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What is World Cup Ski Racing?


What is World Cup Ski Racing?

World Cup Ski Racing

Doug Haney/U.S. Ski Team
Question: What is World Cup Ski Racing?
World Cup ski racing is designed to recognize the skiers who, based on a sliding point scale, to have skied the best, or fastest overall in a series of ski races.
Answer: Serge Lang, a French sportswriter, Bob Beattie, a television sports commentator and a former head of the United States ski team, and a French skier, Honore Bonnet are the three principals responsible for putting together the concept of a circuit of specific ski races to be called the World Cup. With the backing of the International Ski Federation (FIS) the first season was the winter of 1966-67.

World Cup Ski Racing

The reasoning behind the formation of the annual World Cup ski racing series was to honor the skiers who, over a number of races held at different ski resorts had proven, based on a sliding point scale, to have skied the best, or fastest overall. This actually crowned a true season champion as opposed to heaping glory on the winner of only a single event - such as the Olympics. This does not belittle the prestige of winning the Olympics, but rather gives serious ski race fans a true measure of the racers in season long head-to-head competition.

World Cup Ski Racing Disciplines

When the World cup was instituted there were only three disciplines - slalom, giant slalom, and downhill. Then, the combined was introduced until the 1974-75 season and the Super G in 1982-83. As you can imagine very few racers have won gold medals in all five different competitions especially as more racers choose to become specialists, concentrating in either speed (downhill and Super G) or technical (Slalom and GS) disciplines. Bode Miller is an example of a well rounded racer who has won in each division.

World Cup Ski Racing Scoring

The scoring of such different events to determine an overall champion has evolved through the years. The scoring today allows racers to skip certain events or do poorly in one disciple but make it up in another. Basically, the top 30 finishers in each race earn points, with 100 for the winner, 80 for second, 60 for third, and then decreasing by smaller increments for each lower place down to 1 point for placing 30th. At the end of the designated World Cup races the highest score in each discipline determine that discipline champion and the highest total points accumulated in all disciplines determines the overall champion.

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