja Pärson||Michaela Dorfmeister|
|2002||Sonja Nef||Michaela Dorfmeister||Anja Pärson|
|2003||Anja Pärson||Karen Putzer||Janica Kostelić|
|2004||Anja Pärson||Denise Karbon||María José Rienda|
|2005||Tanja Poutiainen||Anja Pärson||María José Rienda|
|2006||Anja Pärson||María José Rienda||Janica Kostelić|
|2007||Nicole Hosp||Tanja Poutiainen||Michaela Kirchgasser|
|2008||Denise Karbon||Elisabeth Görgl||Manuela Mölgg|
|2009||Tanja Poutiainen||Kathrin Zettel||Tina Maze|
|2010||Kathrin Hölzl||Kathrin Zettel||Tina Maze|
|2011||Viktoria Rebensburg||Tessa Worley||Tanja Poutiainen|
|2012||Viktoria Rebensburg||Lindsey Vonn||Tessa Worley|
|2013||Tina Maze||Anna Fenninger||Viktoria Rebensburg|
|2014||Anna Fenninger||Jessica Lindell-Vikarby||Maria Pietilä Holmner|
|2015||Anna Fenninger||Eva-Maria Brem||Mikaela Shiffrin|
|2016||Eva-Maria Brem||Viktoria Rebensburg||Lara Gut-Behrami|
|2017||Tessa Worley||Mikaela Shiffrin||Sofia Goggia|
|2018||Viktoria Rebensburg||Tessa Worley||Mikaela Shiffrin|
|2019||Mikaela Shiffrin||Petra Vlhová||Tessa Worley|
|2020||Federica Brignone||Petra Vlhová||Mikaela Shiffrin|
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