Giant slalom

Giant slalom (GS) is an alpine skiing and alpine snowboarding discipline. It involves skiing between sets of poles (gates) spaced at a greater distance from 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.


The vertical drop for a GS course must be 250–450 m (820–1,480 ft) for men, and 250–400 m (820–1,310 ft) for women. The number of gates in this event is 56–70 for men and 46–58 for women. The number of direction changes in a GS course equals 11–15% of the vertical drop of the course in metres, 13–18% for children. As an example, a course with a vertical drop of 300 m (984 ft) would have 33–45 direction changes for an adult race.[1]


Although giant slalom is not the fastest event in skiing, on average a well-trained racer may reach average speeds of 40 km/h (25 mph).


Giant slalom skis are shorter than super-G and downhill skis, and longer than slalom skis.

In an attempt to increase safety for the 2003–04 season, the International Ski Federation (FIS) increased the minimum sidecut radius for giant slalom skis to 21 m (69 ft) and for the first time imposed minimum ski lengths for GS: 185 cm (72.8 in) for men and 180 cm (70.9 in) for women. A maximum stand height (the distance from the snow to the sole of the boot) of 55 mm (2.17 in) was also established for all disciplines.

In May 2006, the FIS announced further changes to the rules governing equipment. Beginning with the 2007–08 season, the minimum radius for GS skis was increased to 27 m (89 ft) for men and 23 m (75 ft) for women. Additionally, the minimum ski width at the waist was increased from 60 to 65 mm (2.36 to 2.56 in), and the maximum stand height for all disciplines was reduced to 50 mm (1.97 in).[1] The best skiers tended to use a bigger sidecut radius, like Ted Ligety at 29 m (95 ft), and Lindsey Vonn at 27 m (89 ft).

For the 2012–13 season, the FIS increased the sidecut radius to 35 m (115 ft) and the minimal length to 195 cm (76.8 in). Many athletes criticized this decision. Often David Dodge was cited. Dodge argues that FIS used studies which do not represent a scientific proof. He states that it is well known that if one tips the ski 7° more the 35 m ski will have the same turning radius as the 28 m ski. He states as well that knee injuries are decreasing since the 1990s, when carving skis started to be used.[2][3][4][5][6]


The first giant slalom was set in 1935 on the Mottarone in Italy, over the Lake Maggiore, near Stresa, on January 20.[7] After one month, the second giant slalom was set on the Marmolada in Italy's Dolomite mountains, by Guenther Langes.[8]

The giant slalom was added to the world championships in 1950 at Aspen, Colorado, and debuted at the Winter Olympics in 1952 at Oslo, Norway, run at Norefjell. The GS has been run in every world championships and Olympics since. Originally a one-run event, a second run was added for men at the world championships in 1966, run on consecutive days, and at the Olympics in 1968. The second run for women was added at the world championships in 1978, and made its Olympic debut in 1980.

The world championships changed to a one-day format for the giant slalom in 1974, but the Olympics continued the GS as a two-day event through 1980. Also scheduled for two days in 1984, both giant slaloms became one-day events after repeated postponements of the downhills. Following the extra races added to the program in 1988, the GS has been scheduled as a one-day event at the Olympics.

Upon its introduction, giant slalom briefly displaced the combined event at the world championships; it was absent in 1950 and 1952. The combined returned in 1954 in Åre, Sweden, but as a "paper race," using the results of the three events (downhill, giant slalom, and slalom), a format used through 1980. The combined returned as a stand-alone event at the world championships in 1982 at Schladming, Austria, and at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. It was changed to the super-combined format (one run of slalom on same day as downhill) at the world championships in 2007 and the Olympics in 2010.

Men's World Cup podiums

In the following table men's giant slalom World Cup podiums from the World Cup first edition in 1967.[9]

