Super-G

Super giant slalom, or super-G, is a racing discipline of alpine skiing. Along with the faster downhill, it is regarded as a "speed" event, in contrast to the technical events giant slalom and slalom. It debuted as an official World Cup event during the 1983 season and was added to the official schedule of the World Championships in 1987 and the Winter Olympics in 1988.

Much like downhill, a super-G course consists of widely set gates that racers must pass through. The course is set so that skiers must turn more than in downhill, though the speeds are still much higher than in giant slalom (hence the name). Each athlete only has one run to clock the best time. In the Olympics, super-G courses are usually set on the same slopes as the downhill, but with a lower starting point.

History

Super-G was run as a World Cup test event during the 1982 season, with two men's races and a women's race that did not count in the season standings.[1] Approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS) that summer, it was first officially run at the World Cup level in December 1982 at Val-d'Isère, France; the winner was Peter Müller of Switzerland. The first official women's super-G was run a month later in early January 1983, with consecutive events at Verbier, Switzerland. The first winner was Irene Epple of West Germany, and Cindy Nelson of the United States won the next day on a different course.[2] These were the only two races for women in super-G during the 1983 season; the men had three. The event was not universally embraced during its early years,[3] which included a boycott by two-time defending overall champion Phil Mahre in December 1982.[4][5]

For the first three seasons, super-G results were added into the giant slalom discipline for the season standings; it gained separate status for a crystal globe for the 1986 season with five events for both men and women; the first champions were Markus Wasmeier and Marina Kiehl, both of West Germany.

It was added to the World Championships in 1987, held at Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Swiss skiers Pirmin Zurbriggen and Maria Walliser won gold medals to become the first world champions in the event. Super-G made its Olympic debut in 1988 in Calgary, where Franck Piccard of France and Sigrid Wolf of Austria took gold at Nakiska.

Top racers

Hermann Maier of Austria (nicknamed 'The Herminator') is widely regarded as the greatest male super-G racer, with 24 World Cup victories and five World Cup titles (19982001, 2004). He won the world championship in 1999 and an Olympic gold medal in 1998, three days after a crash in the downhill. Maier's proficiency in super-G was attributed to his thorough course inspection and his aggressive course tactics; he opted for the most direct and dangerous line down the hill. A serious motorcycle accident in August 2001 nearly resulted in an amputation of his lower right leg and sidelined him for the 2002 season, including the 2002 Olympics. After his return to the World Cup circuit in January 2003, Maier won eight more World Cup super-G events and his fifth season title in 2004.

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway is second on the list with 15 wins in World Cup super-G races, Pirmin Zurbriggen third with his 10 wins. Svindal won Olympic gold in 2010 and his fifth season title in 2014, while Zurbriggen won four consecutive season titles (198790) and the first world championship in 1987. Another notable specialist was Kjetil André Aamodt of Norway, a triple gold medalist in Olympic super-G races, winning in 1992, 2002 and 2006. Aamodt won five World Cup races and two world championship medals (silver and bronze) in the discipline. Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg, a five-time overall World Cup champion, won nine World Cup super-G events. He won season titles in every discipline except super-G, where he was a runner-up three times. Girardelli was the silver medalist in the super-G at the 1987 World Championships and the 1992 Olympics.

On the women's side, Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. leads with 27 World Cup victories in super-G and has won five season titles (20092012, 2015). Katja Seizinger of Germany won five season titles in the 1990s, with 16 World Cup wins in the discipline. While neither won gold in the super-G in the Olympics (both won a bronze), they both won a world title, Vonn in 2009 and Seizinger in 1993. Renate Götschl of Austria won 17 World Cup events in super-G, three season titles (four as runner-up), and two medals (silver and bronze) in the world championships.

