Olympic Skiing Disciplines – Part 1

Olympic Skiing Disciplines – Part 1

In one form or another skiing has always been a part of the Winter Olympic Games since its inception in 1924. In part one of this blog to define the six skiing disciplines that are now part of today’s Olympic program we looked at downhill, slalom, cross country and ski jumping. In this blog we concentrate more on the Nordic disciplines and two newer additions to the scene, namely snowboarding and freestyle skiing.

Nordic Combined

Nordic Combined

The Nordic Combined events actually consist of three separate disciplines, and each discipline has two parts: a jump and cross country. The events are called the Gundersen events, named after the famous skier from Norway. This Gundersen method was introduced in the 1980’s which combined points in the jump to interval positions in the cross country, a bit like the modern pentathlon in the Summer Olympics. This was brought into the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 and since then there has been an adjustment of the time differential at each subsequent game. The Gundersen events are, the normal hill, team, and large hill. The cross-country part of the competition is over a 10-kilometer race and the team event is a four by five-kilometer relay.

Snowboarding

First introduced at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano in 1998, Snowboarding has established itself as a key part of The Games ever since. Today there are six snowboarding events that are split among the men and women: the halfpipe, the parallel giant slalom and the snowboard cross. The snowboard cross pitches the competitors to race against each other on a course that is full of obstacles, beams and jumps. The other two events sorts of mirror the skiing events, the slalom speaks for itself but the halfpipe is slightly different as competitors perform certain tricks as they go from one side to the other side of a semicircular track.

Freestyle Skiing

The final discipline is freestyle skiing and became an official part of the Winter Olympic Games in 1992 when it was held in France at Albertville. As the name suggests freestyle skiing is all about expression, and the competitors have to face many events to demonstrate their skill, such as: aerials, moguls and event ballet. In 1992 it was moguls which was the official freestyle sport and the others were just demonstration events. But two years later aerials were also added but the ski-ballet was axed. As with any new event in an Olympic Games the fledgling rules are adapted till they fit purpose and this is going on today with freestyle events. In 2010 ski cross was added to the program and proved to be a great success, and four years later and still valid today as medal events, slopestyle and half-pipe were introduced. Although the traditional events that make up the six disciplines are established and the rules and regulations never change, the modern additions are continuously being tweaked and amended so they provide the biggest test for the competitors and give the best spectacle for the spectators.

Freestyle Skiing

This is what makes the Winter Olympic Games so fresh and modern, it is prepared to move with the times in order to gain the best possible competition.