Slalom skiing

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Tonje Sekse competes in the slalom Tonje Sekse Norway 2011 Slalom.jpg
Tonje Sekse competes in the slalom

Slalom is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline, involving skiing between poles or gates. These are spaced more closely 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, and at the Olympic Winter Games.

Alpine skiing Sport of skiing downhill

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing, which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or for sport, it is typically practised at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol.

Giant slalom alpine skiing discipline

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.

Super-G racing discipline of alpine skiing

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.

Contents

The term may also refer to waterskiing on one ski.

History

Nathalie Eklund skis slalom at Trysil, Norway in 2011 Nathalie Eklund - NM i Trysil.jpg
Nathalie Eklund skis slalom at Trysil, Norway in 2011

The term slalom comes from the Morgedal/Seljord (a Norwegian dialect) word "slalåm": "sla", meaning slightly inclining hillside, and "låm", meaning track after skis. [1] 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 (ufse) like a jump, a fence, a difficult turn, a gorge, a cliff (often more than 10 metres (33 ft) high) and more. Uvyrdslåm was a trail with several obstacles. [2] 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 (i.e., off piste). The 1866 "ski race" in Oslo was a combined cross-country, jumping and slalom competition. In the slalom participants were allowed use poles for braking and steering, and they were given points for style (appropriate skier posture). During the late 1800s Norwegian skiers participated in all branches (jumping, slalom, and cross-country) often with the same pair of skis. Slalom and variants of slalom were often referred to as hill races. Around 1900 hill races are abandoned in the Oslo championships at Huseby and Holmenkollen. Mathias Zdarsky's development of the Lilienfeld binding helped change hill races into a specialty of the Alps region. [3]

Morgedal, of the municipality of Kviteseid in the county of Telemark Norway, is called the cradle of skiing.

Seljord Municipality in Telemark, Norway

Seljord is a municipality in Telemark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Vest-Telemark. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Seljord. The parish of Siljord was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838.

Norwegian language North Germanic language spoken in Norway

Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is the official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties; some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are not mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.

The rules for the modern slalom were developed by Arnold Lunn in 1922 for the British National Ski Championships, and 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, and scoring was on the basis of time alone, rather than on both time and style. [4] [5]

Arnold Lunn British writer and skier

Sir Arnold Henry Moore Lunn was a skier, mountaineer and writer. He was knighted for "services to British Skiing and Anglo-Swiss relations" in 1952. His father was a lay Methodist minister, but Lunn was an agnostic and wrote critically about Catholicism before he converted to Catholicism at the age of 45 and became a Catholic apologist.

At the 1936 Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, alpine skiing was arranged for the first time in the Olympics, a combined event for men and women.

Course

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 55 to 75 gates for men and 40 to 60 for women. The vertical drop for a men's course is 180 to 220 m (591 to 722 ft) and slightly less for women. [6] The gates are arranged in a variety of configurations to challenge the competitor.

Because the offsets are relatively small in slalom, ski racers take a fairly direct line and often knock the poles out of the way as they pass, which is known as blocking. (The main blocking technique in modern slalom is cross-blocking, in which the skier takes such a tight line and angulates so strongly that he or she is able to block the gate with the outside hand.) Racers employ a variety of protective equipment, including shin pads, hand guards, helmets and face guards.

Clearing the gates

Traditionally, bamboo poles were used for gates, the rigidity of which forced skiers to maneuver their entire body around each gate. [7] 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. [8] Cross-blocking is a technique in which the legs go around the gate with the upper body inclined toward, or even across, the gate; in this case the racer's outside pole and shinguards hit the gate, knocking it down and out of the way. Cross-blocking is done by pushing the gate down with the arms, hands, or shins. [9] By 1989, most of the top technical skiers in the world had adopted the cross-block technique. [10]

Equipment

Bottom: 2013 FIS legal slalom race skis, top: giant slalom race skis from 2006 Skis carving race cross slalom 02.jpg
Bottom: 2013 FIS legal slalom race skis, top: giant slalom race skis from 2006

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 commonly skied on slalom skis at a length of 203–207 centimetres (79.9–81.5 in) 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 (63.0 in) 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 initially set at 155 cm (61.0 in) for men and 150 cm (59.1 in) for women, but was increased to 165 cm (65.0 in) for men and 155 cm (61.0 in) for women for the 2003–2004 season.

