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Alpine skiing 101: Rules

Marcel Hirscher and Mikaela Shiffrin
USA TODAY Sports

Alpine skiing 101: Rules

Learn more about the rules of Olympic alpine skiing

Downhill (Men’s and women’s)

Downhill is considered a speed event. It features the longest course and the fastest speeds. The winner is determined based on one run down the mountain. 

Super-G (Men’s and women’s)

Super-G is considered a speed event, but it requires more technical skills than downhill because skiers have to navigate gates. The winner is determined based on one run down the mountain.

Slalom (Men’s and women’s)

Slalom is considered a technical event. It features the shortest course and the quickest turns. Each skier makes two runs down the slope. The times are added together, and the fastest total time determines the winner

Giant slalom (Men’s and women’s)

Giant slalom is considered a technical event. It features fewer and wider turns than slalom, and as a result, faster speeds. Each skier makes two runs down the slope. The times are added together, and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Super Combined (Men’s and women’s)

Super combined features one downhill run, followed later in the day by one slalom run. The times are added together, and the fastest total time determines the winner. 

Team event

The team event features 16 teams of four competitors (two men and two women, in addition to a maximum of two reserves) in a bracket-style, single-elimination format. Athletes compete in a series of head-to-head slalom races.

What happens if a skier misses a gate?

If a skier misses a gate, he or she is allowed to hike uphill and try to successfully pass through it before continuing back down the course. 

What happens after a race?

Race officials check equipment after each race to ensure that it complies with FIS dimensions and regulations. Athletes can be disqualified for using illegal equipment. 

Alpine Skiing

Everything you need to know about alpine skiing at the 2018 Olympics

Basics | Rules | Origins and Olympic history | Glossary | Equipment | Venue | Qualification

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