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Alpine Skiing

PyeongChang 2018 Events

Skiing has an ancient history. The birth of modern downhill skiing is often dated to the 1850s when Norwegian legend Sondre Norheim popularised skis with curved sides, bindings with stiff heel bands made of willow, as well as the Telemark and Christiania (slalom) turns.

Ancient origins

Skiing can be traced to prehistoric times by the discovery of varying sizes and shapes of wooden planks preserved in peat bogs in Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Ski fragments discovered in Russia have been carbon-dated back to circa 8000-7000 BC. It is virtually certain that a form of skiing has been an integral part of life in colder countries for thousands of years.

First competitions

Skiing changed its from a method of transportation into a sporting activity during the late 19th century. The first non-military skiing competitions are reported to have been held in the 1840s in northern and central Norway. The first national skiing competition in Norway, held in the capital Christiania (now Oslo) and won by Sondre Norheim, in 1868, is regarded as the beginning of a new era of skiing enthusiasm. A few decades later, the sport spread to the remainder of Europe and to the US, where miners held skiing competitions to entertain themselves during the winter. The first slalom competition was organised by Sir Arnold Lunn in 1922 in Mürren, Switzerland.

Olympic growth

Men’s and women’s alpine skiing both debuted on the Olympic programme in 1936 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The only event that year was a combined competition of both downhill and slalom. In 1948, this was held along with separate downhill and slalom races. Four years later the giant slalom was added and in 1988 the super giant slalom became a fourth separate event.




Riesch skies to claim Gold

Riesch get her second Gold Medals during the Slalom
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Stephan Eberharter Accomplish His Golden Dream

Stephan Eberharter of Austria captures his 1st ever gold medal in the giant slalom, 4 years after winning silver in Nanago 1998. Eberharter covers the course in a combined time of 2:23.28, Bode Miller clinches the silver medal in 2:24.16, becoming the first American man to win a medal in this event. Lasse Kjus claims the bronze medal in 2:24.32. Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom Men's Final - Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics - Stephan Eberharter (AUT), Bode Miller (USA), Lasse Kjus (NOR)
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Deborah Compagnoni: Golden determination

At her first Games in Albertville in 1992, Deborah Compagnoni took the gold in the super-G. The Italian then concentrated on the technical events and won the giant slalom in Lillehammer in 1994. She repeated this achievement in the same event at the Nagano Games in 1998 and thus became the first female skier to win gold at three different editions of the Games.

Bernhard Russi relives his triumphant run in Sapporo

On the slopes of Mount Eniwa on 7 February 1972, Bernhard Russi won the downhill skiing gold at the Olympic Winter Games. This success represented the pinnacle of the career of a man who subsequently went on to design every Olympic downhill course since 1988. As part of our Words of Olympians series, the Swiss Alpine skiing legend takes us back 42 years to relive the one minute and 51 seconds of his triumphant run in Sapporo.

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See how Alberto Tomba defended his giant slalom title

Tomba made a sensational Olympic debut at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games, winning both the giant slalom and the slalom. Four years later at the 1992 Albertville Winter Games, he successfully defended his giant slalom title to become the first Alpine skier in Olympic history to win the same event twice. He also claimed silver in the slalom.


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Men's combined - Torino 2006

Follow the slalom and downhill races in the men's combined with the three Olympic medallists, Ted Ligety (USA, gold), Ivica Kostelic (Croatia, silver) and Rainer Schoenfelder (Austria, bronze)

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