The equipment minimums and maximums imposed by the International Ski Federation (FIS) have created a backlash from skiers, suppliers, and fans. The main objection is that the federation is regressing the equipment, and hence the sport, by two decades. [11]

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 later, the technology was adapted to slalom skis as well.

Men's Slalom World Cup podiums

In the following table men's slalom World Cup podiums in the World Cup since first season in 1967. [12]

Season1st2nd3rd
1967 Flag of France.svg Jean-Claude Killy Flag of France.svg Guy Perillat Flag of Austria.svg Heinrich Messner
1968 Flag of Switzerland.svg Dumeng Giovanoli Flag of France.svg Jean-Claude Killy Flag of France.svg Patrick Russel
1969 Flag of France.svg Alain Penz
Flag of Austria.svg Alfred Matt
Flag of France.svg Jean-Noel Augert
Flag of France.svg Patrick Russel
1970 Flag of France.svg Alain Penz Flag of France.svg Jean-Noel Augert
Flag of France.svg Patrick Russel
1971 Flag of France.svg Jean-Noel Augert Flag of Italy.svg Gustav Thöni Flag of the United States.svg Tyler Palmer
1972 Flag of France.svg Jean-Noel Augert Flag of Poland.svg Andrzej Bachleda Flag of Italy.svg Roland Thöni
1973 Flag of Italy.svg Gustav Thöni Flag of Germany.svg Christian Neureuther Flag of France.svg Jean-Noel Augert
1974 Flag of Italy.svg Gustav Thöni Flag of Germany.svg Christian Neureuther Flag of Austria.svg Johann Kniewasser
1975 Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of Italy.svg Gustav Thöni Flag of Italy.svg Piero Gros
1976 Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of Italy.svg Piero Gros Flag of Italy.svg Gustav Thöni
Flag of Austria.svg Hans Hinterseer
1977 Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of Austria.svg Klaus Heidegger Flag of Liechtenstein.svg Paul Frommelt
1978 Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of Austria.svg Klaus Heidegger Flag of the United States.svg Phil Mahre
1979 Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of the United States.svg Phil Mahre Flag of Germany.svg Christian Neureuther
1980 Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Bojan Križaj Flag of Germany.svg Christian Neureuther
1981 Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of the United States.svg Phil Mahre Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Bojan Križaj
Flag of the United States.svg Steve Mahre
1982 Flag of the United States.svg Phil Mahre Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of the United States.svg Steve Mahre
1983 Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of Sweden.svg Stig Strand Flag of Liechtenstein.svg Andreas Wenzel
1984 Flag of Luxembourg.svg Marc Girardelli Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of Austria.svg Franz Gruber
1985 Flag of Luxembourg.svg Marc Girardelli Flag of Liechtenstein.svg Paul Frommelt Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark
1986 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Rok Petrovič Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Bojan Križaj
Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark
Flag of Liechtenstein.svg Paul Frommelt
1987 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Bojan Križaj Flag of Sweden.svg Ingemar Stenmark Flag of Germany.svg Armin Bittner
1988 Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Tomba Flag of Austria.svg Günther Mader Flag of the United States.svg Felix McGrath
1989 Flag of Germany.svg Armin Bittner Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Tomba Flag of Luxembourg.svg Marc Girardelli
Flag of Norway.svg Ole-Christian Furuseth
