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.
The term may also refer to waterskiing on one ski.
The term slalom comes from the Morgedal/Seljord dialect of Norwegian word "slalåm": "sla", meaning "slightly inclining hillside", and "låm", meaning "track after skis". 10 metres (33 ft) high) 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 (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.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
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.
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. 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.
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 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. 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 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.
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.
In the following table men's slalom World Cup podiums in the World Cup since first season in 1967.
|1967||Jean-Claude Killy||Guy Perillat||Heinrich Messner|
|1968||Dumeng Giovanoli||Jean-Claude Killy||Patrick Russel|
|1969|| Alain Penz |
|1970||Alain Penz|| Jean-Noël Augert |
|1971||Jean-Noël Augert||Gustav Thöni||Tyler Palmer|
|1972||Jean-Noël Augert||Andrzej Bachleda||Roland Thöni|
|1973||Gustav Thöni||Christian Neureuther||Jean-Noël Augert|
|1974||Gustav Thöni||Christian Neureuther||Johann Kniewasser|
|1975||Ingemar Stenmark||Gustav Thöni||Piero Gros|
|1976||Ingemar Stenmark||Piero Gros|| Gustav Thöni |
|1977||Ingemar Stenmark||Klaus Heidegger||Paul Frommelt|
|1978||Ingemar Stenmark||Klaus Heidegger||Phil Mahre|
|1979||Ingemar Stenmark||Phil Mahre||Christian Neureuther|
|1980||Ingemar Stenmark||Bojan Križaj||Christian Neureuther|
|1981||Ingemar Stenmark||Phil Mahre|| Bojan Križaj |
|1982||Phil Mahre||Ingemar Stenmark||Steve Mahre|
|1983||Ingemar Stenmark||Stig Strand||Andreas Wenzel|
|1984||Marc Girardelli||Ingemar Stenmark||Franz Gruber|
|1985||Marc Girardelli||Paul Frommelt||Ingemar Stenmark|
|1986||Rok Petrovič|| Bojan Križaj |
|1987||Bojan Križaj||Ingemar Stenmark||Armin Bittner|
|1988||Alberto Tomba||Günther Mader||Felix McGrath|
|1989||Armin Bittner||Alberto Tomba|| Marc Girardelli |
Ole Kristian Furuseth
|1990||Armin Bittner|| Alberto Tomba |
Ole Kristian Furuseth
|1991||Marc Girardelli||Ole Kristian Furuseth||Rudolf Nierlich|
|1992||Alberto Tomba||Paul Accola||Finn Christian Jagge|
|1993||Thomas Fogdö||Alberto Tomba||Thomas Stangassinger|
|1994||Alberto Tomba||Thomas Stangassinger||Jure Košir|
|1995||Alberto Tomba||Michael Tritscher||Jure Košir|
|1996||Sebastien Amiez||Alberto Tomba||Thomas Sykora|
|1997||Thomas Sykora||Thomas Stangassinger||Finn Christian Jagge|
|1998||Thomas Sykora||Thomas Stangassinger||Hans Petter Buraas|
|1999||Thomas Stangassinger||Jure Košir||Finn Christian Jagge|
|2000||Kjetil André Aamodt||Ole Kristian Furuseth||Matjaž Vrhovnik|
|2001||Benjamin Raich||Heinz Schilchegger||Mario Matt|
|2002||Ivica Kostelić||Bode Miller||Jean-Pierre Vidal|
|2003||Kalle Palander||Ivica Kostelić||Rainer Schönfelder|
|2004||Rainer Schönfelder||Kalle Palander||Benjamin Raich|
|2005||Benjamin Raich||Rainer Schönfelder||Manfred Pranger|
|2006||Giorgio Rocca||Kalle Palander||Benjamin Raich|
|2007||Benjamin Raich||Mario Matt||Jens Byggmark|
|2008||Manfred Mölgg||Jean-Baptiste Grange||Reinfried Herbst|
|2009||Jean-Baptiste Grange||Ivica Kostelić||Julien Lizeroux|
|2010||Reinfried Herbst||Julien Lizeroux||Silvan Zurbriggen|
|2011||Ivica Kostelić||Jean-Baptiste Grange||Andre Myhrer|
|2012||André Myhrer||Ivica Kostelić||Marcel Hirscher|
|2013||Marcel Hirscher||Felix Neureuther||Ivica Kostelić|
|2014||Marcel Hirscher||Felix Neureuther||Henrik Kristoffersen|
|2015||Marcel Hirscher||Felix Neureuther||Alexander Khoroshilov|
|2016||Henrik Kristoffersen||Marcel Hirscher||Felix Neureuther|
|2017||Marcel Hirscher||Henrik Kristoffersen||Manfred Mölgg|
|2018||Marcel Hirscher||Henrik Kristoffersen||André Myhrer|
|2019||Marcel Hirscher||Clément Noël||Daniel Yule|
|2020||Henrik Kristoffersen||Clément Noël||Daniel Yule|
Cross-country skiing is a form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance. Cross-country skiing is widely practiced as a sport and recreational activity; however, some still use it as a means of transportation. Variants of cross-country skiing are adapted to a range of terrain which spans unimproved, sometimes mountainous terrain to groomed courses that are specifically designed for the sport.
