"Imagine racing down a snowy mountain at speeds of around 80mph..."
Imagine racing down a snowy mountain at speeds of around 80mph – that is what Alpine Skiing is all about.
Alpine Skiing is a rapidly growing sport, currently practiced in around 40 countries of the world. Included in the Paralympic programme since the first Winter Games at Örnsköldsvik 1976, Sweden, Alpine Skiing is open to male and female athletes with physical or visual impairments at an elite level.
Athletes with a learning disability can play the sport at a grassroots level.
Alpine Skiing events include:
- Downhill: a race down a long, steep hill with various gates as checkpoints
- Slalom: two runs on separate days and a high number of gates
- Giant Slalom like Slalom but a longer course with fewer gates
Additional information and useful links
History of Alpine Skiing
History of Alpine Skiing
Skiing evolved from the use of show shoes and was a simple way to travel across snow. The earliest forms of Skiing resemble today’s Nordic or Cross Country style.
True downhill Skiing began when bindings were invented by Sondre Norheim in the 19th century, the so called "father of modern Skiing". The bindings enabled skiers to turn (cross country skis only bind the toes making turning at speed troublesome). His bindings gave rise to Slalom Skiing (a Norwegian word for ‘difficult track’).
The full binding of a skier’s feet to a ski gave rise to Alpine Skiing so by the early 20th century Skiing became a popular activity around the world.
Downhill Skiing for disabled people is both a recreational pastime and a competitive sport open to those with any manner of cognitive and/or physical impairments.
Currently the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Ski Federation (FIS) sanction a number of regional, national, and international disabled Skiing events, most notably a World Cup circuit, a Disabled Alpine Skiing World Championships and the Paralympic Winter Games.
National Governing Body
Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK)
Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) is a people-centred organisation with a unique sense of purpose: that anyone regardless of their impairment can take part in and enjoy the thrill of snowsport. For nearly 30 years we have applied exceptional know-how and adaptability to enable those with an impairment to experience the joy of Skiing alongside non-disabled people. DSUK provides exciting and life enhancing activities for individuals or groups who require adaptive equipment and/or special instruction and support.