The alpine skiing events on display at the Youth Olympic Games

Five Alpine Skiing disciplines will feature at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in January: Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, Alpine Combined and Parallel Mixed Team.

Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Alpine Skiing: the popular pastime that is so difficult to master. That is why spectators attend Alpine events in their droves every winter, as pro skiers slalom down slopes at near unfathomable speeds.

It's for this reason Alpine Skiing makes for incredible viewing, and you will be able to watch the thrill-a-minute action at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in January.

But do you know your Slalom from your Giant Slalom? And what makes up the Alpine Combined event?

Slalom vs Giant Slalom vs Super G

The Slalom sees skiers race down two different courses, with their times combined for an overall score. This discipline requires quick turns through gates – alternating between pairs of red and blue poles – which are placed closely together.

In the Giant Slalom, skiers race between sets of poles, with the gates further apart than Slalom. It follows a similar format with the times combined from two runs.

The Super G increases the distance between the gates, making it the fastest of the three events as there are fewer sharp turns. Unlike the other two disciplines, however, Super G consists of one single run.

The Alpine Combined tests both technique and speed as it consists of two runs – Super G and Slalom. The times are combined for an overall total, with Super G traditionally the first race.The Parallel Mixed Team Event is all about head-to-head racing between nations (one male and one female per team), as skiers slalom around gates with the aim of crossing the finish line before their opponent.

Alpine skiing
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Petra Vlhova: The shining light

If YOG skiers are looking for inspiration, they need look further than Slovakia’s first ever skiing world champion, Petra Vlhova. The step-up from youth to senior competition is never easy, but Vlhova has certainly made her mark after impressive results at junior level. The 24-year-old won Slalom gold at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, and was crowned the junior world champion two years later.

After picking up four World Cup wins between 2016 and 2018, 2019 proved to be a year to remember for Vlhova. She ranked second behind Mikaela Shiffrin in the overall World Cup standings, placing second in the Slalom and Giant Slalom too. But it was at the World Championships in Are where Vlhova made history, taking home Slovakia’s first gold in the Giant Slalom, beating Viktoria Rebensburg and Shiffrin to top the podium.

Vlhova also won silver in the Combined and bronze in the Slalom, proving she is a force to be reckoned with, and set to challenge Shiffrin for further glory in the years to come.

Petra Vlhova
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Alpine Skiing schedule in Lausanne

Friday, January 10

10:15 - 11:30 - Women's Super G

13:30 - 15:00 - Men's Super G

Saturday, January 11

10:30 - 11:30 - Men's Alpine Combined

12:30 - 13:30 - Women's Alpine Combined

Sunday, January 12

10:00 - 11:30 - Run 1 Women's Giant Slalom

12:45 - 14:15 - Run 2 Women's Giant Slalom

Monday, January 13

10:00 - 11:30 - Run 1 Men's Giant Slalom

12:45 - 14:15 - Run 2 Men's Giant Slalom

Tuesday, January 14

09:30 - 11:00 - Run 1 Women's Slalom

11:00 - 12:30 - Run 1 Men's Slalom

13:45 - 15:00 - Run 2 Women's Slalom

15:00 - 16:15 - Run 2 Men's Slalom

Wednesday, January 15

11:00 - 12:30 - Parallel Mixed Team Event