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Olympic Alpine skiing

Olympic Alpine skiing

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A description of Olympic Alpine skiing and a schedule of events for the 2014 Sochi Games. Also includes U.S. athletes to watch.
A description of Olympic Alpine skiing and a schedule of events for the 2014 Sochi Games. Also includes U.S. athletes to watch.

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Published by: The Salt Lake Tribune on Feb 04, 2014
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05/25/2014

2014 WINTER OLYMPICS

FEB. 7-23 | SOCHI, RUSSIA

Alpine skiing
• DOWNHILL • SLALOM • GIANT SLALOM • SUPER­G • SUPER COMBINED

A Sochi R U S S I

When Lindsey Vonn’s balky knee forced her to pull out and men’s stars Bode Miller and Ted Ligety got off to slow starts on the World Cup circuit, the U.S. Alpine team appeared headed for a lackluster showing in Sochi. But Miller and Ligety have turned things around recently, as has Julia Mancuso, the women’s star who could emerge from Vonn’s shadow with another showing like her two silver medals in Vancouver. Young slalom phenomenon Mikaela Shiffrin is having a break-out year, winning the slalom world championship.

Ted Ligety
Slalom, giant slalom, Super-G, Super Combined

U.S. athletes to watch

Julia Mancuso Bode Miller
All-event skier All-event skier

Rosa Khotur Alpine venue Women’s downhill Slalom
Mikaela Shiffrin
Slalom events
Name Bode Miller Event Combined Super-G Lindsey Vonn Downhill Super-G Andrew Weibrecht Super-G Julia Mancuso Downhill Combined Medal gold silver gold bronze bronze silver silver

Event descriptions

Steven Nyman Stacey Cook

Downhill, Super-G, Downhill, Super-G, Super Combined Super Combined

Downhill
The crown jewel of alpine skiing, this race is run on a steep slope that features long, straight lines and sweeping turns. Skiers can reach speeds of 75 mph. Negotiating jumps is the single-most determining factor in speed events. To maintain speed, the skier adopts the tuck position — knees bent into the chest and hands in front — to keep balance and minimize wind resistance.

Men’s downhill

Travis Ganong
Downhill, Super-G, Super Combined

2010 U.S. medalists in Vancouver
Olympic outlook Will defend in Sochi Will defend in Sochi Injured, withdrew Injured, withdrew Will defend in Sochi Will defend in Sochi Will defend in Sochi

Slalom
A shorter, technical race marked by gates on a course featuring rapid turns. The course consists of open (horizontal) and closed (vertical) gates, two or three chicanes (three to five closed gates in quick succession) and at least four closed double gates. Skiers must pass all the gates.

Giant slalom
Fewer gates on a course that is flatter, it requires skiers to make rapid movements that call on technical ability, but at greater speeds than in the slalom.
Event day
W-Super-G

Super-G
Also a speed event, it combines downhill with giant slalom technique. It is run on a shortened downhill course with added gates to obtain a minimum of 35 changes for men and 30 for women.
Off day
W-Giant Slalom M-Giant Slalom

Super Combined
A test of speed and technical skiing, it consists of one downhill and one slalom run. The fastest combined time wins. It’s the only event that’s different than in 2006, when the combined included a downhill and two slalom runs.

EVENT SCHEDULE
M-Downhill W-Super Combined, dowhnill & slalom W-Downhill M-Super Combined, downhill & slalom

M-Super-G

W-Slalom

M-Slalom

2.9

2.10

2.12

2.14

2.15

2.16

2.18

2.19

2.21

2.22

Sources: U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, wire service reports, Tribune archives

The Salt Lake Tribune

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