Slalom is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline, involving skiing between poles or gates. These are spaced more closely than those in giant slalom, super giant slalom and downhill, necessitating quicker and shorter turns. Internationally, the sport is contested at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, and at the Winter Olympic Games.
Giant slalom (GS) is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline. It involves skiing between sets of poles (gates) spaced at a greater distance to each other than in slalom but less than in Super-G.
Giant slalom and slalom make up the technical events in alpine ski racing. This category separates them from the speed events of Super-G and downhill. The technical events are normally composed of two runs, held on different courses on the same ski run.
Super giant slalom, or super-G, is a racing discipline of alpine skiing. Along with the faster downhill, it is regarded as a “speed” event, in contrast to the technical events giant slalom and slalom. It debuted as an official World Cup event during the 1983 season and was added to the official schedule of the World Championships in 1987 and the Winter Olympics in 1988. Much like downhill, the other of the two “speed” events in alpine skiing, a super-G course consists of widely set gates that racers must turn around. The course is set so that skiers must turn more than in downhill, though the speeds are still much higher than in giant slalom (hence the name). Each athlete only has one run to clock the best time. In the Olympics, super-G courses are usually set on the same slopes as the downhill, but with a lower starting point.
Combined is an event in alpine ski racing. A traditional combined competition consists of one run of downhill and two runs of slalom, each discipline run on separate days. The winner is the skier with the fastest aggregate time. (Until the 1990s, a complicated point system was used to determine placings in the combined event.) A modified version, the super combined, is a speed race (downhill or super-G) and only one run of slalom, with both portions scheduled on the same day.
Downhill is an alpine skiing discipline. Unlike the other alpine skiing events, slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, and combined, which emphasize turning and technique, downhill is more about speed. Speeds of up to 130 km/h are common in international competition. Athletes must have an aerodynamically efficient tuck position to minimize drag and increase speed.