Ski cross is a type of skiing competition. Despite its being a timed racing event, it is often considered part of freestyle skiing because it incorporates terrain features traditionally found in freestyle. Ski cross courses have both naturally occurring terrain and artificial features including big-air jumps and high-banked turns. What sets ski cross apart from other alpine skiing disciplines is that there's more than one skier racing down the course. Any intentional contact with other competitors leads to disqualification.
|Highest governing body||International Ski Federation|
|Nicknames||Skier Cross, Skier-X|
|Team members||Single competitors|
|Olympic||2010, 2014, 2018|
In a time trial or qualification round, every competitor skis down the course, which is built to encompass both naturally occurring terrain and artificial features like jumps, rollers or banks. After the time trial, the fastest 32 skiers (fastest 16 if not 32 competitors) compete in a knockout series in rounds of four. A group of four skiers start simultaneously and attempt to reach the end of the course. The first two to cross the finish line will advance to the next round. At the end, the big final and small final rounds determine 1st to 4th and 5th to 8th places, respectively.
The International Ski Federation (FIS)'s FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup has added ski cross competitions to its calendar, since 2004 in addition to moguls and aerials. It was first in the Olympics at the 2010 Winter Olympics where Michael Schmid won the men's event, and Ashleigh McIvor of Canada won the women's event. Ski cross was also in the 2014 Winter Olympics where the French Men swept the podium and in the women's event, Canadians Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa finished first and second respectively. Swedish athlete Anna Holmlund took bronze. In the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea, Canada continued its domination of the sport. Kelsey Serwa won her second Olympic medal, this time a gold. Canadian teammate Brittany Phelan took home the silver. Swiss skier Fanny Smith won bronze. On the men's side, Brady Leman got redemption after crashing in the final at Sochi by winning gold in Korea. Swiss athlete Marc Bischofberger won silver and Russian Sergey Ridzik won bronze (competing under the Olympic Flag.)
Ski cross had been in all Winter X Games until 2012, when ski cross, boardercross and mono ski cross were cut from the 2013 games due to the cost of building the cross course. Ski cross was in the first 15 Winter X Games.
The idea for Ski Cross originated with Jim "Too Tall" Essick, one of the founders of Recreational Sports Marketing (RSM), in the late 1980s. Essick wanted to bring the excitement of motocross to skiing, in order to make ski races more exciting for spectators. The idea was pitched to several corporations, but none wanted to sponsor the concept at the time. Years later, one of the companies that had been pitched to—Swatch Watch—used the idea in one of their films, exchanging skis for snowboards and calling it "boarder cross." Eventually, similar events were staged with skis and, thus, skier cross was born.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ski cross.|
- AP Winter Games Video: Ralves, Puckett Debut Skicross at Games
- AP Winter Games Video, Sports Explainer: Ski Cross
- CanWest News Service: "Ski Cross glossary" - 2010 Winter Games