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.