FIS Alpine Skiing
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FIS Alpine Skiing

FIS Alpine skiing is the top international competition involving a series of different alpine skiing events. The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is made up of 5 different events; slalom, Giant slalom, super G slalom, downhill & the combined, which includes slalom and downhill.

The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is considered to be the most prestigious racing competition after the Olympics. Some people even argue that to hold the title in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is even more impressive than achieving gold in the Olympics which takes place every 4 years. The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup takes place over a series of different types of ski races which take place throughout the year and therefore each competitor must achieve consistent results in order to be placed first. The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup takes place every year during the Winter months.

The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup takes place all around the world in a variety of different resorts, however it most commonly takes place in Europe, Canada or USA. These countries and continents host some of the largest and most developed ski resorts and mountain ranges in the world, therefore in order to find the right conditions and terrain to host such an exclusive and competitive series of events, there are few places around the world to choose from. Other countries which have hosted the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup over the years include New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Argentina & Australia. These countries do not necessarily have the same guarantee of snow/ the expansiveness of mountains/ the infrastructure to host such a large and prestigious competition every year. In total the events from the competition have been hosted in a massive 25 different countries around the world, in countries as small as Andorra.

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All-Time World Cup Skiing Wins

By quite some margin, Austria is the country which holds the most medals in both Mens and Womens alpine ski racing. Across the 5 different events; Super G, Giant slalom, slalom, downhill & combined, the men's Austrian alpine team have won 533 medals and the women's team have won 381 medals since the competition was officially recognised in 1967.

Lindsay Vonn of USA is considered to be the most successful female Alpine skier, having won the largest number of World Cups for women, with her most recent win (at the time of writing) being in Flachau, earning her 68th World Cup victory. This title for men’s alpine skiing is held by Marcel Hirscher who has won a total of 8 consecutive World Cup titles and 67 World Cup races. Although Marcel Hirscher for example does not hold the record for the most World cup race wins ever, these titles held by Lindsay Vonn and Marcel Hirscher are based on results in the FIS World Cup, Olympics and World Championships, and so takes results from a variety of different competitions and gives an overall rating.

What is the difference between Alpine and Nordic skiing?

Alpine skiing and Nordic skiing are two very different types of skiing. The equipment used is different, the terrain skied in is different and the technique and body muscles used differ greatly between the two different sports.

Although downhill skiing can have connotations of its own depending on the context, as explained above (downhill skiing is a very specific type of ski race in the World Cup – as opposed to slalom skiing for example), Alpine skiing is when you are skiing downhill, on skis with fixed bindings. Compare this with Nordic skiing where you are skiing along the flats for the most part (there are likely to be a few hills or bumps to navigate, but nothing too substantial) and you are using much thinner and much longer skis with a detached binding from which your heel lifts out of, and you will understand how different these two types of skiing are. Have a look at Cross Country Skiing to find out a bit more about what Nordic skiing or Cross-country skiing as it is sometimes known, is all about.

Another type of skiing which takes some aspects of Alpine skiing and some aspects of Nordic skiing is telemark skiing. This is where you take skis which are much more similar to Nordic skis and ski down the mountain bending each knee down to the snow with each turn – telemark skis are different from Nordic skis so if you want to try telemark skiing you need to make sure you have telemark skis, do not use Nordic skis because this will not work!

How can I watch FIS?

NBCsports is the most common channel to be able to watch FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. It is also often possible to watch the World Cup on the Olympic channel’s website.