Skiing is a means of transport using skis to glide on snow. Variations of purpose include basic transport, a recreational activity, or a competitive winter sport. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Ski Federation (FIS).
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 practiced at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol.
Skiing, or traveling over snow on skis, has a history of at least eight millennia. The earliest archaeological examples of skis were found in Russia and date to 6000 BCE. Although modern skiing has evolved from beginnings in Scandinavia, 5000-year-old wall paintings suggest use of skis in the Xinjiang region of what is now China; however, this continues to be debated. Originally purely utilitarian, starting in the mid-1800s skiing became a popular recreational activity and sport, becoming practiced in snow-covered regions worldwide, and providing a market for the development of ski resorts and their related communities.
Nordic skiing encompasses the various types of skiing in which the toe of the ski boot is fixed to the binding in a manner that allows the heel to rise off the ski, unlike alpine skiing, where the boot is attached to the ski from toe to heel. Recreational disciplines include cross-country skiing and Telemark skiing.
Telemark skiing is a skiing technique that combines elements of Alpine and Nordic skiing. Telemark skiing is named after the Telemark region of Norway, where the discipline originated. Sondre Norheim is often credited for first demonstrating the turn in ski races, which included cross country, slalom and jumping, in Norway around 1868. Sondre Norheim also experimented with ski and binding design, introducing side cuts to skis and heel bindings.
The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is the top international circuit of alpine skiing competitions, launched in 1966 by a group of ski racing friends and experts which included French journalist Serge Lang and the alpine ski team directors from France and the USA. It was soon backed by International Ski Federation president Marc Hodler during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1966 at Portillo, Chile, and became an official FIS event in the spring of 1967 after the FIS Congress at Beirut, Lebanon. The first World Cup ski race was held in Berchtesgaden, West Germany, on January 5, 1967. Jean-Claude Killy of France and Nancy Greene of Canada were the overall winners for the first two seasons.
Downhill is a form of alpine skiing competition. Whereas the other alpine skiing events emphasize turning and technique, downhill emphasizes "the six components of technique, courage, speed, risk, physical condition and judgement", according to the FIS "International Ski Competition Rules (ICR)". Speeds of up to 130 km/h (81 mph) are common in international competition. Athletes must have an aerodynamically efficient tuck position to minimize drag and increase speed.
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 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.
Kjetil André Aamodt is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Norway, a champion in the Olympics, World Championships, and World Cup. He is one of the most successful alpine ski racers from Norway.
Lasse Kjus is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Norway. He won the overall World Cup title twice, an Olympic gold medal, and several World Championships. His combined career total of 16 Olympic and World Championship medals ranks second all-time behind fellow Norwegian Kjetil André Aamodt.
The 18th World Cup season began in December 1983 in Kranjska Gora, Yugoslavia, and concluded in March 1984 in Oslo, Norway. The overall champions were Pirmin Zurbriggen and Erika Hess, both of Switzerland.
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, and mono-skis. Para-alpine skiing disciplines include the Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Slalom, Super Combined and Snowboard.
Aksel Lund Svindal is a Norwegian former World Cup alpine ski racer.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to skiing:
Norefjell Ski Resort is a mountain ski resort located in Krødsherad, Norway, on the mountainside of Norefjell. The venue for four Olympic alpine skiing events in 1952, it is located northwest of Oslo, 90 minutes away by vehicle.
LW5/7 is a standing para-Alpine and para-Nordic skiing classification for skiers with upper extremity issues in both limbs that may include double amputation of both arms and hands or dysmelia of the upper limbs. The class has three subclasses defined by the location of the disability on the upper extremities. International classification is done by IPC Alpine Skiing and IPC Nordic Skiing. On the national level, classification is handled by national sports federation such as Cross-Country Canada.
The sport of cross-country skiing encompasses a variety of formats for cross-country skiing races over courses of varying lengths according to rules sanctioned by the International Ski Federation and by various national organizations, such as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Cross Country Ski Canada. International competitions include the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, and at the Winter Olympic Games. Such races occur over homologated, groomed courses designed to support classic (in-track) and freestyle events, where the skiers may employ skate skiing. It also encompasses cross-country ski marathon events, sanctioned by the Worldloppet Ski Federation, and cross-country ski orienteering events, sanctioned by the International Orienteering Federation. Related forms of competition are biathlon, where competitors race on cross-country skis and stop to shoot at targets with rifles, and paralympic cross-country skiing that allows athletes with disabilities to compete at cross-country skiing with adaptive equipment.
This glossary of skiing and snowboarding terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon used in skiing, snowboarding, and related winter sports.