- Super Giant Slalom skiing
The Super Giant Slalom is an
alpine skiingdiscipline. It is usually referred to as Super G and is considered a "speed" discipline along with Downhill(the "technical" disciplines are giant slalom and slalom).
"Definition"Super G incorporates aspects of both
downhilland giant slalom racing. It involves skiingbetween widely spaced gates as in Giant Slalom, but with fewer turns over a longer course and with higher speeds approaching those achieved in Downhill. The minimum number of gates is 35 for men and 30 for women. Super G skiers will often assume the "tuck" position as in Downhill, but will continue turning constantly as in Giant Slalom, rarely encountering the periodic straight "gliding" sections of a Downhill course. Super G courses in international competition must be at least one minute in length and can be as long as one minute and 45 seconds. Speeds at the World Cup level generally average from 88-96 km (55-60 miles) per hour.
Super G is unique in that it is conducted over one run, like
Downhill, but racers are not permitted to train the course at full speed before the race. As in giant slalom and slalom, they are allowed only a one hour visual inspection of the course on the morning of the race. This distinction adds to the unpredictable nature of the event and requires ski racing abilities that are different from the other three disciplines.
Super G was first introduced on the World Cup level in December 1982 at
Val-d'Isere; the winner was Peter Müller of Switzerland. Four seasons later, it was added to the World Championships, held at Crans-Montana, Switzerlandin February 1987. Swiss stars Pirmin Zurbriggenand Maria Walliserwon gold medals to become the first world champions in the event.
Super Giant Slalom made its Olympic debut in 1988 in Calgary, where
Franck Piccardof Franceand Sigrid Wolfof Austriatook gold at Nakiska. Hermann Maierof Austriais widely regarded as the greatest Super G skier to date, with 23 World Cup victories, five World Cup titles, a World Championship, and an Olympic gold medal. His proficiency in Super G is attributed to his thorough course inspection and his aggressive course tactics wherein he opted for the most direct and dangerous line down the hill.
In an attempt to increase safety, the
2003-04 season saw the FIS impose minimum ski lengths for the Super Giant Slalom for the first time; to 205cm for men, 200cm for women. A minimum turning radius of 33m continues to apply.
* [http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.html?sector=AL&raceid=9906 FIS-Ski.com] - results of first World Cup Super G race -
Val d'Isere- Dec-1982
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