Course

The vertical drop for a Super-G course must be between 350–650 m (1,150–2,130 ft) for men, 350–600 m (1,150–1,970 ft) for women, and 250–450 m (820–1,480 ft) for children. In the Olympic Winter Games, FIS World Ski Championships, and FIS World Cups, minimums are raised to 400 m (1,300 ft) for both men and women. Courses are normally at least 30 m (98 ft) in width, but sections with lower widths are permissible if the line and terrain before and after allow it. Higher widths can also be required if deemed necessary. Gates must be between 6 m (20 ft) and 8 m (26 ft) in width for open gates, and between 8 m (26 ft) and 12 m (39 ft) in width for vertical gates. The distance between turning poles of successive gates must be at least 25 m (82 ft). The number of direction changes must be at least 7% of the course drop in meters (6% for Olympic Winter Games, FIS World Ski Championships and FIS World Cups).[6]

Equipment

In an attempt to increase safety, the 2004 season saw the FIS impose minimum ski lengths for the super-G for the first time: to 205 cm (80.7 in) for men, 200 cm (78.7 in) for women. The minimum turning radius was increased to 45 m (148 ft) for the 2014 season.

World Cup podiums

Men

The following table contains the men's Super-G (from 2007 Super combined) World Cup podiums since the first edition in 1986.

Season 1st 2nd 3rd
1986 Markus Wasmeier Pirmin Zurbriggen Marc Girardelli
1987 Pirmin Zurbriggen Marc Girardelli Markus Wasmeier
1988 Pirmin Zurbriggen Markus Wasmeier Franck Piccard
1989 Pirmin Zurbriggen Lars-Börje Eriksson Franck Piccard
1990 Pirmin Zurbriggen Günther Mader Lars-Börje Eriksson
1991 Franz Heinzer Stephan Eberharter Atle Skaardal
1992 Paul Accola Marc Girardelli Günther Mader
1993 Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Günther Mader Franz Heinzer
1994 Jan Einar Thorsen Marc Girardelli Tommy Moe
1995 Peter Runggaldier Günther Mader Werner Perathoner
1996 Atle Skaardal Hans Knauß Lasse Kjus
1997 Luc Alphand Josef Strobl Andreas Schifferer
1998 Hermann Maier Hans Knauß Stephan Eberharter
1999 Hermann Maier Stephan Eberharter Andreas Schifferer
2000 Hermann Maier Werner Franz Fritz Strobl
2001 Hermann Maier Christoph Gruber Josef Strobl
2002 Stephan Eberharter Didier Cuche Fritz Strobl
2003 Stephan Eberharter Marco Büchel Didier Cuche
2004 Hermann Maier Daron Rahlves Stephan Eberharter
2005 Bode Miller Hermann Maier Daron Rahlves
2006 Aksel Lund Svindal Hermann Maier Daron Rahlves
2007 Bode Miller Didier Cuche John Kucera
2008 Hannes Reichelt Didier Cuche Benjamin Raich
2009 Aksel Lund Svindal Werner Heel Didier Defago
2010 Erik Guay Michael Walchhofer Aksel Lund Svindal
2011 Didier Cuche Georg Streitberger Ivica Kostelic
2012 Aksel Lund Svindal Didier Cuche Beat Feuz
2013 Aksel Lund Svindal Matteo Marsaglia Matthias Mayer
2014 Aksel Lund Svindal Kjetil Jansrud Patrick Küng
2015 Kjetil Jansrud Dominik Paris Matthias Mayer
2016 Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Kjetil Jansrud Aksel Lund Svindal
2017 Kjetil Jansrud Hannes Reichelt Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
2018 Kjetil Jansrud Vincent Kriechmayr Aksel Lund Svindal
2019 Dominik Paris Vincent Kriechmayr Mauro Caviezel

Women

Season 1st 2nd 3rd
2017 Tina Weirather Ilka Štuhec Lara Gut
2018 Tina Weirather Lara Gut Anna Veith
2019 Mikaela Shiffrin Nicole Schmidhofer Tina Weirather

