What's it all about?
Ever thought it would be cool to strap two pieces of wood to your feet and throw yourself down a giant hill at super fast speeds? Then you're ready to carve through alpine skiing!
How it's played
The sport: Both men and women compete in ski events. In almost all the events, skiers do the runs solo. Only the mixed teams event has them competing against another skier.
The events: There are 11 different events with names like super-G, giant slalom and downhill. Lots of fast action to watch! (See pictures below.)
The equipment: Two pieces of wood on their feet, a helmet, a pair of poles and those skiers are zooming down the mountain!
The strategy: Don't fall! And don't miss a gate or it's an automatic disqualification. These events are fast, and athletes can really get hurt, so staying safe is key.
The points: It's all about time. Depending on the event, the fastest skier wins based on one run or the combined time of two runs.
The athletes: Alpine skiing is one of the toughest winter sports. Athletes use their whole body while going down hills at over 125 kilometers per hour. That takes lots of strength, skill and concentration.
Did you know? The word ski comes from the Norwegian word skith — it means a snowshoe.
Things to watch for
- Downhill is fastest alpine skiing event, reaching speeds of over 130 kilometres per hour.
- It features a long course, high vertical drop and very few turns.
- A skier's placing is based only on one run.
Super Giant Slalom
- Nicknamed the super-G.
- It has more gates than downhill, but fewer than slalom or giant slalom.
- Skiers only get one chance to go for gold in super-G.
- If you like both downhill and slalom, this is the one to watch.
- Skiers start with a downhill run. If they're successful, they move on and do a slalom run.
- Their placing is the combined time of the two runs.
In the downhill event, skiers can reach speeds of over 130 kilometres per hour. That's faster than the speed limit on a regular highway!
The first recorded straight downhill race was held in California in the 1860s. That's over 140 years ago! The skis only had toe straps to keep them on the feet.
Skiing is the only six-letter word in English that has two "i"s right in the middle.
Skiing is old! Ski fragments that date back to around 9,000-10,000 years ago were discovered in Russia.