Winter Olympics: Everything you need to know about Alpine Skiing


The Beijing Winter Olympic Games and Alpine Skiing, otherwise known as downhill skiing, is undoubtedly one of the main attractions at the Games, with jaw-dropping jumps and sharp turns galore on the snow. 

There will be a total of 11 alpine events taking place, consisting of men’s, women’s and mixed formats, with 33 medals up for grabs. 

To give some context as to just how physically demanding the sport it, only five athletes have ever successfully defended a gold medal across all five formats. 

Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know for the competition. 

Alpine Skiing is once again set to take centre stage at the Winter Olympics in Beijing

Alpine Skiing is once again set to take centre stage at the Winter Olympics in Beijing

What is the Beijing 2022 venue for Alpine skiing? 

The Alpine competition will be held entirety at the National Alpine Ski Centre in the Yanqing competition zone. 

The Centre, which holds seven race courses, is built into the Xiaohaituo Mountain Area in north-west Yanqing and has a total capacity of 8,500 spectators, 5,000 seated and 3,500 standing. 

The venue will continue to be used following the conclusion of the Games for international competitions and athlete training. 

The National Alpine Ski Centre will hold all 11 Alpine skiing events at the 2022 Winter Olympics

The National Alpine Ski Centre will hold all 11 Alpine skiing events at the 2022 Winter Olympics

With the first locally transmitted Omicron case confirmed in Beijing in recent days, Beijing 2022 organisers have pulled the plug on plans to put tickets on general sale, while foreign-based spectators were already prohibited.

Instead, there will be an ‘adapted programme’ inviting groups of spectators.

How does alpine skiing work in the Winter Games? 

Alpine Skiing is pretty simple to understand. The aim is to get from the start of course on a snow-covered hill to the finish in the fastest time possible, though there are multiple variations.  

Downhill — This the blue riband event of the Winter Games. Skiers reach speeds of more than 80mph but have just one run to get it right. There are gates to navigate, but these follow the natural slope and are largely just a guideline to prevent any shortcuts. 

Super-G — This enthralling race essentially blends the speed of downhill and the turns of the giant slalom. The drop is not quite as steep as in the downhill format, however. Again, the athletes get one run. 

Giant slalom — With narrower gates than Super-G, it’s a slightly more technical race, though with intense speed still the primary objective. The winner is the skier with the fastest time over two races. 

Slalom — The tightest gates of all. Poles are used to mark the course and skiers must be quick over two runs, with the times then added together to calculate the final score.

Super combined —  A combination of one slalom run and either a shortened downhill or super-G course. Again, the athletes’ times are added together to calculate their final score. 

The downhill events are popular and Aksel Lund Svindal won gold in the men's competition back in 2018

The downhill events are popular and Aksel Lund Svindal won gold in the men’s competition back in 2018


Sunday, Feb 6

Men’s Downhill (3am)

Monday, Feb 7

Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 (2.15am)

Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 (5.45am) 

Tuesday, Feb 8

Men’s Super-G (3am)

Wednesday, Feb 9

Women’s Slalom Run 1 (2.15am)

Women’s Slalom Run 2 (5.45am) 

Thursday, Feb 10:

Men’s Alpine Combined Downhill (2.30am)

Men’s Alpine Combined Slalom (6.15am) 

Friday, Feb 11 

Women’s Super-G (3am)

Sunday, Feb 13

Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 (2.15am)

Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 (5.45am) 

Tuesday, Feb 15 

Women’s Downhill (3am)

Wednesday, Feb 16

Men’s Slalom Run 1 (2.15am)

Men’s Slalom Run 2 (5.45am) 

Thursday, Feb 17

Women’s Alpine Combined Downhill (2.30am)

Women’s Alpine Combined Slalom (6am) 

Saturday, Feb 19 

Mixed Team Parallel 1/8 Finals (3am)

Mixed Team Parallel 1/4 Finals (3.47am)

Mixed Team Parallel 1/2 Finals (4.14am)

Mixed Team Parallel Small Final (4.37am)

Mixed Team Parallel Big Final (4.46am) 

*All UK times 

Who are the athletes to watch in Beijing?

No British athlete has ever won an Alpine Skiing medal at the Winter Olympics, after slalom specialist Alain Baxter’s bronze in 2002 was taken away due to a failed drugs test.

There are hopes this year can be different, however, with Dave Ryding Britain’s most likely contender. There was also high hope for Ryding in 2018, however, where he finished ninth. He will be joined by men’s debutant Billy Major and women’s duo Charlie Guest and Alex Tilley. 

Team GB will be hoping Dave Ryding (pictured) can end Britain's lengthy spell without a medal

Team GB will be hoping Dave Ryding (pictured) can end Britain’s lengthy spell without a medal

Aside from Riding, two-time gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the competition. She won four medals at the 2021 World Championships and is undoubtedly the favourite to win a number of medals once more.

Other notable figures are Ester Ledecka, who, remarkably, also claimed first place in the parallel giant slalom in snowboarding in 2018, alongside Michelle Gisin of Switzerland and double Olympic champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria.

Team GB squad: Billy Major, Dave Ryding, Charlie Guest, Alex Tilley

Alpine skiing: Winter Olympics 2006, 2010 and 2014 champions 

Men’s downhill

  • 2018 – Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)
  • 2014 – Matthias Mayer (Austria)
  • 2010 – Didier Defago (Switzerland) 
  • 2006 – Antoine Deneriaz (France)

  Men’s super-G

  • 2018 – Matthias Mayer (Austria) 
  • 2014 – Kjetil Jansrud (Norway)
  • 2010 – Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) 
  • 2006 – Kjetil Andre Aamodt (Norway)

Men’s giant slalom

  • 2018 – Marcel Hirscher (Austria) 
  • 2014 – Ted Ligety (US) 
  • 2010 – Carlo Janka Switzerland 
  • 2006 – Benjamin Raich (Austria)  

Men’s slalom

  • 2018 – Andre Myhrer (Sweden)
  • 2014 – Mario Matt (Austria)
  • 2010 – Giuliano Razzoli (Italy)
  • 2006 – Benjamin Raich (Austria)

Men’s combined

  • 2018 – Marcel Hirscher (Austria)
  • 2014 – Sandro Viletta (Switzerland)
  • 2010 – Bode Miller (US)
  • 2006 – Ted Ligety United States

Women’s downhill

  • 2018 – Sofia Goggia (Italy)
  • 2014 –  Dominique Gisin (Switzerland) and Tina Maze (Slovenia) 
  • 2010 – Lindsey Vonn (US) 
  • 2006 – Michaela Dorfmeister (Austria) 

Women’s super-G 

  • 2018 – Ester Ledecka (Czech Republic) 
  • 2014 – Anna Fenninger (Austria) 
  • 2010 – Andrea Fischbacher (Austria) 
  • 2006 – Michaela Dorfmeister (Austria) 

Women’s giant slalom 

  • 2018 – Mikaela Shiffrin (US) 
  • 2014 – Tina Maze (Slovenia) 
  • 2010 – Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany) 
  • 2006 – Julia Mancuso (US)

Women’s slalom 

  • 2018 – Frida Hansdotter (Sweden) 
  • 2014- Mikaela Shiffrin (US) 
  • 2010 – Maria Riesch (Germany)
  • 2006 – Anja Parson (Sweden)

Women’s combined

  • 2018 – Michelle Gisin (Switzerland) 
  • 2014 – Maria Hofl-Riesch (Germany) 
  • 2010 – Maria Riesch (Germany)
  • 2006 – Janica Kostelic (Croatia)


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