Alpine Skiing

Facts

Discipline of Skiing
Participants 3036
NOCs 111
Competitions held 164 (Venues)
Distinct events 25
IF Union internationale des associations d’alpinisme, International Ski & Snowboard Federation

Description

Alpine ski racing is the newer form of ski racing, as Nordic or cross-country competitions were held in the Scandinavian countries for many years before Alpine racing was developed. The first known Alpine skiing race was in 1911, at Montana, Switzerland, when the British organized a downhill race for a challenge cup given by Lord Roberts, of Kandahar. The first slalom style race was held in 1922 at Mürren, Switzerland.

Alpine skiing was first placed on the Olympic Program at Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936. The only events that year were a combined competition of downhill and slalom, for both men and women. In 1948, this was held again along with separate downhill and slalom races. In 1952, the giant slalom was added as an event, and in 1988, the super giant slalom became a fourth separate event. Alpine combination, originally a point-scored mix of downhill and slalom, returned to the Olympic Winter Games in 1988, after not being contested from 1952-1984. It was later switched to being decided on time rather than points.

Events for both sexes were held in 1936, and have been at all Olympics since. Men and women contest Alpine skiing separately, but interestingly, the program for men and women has been identical at all Olympics, one of the few Olympic sports that can make that claim. The sport is governed by the Fédération internationale de ski (FIS) which was founded on 2 February 1924 during the Chamonix Olympics. The FIS succeeded the Internationale Skikommission (CIS) which was formed on 18 February 1910 in Christiania (today Oslo). FIS not only governs Alpine skiing, but also cross country skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and snowboarding. As of 2022 the FIS has 136 member nations.

Austria, Switzerland, and the United States have been the top nations in Olympic Alpine skiing, with France, Italy and Germany not far behind. The greatest alpine skiers among the men have been Toni Sailer of Austria and Jean-Claude Killy of France, both of whom won all three gold medals available, in 1956 and 1968, respectively, and Kjetil André Aamodt of Norway, who won a record eight medals and four gold medals in the sport. Italian Alberto Tomba and Austrian Matthias Mayer have both also won three gold medals.

Two women, Croatia’s Janica Kostelić and Sweden’s Anja Pärson both have six Olympic medals, a record for women, with Kostelić equaling Aamodt with four golds. Kostelić leads the women’s gold count, with four golds, followed by Swiss Vreni Schneider, Italian Deborah Compagnoni, and Germans Maria Höfl-Riesch and Katja Seizinger, all with three golds.

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Austria AUT 40 44 44 128
Switzerland SUI 27 23 25 75
United States USA 17 21 10 48
France FRA 16 17 18 51
Italy ITA 14 11 11 36
Germany GER 14 9 9 32
Norway NOR 11 14 15 40
Sweden SWE 8 2 9 19
Croatia CRO 4 6 0 10
Canada CAN 4 1 7 12
West Germany FRG 3 5 1 9
Slovenia SLO 2 3 3 8
Liechtenstein LIE 2 2 6 10
Czechia CZE 1 0 1 2
Spain ESP 1 0 1 2
Slovakia SVK 1 0 0 1
Luxembourg LUX 0 2 0 2
Yugoslavia YUG 0 2 0 2
Finland FIN 0 1 0 1
Japan JPN 0 1 0 1
New Zealand NZL 0 1 0 1
Russian Federation RUS 0 1 0 1
Australia AUS 0 0 1 1
Czechoslovakia TCH 0 0 1 1
Soviet Union URS 0 0 1 1

Youth Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Austria AUT 7 2 5 14
Switzerland SUI 6 4 8 18
Sweden SWE 4 2 1 7
France FRA 3 3 1 7
United States USA 3 0 0 3
Germany GER 1 2 3 6
Norway NOR 1 2 1 4
Finland FIN 1 1 1 3
Morocco MAR 1 0 0 1
Slovakia SVK 1 0 0 1
Italy ITA 0 2 2 4
Slovenia SLO 0 2 1 3
Canada CAN 0 2 0 2
Israel ISR 0 1 1 2
Russian Federation RUS 0 1 1 2
Belgium BEL 0 1 0 1
Japan JPN 0 1 0 1
Andorra AND 0 0 1 1
Netherlands NED 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Kjetil André Aamodt NOR 4 2 2 8
Janica Kostelić CRO 4 2 0 6
Alberto Tomba ITA 3 2 0 5
Vreni Schneider SUI 3 1 1 5
Deborah Compagnoni ITA 3 1 0 4
Maria Höfl-Riesch GER 3 1 0 4
Katja Seizinger GER 3 0 2 5
Matthias Mayer AUT 3 0 1 4
Jean-Claude Killy FRA 3 0 0 3
Toni Sailer AUT 3 0 0 3

Youth Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Marco Schwarz AUT 3 0 0 3
River Radamus USA 3 0 0 3
Aline Danioth SUI 2 0 2 4
Amélie Klopfenstein SUI 2 0 1 3
Adam Hofstedt SWE 2 0 1 3
Estelle Alphand FRA
SWE
1 2 1 4
Manuel Traninger AUT 1 1 1 3
Rosa Pohjolainen FIN 1 1 0 2
Mélanie Meillard SUI 1 1 0 2
Amanda Salzgeber AUT 1 0 2 3
Sandro Simonet SUI 1 0 2 3

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Downhill Men 20
Super G Men 10
Giant Slalom Men 19
Slalom Men 20
Combined Men 12
Downhill Women 20
Super G Women 10
Giant Slalom Women 19
Slalom Women 20
Combined Women 12
Team Mixed 2
Super G Boys 3
Giant Slalom Boys 3
Slalom Boys 3
Combined Boys 3
Super G Girls 3
Giant Slalom Girls 3
Slalom Girls 3
Combined Girls 3
Team Mixed Youth 3
Giant Slalom, LW2 Men 2
Giant Slalom, LW4 Men 1
Giant Slalom, LW5/7 Men 1
Giant Slalom, LW6/8 Men 1
Giant Slalom, LW2 Women 1