Super-G

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Austrian alpine skier competing in 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, the other of the two "speed" events in alpine skiing, 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[edit]

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[edit]

Hermann Maier of Austria (nicknamed 'The Hermannator') 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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Men's World Cup podiums[edit]

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

Super G at the major competitions[edit]

Men

Competition Course setter 1st 2nd 3rd
1987 WCH
1988 WOG France Franck Piccard Austria Helmut Mayer Sweden Lars-Borje Eriksson
1989 WCH
1991 WCH
1992 WOG Norway Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Luxembourg Marc Girardelli Norway Jan Einar Thorsen
1993 WCH
1994 WOG Germany Markus Wasmeier United States Tommy Moe Norway Kjetil-Andre Aamodt
1996 WCH
1997 WCH
1998 WOG Austria Hermann Maier Switzerland Didier Cuche Austria Hans Knauß
1999 WCH
2001 WCH United States Daron Rahlves Austria Stephan Eberharter Austria Hermann Maier
2002 WOG Switzerland F. Zueger Norway Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Austria Stephan Eberharter Austria Andreas Schifferer
2003 WCH Norway M. Arnesen Austria Stephan Eberharter United States Bode Miller Austria Hermann Maier
2005 WCH Norway M. Arnesen United States Bode Miller Austria Michael Walchhofer Austria Benjamin Raich
2006 WOG Austria A. Evers Norway Kjetil-Andre Aamodt Austria Hermann Maier Switzerland Ambrosi Hoffmann
2007 WCH Switzerland H. Flatscher Italy Patrick Staudacher Austria Fritz Strobl Switzerland Bruno Kernen
2009 WCH Italy G. L. Rulfi Switzerland Didier Cuche Italy Peter Fill Norway Aksel Lund Svindal
2010 WOG Italy G. L. Rulfi Norway Aksel Lund Svindal United States Bode Miller United States Andrew Weibrecht
2011 WCH Switzerland H. Flatscher Italy Christof Innerhofer Austria Hannes Reichelt Croatia Ivica Kostelic
2013 WCH Norway T. Moger United States Ted Ligety France Gauthier de Tessières Norway Aksel Lund Svindal
2014 WOG France P. Morisod Norway Kjetil Jansrud United States Andrew Weibrecht United States Bode Miller
2015 WCH Austria F. Winkler Austria Hannes Reichelt Canada Dustin Cook France Adrien Theaux
2017 WCH Italy A. Ghidoni Canada Erik Guay Norway Kjetil Jansrud Canada Manuel Osborne-Paradis
2018 WOG Italy A. Ghidoni Austria Matthias Mayer Switzerland Beat Feuz Norway Kjetil Jansrud

Women

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

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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). Retrieved 2017-11-26.

External links[edit]