Two Alpine Skiing events (Slalom and Giant Slalom) were introduced at the first Paralympic Winter Games in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, in 1976.
Downhill was added to the Paralympic program in 1984 in Innsbruck, Austria and Super-G was added in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway. Sit-skiing or monoskiing, was introduced as a demonstration sport at the Innsbruck 1984 Paralympic Games and became a medal event at the Nagano 1998 Paralympic Games.
Горнолыжный спорт как он есть
There are four alpine skiing events on the Paralympic program: Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom and Slalom.
Competition accommodates male and female athletes with a physical disability such as spinal injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, blindness/visual impairment and other conditions. Athletes compete in three categories (standing, sitting, and visually impaired) based on their functional ability and a results calculation system allows athletes with different disabilities to compete against each other.
Alpine skiing for the blind and partially sighted is a team sport, as the visually impaired skier competes with a sighted guide who efficiently guides the blind or partially sighted skier through a race course.
In Downhill, athletes race down a long, steep course. They must pass through a number of gates that are used as checkpoints. The penalty for missing a gate is disqualification. Each athlete is allowed only one run down the course and athletes’ times determine the order of finish
The Slalom is a technical event. The course is shorter than in other Alpine Skiing events with a high number of gates (55-75 gates on a men’s course and 40-60 on a women’s course) that the athletes must negotiate. The penalty for missing a gate is disqualification. Each athlete complete two runs on the same day on different courses. Times from the two courses are added to determine order of finish.
The Giant Slalom is also a technical event. In comparison to the Slalom, the course is longer, there are fewer turns, and the turns are wider and smoother. The number of gates is determined by the vertical drop and the penalty for missing a gate is disqualification. Each athlete completes two runs on the same day on different courses. Times from the two courses are added to determine order of finish.
The Super-G is a speed event. The course is shorter than in Downhill but longer than in Giant Slalom and Slalom. The number of gates is determined by the vertical drop, with a minimum of 35 direction changes for men and 30 for women. Gates are set at least 25m apart and the penalty for missing a gate is disqualification. Each athlete is allowed only one run down the course. Athletes’ times determine the order of finish.
- Athletes with physical disabilities use equipment that is adapted to their needs including single ski, sit-ski or orthopedic aids.
- The skis used in Alpine Skiing events are long and narrow. Men’s skis are a minimum of 165cm and women’s skis are a minimum of 155cm.
- Some athletes with a physical disability compete from a sitting position using a sit-ski, also called a monoski. As the name suggests, monoskis have a specially fitted chair over a single ski. The chair includes seat belts and other strapping, as well as a suspension device to minimize wear and tear on the skier’s body.
- Skiers in Alpine Skiing events use poles for propulsion and balance. The poles for Downhill and Super-G events are curved to fit around the body. Slalom poles are straight.
- Boots for Alpine Skiing events have a hard plastic exterior with extensive foot and ankle support. Alpine skiers use bindings that attach at both the heel and toe.
- Hard-shell helmets are required in Alpine Skiing events.
- Goggles are used to protect the eyes and to maximize visibility.
- Alpine ski races wear lightweight, form-fitting clothing to minimize air resistance. Slalom skiers frequently wear pads to protect from injury.
Alpine skiing in Sochi
During the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Alpine skiing events will be held at the «Rosa Khutor» Alpine Center on the Aibga Ridge. The Center seats and stands 10,000 spectators. This facility was put into operation in 2012 for test competitions.