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Downhill races feature the greatest vertical drop of all the alpine disciplines. Skiers can reach speeds of up to kilometres per hour on a typical World Cup downhill course, but in certain sections of the famous Lauberhorn track in Wengen, Switzerland, and the Hahnenkamm course in Kitzbühel, Austria, they can go up to kilometres per hour.
On a typical downhill course, the gates are quite close together. Each course is designed to test skiing ability at high speed, through challenging turns, shallow dips, flats and jumps. The turns are strategically placed to control racers' speed. Downhill skis are longer than slalom skis, in order to provide more stability at high speed. Jan Hudec earned silver in , before John Kucera struck gold in With Kucera unable to defend his title in due to injury, Guay produced a spectacular run at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, to become the new world downhill champion.
If downhill is defined by speed, slalom is synonymous with technical ability. They must pass between poles that form a series of gates arranged in a series of different configurations. The skier with the best combined time from two separate runs is declared the winner.
Super giant slalom or super-G, for short combines the raw speed of downhill racing with the technical skill of slalom. It features long, sweeping high-speed turns on courses that have vertical drops only slightly less steep than in downhill. As the name suggests, giant slalom features a bigger longer course than traditional slalom, with at least 30 gates. Considered a technical discipline, giant slalom skiers use skis that are longer than slalom skis but shorter than downhill or super-G skis.
Giant slalom generally features two runs — held on different courses on the same ski run. The skier with the fastest combined time wins. Rounds of invitations Key dates, number of invitations sent and spots available.
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