Season 1st 2nd 3rd
1967 Jean-Claude Killy Georges Mauduit Jimmy Heuga
1968 Jean-Claude Killy Edmund Bruggmann Herbert Huber
1969 Karl Schranz Reinhard Tritscher Jean-Noel Augert
1970 Gustav Thöni Patrick Russel
Dumeng Giovanoli
1971 Gustav Thöni
Patrick Russel
Edmund Bruggmann
1972 Gustav Thöni Edmund Bruggmann Rogers Rossat-Mignod
1973 Hans Hinterseer Erik Haker Adolf Rösti
1974 Piero Gros Hans Hinterseer Gustav Thöni
1975 Ingemar Stenmark Piero Gros Erik Haker
1976 Ingemar Stenmark Gustav Thöni Piero Gros
1977 Ingemar Stenmark
Heini Hemmi
Klaus Heidegger
1978 Ingemar Stenmark Andreas Wenzel Phil Mahre
1979 Ingemar Stenmark Peter Lüscher Bojan Krizaj
1980 Ingemar Stenmark Hans Enn Jacques Lüthy
1981 Ingemar Stenmark Alexander Zhirov Phil Mahre
1982 Phil Mahre Ingemar Stenmark Marc Girardelli
1983 Phil Mahre Ingemar Stenmark
Max Julen
1984 Ingemar Stenmark
Pirmin Zurbriggen
Hans Enn
1985 Marc Girardelli Pirmin Zurbriggen Thomas Bürgler
1986 Joel Gaspoz Ingemar Stenmark Hubert Strolz
1987 Pirmin Zurbriggen
Joel Gaspoz
Richard Pramotton
1988 Alberto Tomba Hubert Strolz Helmut Mayer
1989 Ole-Christian Furuseth
Pirmin Zurbriggen
Rudolf Nierlich
1990 Günther Mader
Ole-Christian Furuseth
Hubert Strolz
1991 Alberto Tomba Rudolf Nierlich Marc Girardelli
1992 Alberto Tomba Hans Pieren Paul Accola
1993 Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Alberto Tomba Marc Girardelli
1994 Christian Mayer Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Franck Piccard
1995 Alberto Tomba Jure Kosir Harald Strand Nilsen
1996 Michael von Grünigen Urs Kälin Lasse Kjus
1997 Michael von Grünigen Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Hans Knauß
1998 Hermann Maier Michael von Grünigen Christian Mayer
1999 Michael von Grünigen Stephan Eberharter Hermann Maier
2000 Hermann Maier Christian Mayer Michael von Grünigen
2001 Hermann Maier Michael von Grünigen Erik Schlopy
2002 Frederic Covili Benjamin Raich Stephan Eberharter
2003 Michael von Grünigen Bode Miller Hans Knauß
2004 Bode Miller Kalle Palander Massimiliano Blardone
2005 Benjamin Raich Bode Miller Thomas Grandi
2006 Benjamin Raich Massimiliano Blardone Fredrik Nyberg
2007 Aksel Lund Svindal Massimiliano Blardone Benjamin Raich
2008 Ted Ligety Benjamin Raich Manfred Mölgg
2009 Didier Cuche Benjamin Raich Ted Ligety
2010 Ted Ligety Carlo Janka Benjamin Raich
2011 Ted Ligety Aksel Lund Svindal Cyprien Richard
2012 Marcel Hirscher Ted Ligety Massimiliano Blardone
2013 Ted Ligety Marcel Hirscher Alexis Pinturault
2014 Ted Ligety Marcel Hirscher Alexis Pinturault
2015 Marcel Hirscher Alexis Pinturault Ted Ligety
2016 Marcel Hirscher Alexis Pinturault Henrik Kristoffersen
2017 Marcel Hirscher Mathieu Faivre Alexis Pinturault
2018 Marcel Hirscher Henrik Kristoffersen Alexis Pinturault
2019 Marcel Hirscher Henrik Kristoffersen Alexis Pinturault

Men's most podiums in World Cup

Skiers having most podium in FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.[10]

  Still active

Updated to 15 February 2019.

# Skier Total Last
1 Ingemar Stenmark7219-02-1989
2 Marcel Hirscher5924-02-2019
3 Michael Von Grueningen4615-03-2003
4 Ted Ligety4128-01-2018
5 Benjamin Raich3501-03-2015
6 Alberto Tomba3106-01-1998
7 Alexis Pinturault2916-03-2019
8 Hermann Maier2823-10-2005
9 Phil Mahre2605-03-1984
10 Gustavo Thoeni2602-01-1977
11 Marc Girardelli2627-03-1993
12 Massimiliano Blardone2513-02-2016
13 Bode Miller2108-12-2013
14 Fredrik Nyberg2017-03-2006

See also


  1. "The International Ski Competition Rules" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  2. Ted Ligety, Skiing's Most Outspoken Critic, Is Still the Best in the World, bleacher report, 2012-10-28.
  3. A Letter To FIS, David Dodge, 2011.
  4. Update on Injury Trends in Alpine Skiing, Johnson, Etlinger, Shealy, Update on Injury Trends in Alpine Skiing, 2009
  5. Unfälle und Verletzungen im alpinen Skisport, David Schulz, Auswertungsstelle für Skiunfälle, Stiftung Sicherheit im Skisport, 2011.
  6. Francesco Vida. La storia dello sci in Italia.
  7. Allen, John (2010-01-31). "First Giant Slalom". Skiing Heritage. International Skiing History Assoc. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  8. "Winter Sports Chart - Alpine Skiing". Retrieved 11 February 2018.
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