1990 Flag of Germany.svg Armin Bittner Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Tomba
Flag of Norway.svg Ole-Christian Furuseth
1991 Flag of Luxembourg.svg Marc Girardelli Flag of Norway.svg Ole-Christian Furuseth Flag of Austria.svg Rudolf Nierlich
1992 Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Tomba Flag of Switzerland.svg Paul Accola Flag of Norway.svg Finn-Christian Jagge
1993 Flag of Sweden.svg Thomas Fogdö Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Tomba Flag of Austria.svg Thomas Stangassinger
1994 Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Tomba Flag of Austria.svg Thomas Stangassinger Flag of Slovenia.svg Jure Kosir
1995 Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Tomba Flag of Austria.svg Michael Tritscher Flag of Slovenia.svg Jure Kosir
1996 Flag of France.svg Sebastien Amiez Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Tomba Flag of Austria.svg Thomas Sykora
1997 Flag of Austria.svg Thomas Sykora Flag of Austria.svg Thomas Stangassinger Flag of Norway.svg Finn-Christian Jagge
1998 Flag of Austria.svg Thomas Sykora Flag of Austria.svg Thomas Stangassinger Flag of Norway.svg Hans-Petter Buraas
1999 Flag of Austria.svg Thomas Stangassinger Flag of Slovenia.svg Jure Kosir Flag of Norway.svg Finn-Christian Jagge
2000 Flag of Norway.svg Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Flag of Norway.svg Ole-Christian Furuseth Flag of Slovenia.svg Matjaz Vrhovnik
2001 Flag of Austria.svg Benjamin Raich Flag of Austria.svg Heinz Schilchegger Flag of Austria.svg Mario Matt
2002 Flag of Croatia.svg Ivica Kostelić Flag of the United States.svg Bode Miller Flag of France.svg Jean-Pierre Vidal
2003 Flag of Finland.svg Kalle Palander Flag of Croatia.svg Ivica Kostelić Flag of Austria.svg Rainer Schönfelder
2004 Flag of Austria.svg Rainer Schönfelder Flag of Finland.svg Kalle Palander Flag of Austria.svg Benjamin Raich
2005 Flag of Austria.svg Benjamin Raich Flag of Austria.svg Rainer Schönfelder Flag of Austria.svg Manfred Pranger
2006 Flag of Italy.svg Giorgio Rocca Flag of Finland.svg Kalle Palander Flag of Austria.svg Benjamin Raich
2007 Flag of Austria.svg Benjamin Raich Flag of Austria.svg Mario Matt Flag of Sweden.svg Jens Byggmark
2008 Flag of Italy.svg Manfred Mölgg Flag of France.svg Jean-Baptiste Grange Flag of Austria.svg Reinfried Herbst
2009 Flag of France.svg Jean-Baptiste Grange Flag of Croatia.svg Ivica Kostelić Flag of France.svg Julien Lizeroux
2010 Flag of Austria.svg Reinfried Herbst Flag of France.svg Julien Lizeroux Flag of Switzerland.svg Silvan Zurbriggen
2011 Flag of Croatia.svg Ivica Kostelić Flag of France.svg Jean-Baptiste Grange Flag of Sweden.svg Andre Myhrer
2012 Flag of Sweden.svg André Myhrer Flag of Croatia.svg Ivica Kostelić Flag of Austria.svg Marcel Hirscher
2013 Flag of Austria.svg Marcel Hirscher Flag of Germany.svg Felix Neureuther Flag of Croatia.svg Ivica Kostelić
2014 Flag of Austria.svg Marcel Hirscher Flag of Germany.svg Felix Neureuther Flag of Norway.svg Henrik Kristoffersen
2015 Flag of Austria.svg Marcel Hirscher Flag of Germany.svg Felix Neureuther Flag of Russia.svg Alexander Khoroshilov
2016 Flag of Norway.svg Henrik Kristoffersen Flag of Austria.svg Marcel Hirscher Flag of Germany.svg Felix Neureuther
2017 Flag of Austria.svg Marcel Hirscher Flag of Norway.svg Henrik Kristoffersen Flag of Italy.svg Manfred Mölgg
2018 Flag of Austria.svg Marcel Hirscher Flag of Norway.svg Henrik Kristoffersen Flag of Sweden.svg André Myhrer
2019 Flag of Austria.svg Marcel Hirscher Flag of France.svg Clément Noël Flag of Switzerland.svg Daniel Yule

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