Alpine Skiing

Facts

Discipline of Skiing
Participants 2894
NOCs 107
Competitions held 153 (Venues)
Distinct events 25
IF Fédération internationale de ski

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 in 1936 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The only event that year was a combined competition of both downhill and slalom. 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 has since been 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. The sport is governed by the Fédération internationale de ski (FIS) which was founded on 2 February 1924 during the Charmonix Olympics. The FIS succeed the Internationale Skikommission (CIS) which was formed on 18 February 1910 in Christiania (today Oslo). FIS is not only governing alpine skiing, but also cross country skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and snowboarding. As of 2018 the FIS has 123 member nations.

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. 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. Through 2010, five skiers have won five medals: Alberto Tomba of Italy, Vreni Schneider of Switzerland, Katja Seizinger of Germany, Bode Miller (USA), and Lasse Kjus of Norway. At Salt Lake City in 2002, Kostelić won three gold medals (in five events) and became the first alpine skier to win four medals at a single Winter Olympics. Austria, Switzerland, and France have been the top nations in Olympic alpine skiing, with Italy and the United States not far behind.

All-time medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Austria AUT 37 41 43 121
Switzerland SUI 22 22 22 66
United States USA 17 20 10 47
France FRA 15 16 17 48
Italy ITA 14 9 9 32
Germany GER 14 8 9 31
Norway NOR 11 13 12 36
Sweden SWE 7 2 9 18
Croatia CRO 4 6 0 10
Canada CAN 4 1 6 11
West Germany FRG 3 5 1 9
Liechtenstein LIE 2 2 6 10
Slovenia SLO 2 2 3 7
Czech Republic CZE 1 0 1 2
Spain ESP 1 0 1 2
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

Most successful competitors

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
Jean-Claude Killy FRA 3 0 0 3
Toni Sailer AUT 3 0 0 3
Tina Maze SLO 2 2 0 4

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Downhill Men 19
Super G Men 9
Giant Slalom Men 18
Slalom Men 19
Combined Men 11
Downhill Women 19
Super G Women 9
Giant Slalom Women 18
Slalom Women 19
Combined Women 11
Team Mixed 1
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