Super G at the major competitions

Men

Competition Course setter 1st 2nd 3rd
1987 WCH
1988 WOG Franck Piccard Helmut Mayer Lars-Borje Eriksson
1989 WCH
1991 WCH
1992 WOG Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Marc Girardelli Jan Einar Thorsen
1993 WCH
1994 WOG Markus Wasmeier Tommy Moe Kjetil-Andre Aamodt
1996 WCH
1997 WCH Atle Skårdal Lasse Kjus Günther Mader
1998 WOG Hermann Maier Didier Cuche Hans Knauß
1999 WCH Lasse Kjus
Hermann Maier
None awarded Hans Knauß
2001 WCH Daron Rahlves Stephan Eberharter Hermann Maier
2002 WOG F. Zueger Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Stephan Eberharter Andreas Schifferer
2003 WCH M. Arnesen Stephan Eberharter Bode Miller Hermann Maier
2005 WCH M. Arnesen Bode Miller Michael Walchhofer Benjamin Raich
2006 WOG A. Evers Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Hermann Maier Ambrosi Hoffmann
2007 WCH H. Flatscher Patrick Staudacher Fritz Strobl Bruno Kernen
2009 WCH G. L. Rulfi Didier Cuche Peter Fill Aksel Lund Svindal
2010 WOG G. L. Rulfi Aksel Lund Svindal Bode Miller Andrew Weibrecht
2011 WCH H. Flatscher Christof Innerhofer Hannes Reichelt Ivica Kostelic
2013 WCH T. Moger Ted Ligety Gauthier de Tessières Aksel Lund Svindal
2014 WOG P. Morisod Kjetil Jansrud Andrew Weibrecht Bode Miller
2015 WCH F. Winkler Hannes Reichelt Dustin Cook Adrien Theaux
2017 WCH A. Ghidoni Erik Guay Kjetil Jansrud Manuel Osborne-Paradis
2018 WOG A. Ghidoni Matthias Mayer Beat Feuz Kjetil Jansrud
2019 WCH Dominik Paris Johan Clarey
Vincent Kriechmayr
None awarded

Women

Competition Course setter 1st 2nd 3rd
1987 WCH
1988 WOG Sigrid Wolf Michela Figini Karen Percy
1989 WCH
1991 WCH
1992 WOG Deborah Compagnoni Carole Merle Katja Seizinger
1993 WCH
1994 WOG Diann Roffe Steinrotter Svetlana Gladysheva Isolde Kostner
1996 WCH
1997 WCH Isolde Kostner Katja Seizinger Hilde Gerg
1998 WOG Picabo Street Michaela Dorfmeister Alexandra Meissnitzer
1999 WCH Alexandra Meissnitzer Renate Götschl Michaela Dorfmeister
2001 WCH Regine Cavagnoud Isolde Kostner Hilde Gerg
2002 WOG P. Endrass Daniela Ceccarelli Janica Kostelić Karen Putzer
2003 WCH B. Zobel Michaela Dorfmeister Kristen Clark Jonna Mendes
2005 WCH X. Fournier Anja Pärson Lucia Recchia Julia Mancuso
2006 WOG J. Graller Michaela Dorfmeister Janica Kostelić Alexandra Meissnitzer
2007 WCH J. Graller Anja Pärson Lindsey Vonn Renate Götschl
2009 WCH U. Emilsson Lindsey Vonn Marie Marchand-Arvier Andrea Fischbacher
2010 WOG J. Kriechbaum Andrea Fischbacher Tina Maze Lindsey Vonn
2011 WCH J. Kriechbaum Elisabeth Görgl Julia Mancuso Maria Riesch
2013 WCH D. Petrini Tina Maze    Lara Gut Julia Mancuso
2014 WOG F. Winkler Anna Fenninger Maria Hoefl-Riesch Nicole Hosp
2015 WCH R. Assinger Anna Fenninger Tina Maze Lindsey Vonn
2017 WCH A. Ghezze Nicole Schmidhofer Tina Weirather    Lara Gut
2018 WOG M. Tatschl Ester Ledecká Anna Veith Tina Weirather
2019 WCH Mikaela Shiffrin Sofia Goggia    Corinne Suter

WOG - Winter Olympic Games, WCH - FIS World Ski Championships

See also

References

  1. "Cindy Nelson winner of new super slalom". Ottawa Citizen. Associated Press. March 24, 1982. p. 31.
  2. "Nelson takes super giant ski slalom title". Gettysburg Times. Associated Press. January 11, 1983. p. 8.
  3. Wood, Larry (March 11, 1985). "Super-G inspires a super yawn". Calgary Herald. p. C1.
  4. "Downhill specialist wins World Cup 'super-G'". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. December 23, 1982. p. 26.
  5. Chamberlain, Tony (March 9, 1983). "As season finishes, brothers Mahre find skiing kind of a drag". Spokane Chronicle. (Boston Globe). p. C4.
  6. "The International Ski Competition Rules, Book IV, Joint Regulations for Alpine Skiing" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
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