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Alpine Skiing at the Olympics – Winter Olympics vocabulary

Alpine Skiing, also called downhill skiing, consists of four main events in the Winter Olympics.  These events are slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom and the downhill.

Slalom:  The slalom event is where the skier skis around poles from side to side in a short downhill in zigzagging manner. The object of the event, as is with the others too, is to complete the course with a faster time than the other competitors.

Here is a video of a slalom event:

Giant Slalom: This is also known as the “GS”. The GS involves the same zigzagging skiing around poles, but on a slightly longer course, with the poles more spaced apart, and thus a GS skier will reach faster speeds than a slalom.

Super Giant Slalom: The Super Giant Slalom, is also known as the “Super G”, which is even faster, with an even longer course than the GS. Again, the poles are more spaced out and this event is faster yet than the GS.

Downhill: The Downhill is the fastest of the alpine skiing events, and the skier must simply complete the course in the fastest time possible. The downhill racer doesn’t ski around gates, but the skier must atay within the boundaries of the course, which is marked by poles (called gates).

Slalom again: