Wonder Boi Writes

Olympic Countdown Alpine Skiing

First thing’s first, let’s give away the FREE BOOKS for this week.  Everyone who commented on my last blog about boardercross got their names thrown into the virtual hat and the winner is solargrrl.  Just email me at Rachel_Spangler@yahoo.com and let me know if you’d rather have the ebook of Edge of Glory or the audio book of Trails Merge.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s move on to this week’s blog and another chance to win more books.

I have to admit, I went back and forth on this week’s topic but ultimately settled on Apline skiing because I gave Corey, one of my characters from Edge of Glory, a lot of love last week and I didn’t want to leave Elise out.


She might get mad or her feelings hurt, and yeah, I can hear you saying “Rach, those are fictional characters,” and to that I say, “Fictional people are people too, especially the ones that fill my waking hours for weeks on end,” so now it’s time to talk Alpine skiing!

Skiing is one of the quintessential Winter Olympics sports. Skiing has been part of every Winter Olympics since their inception in 1924. It’s one many people have tried at least at a recreational level, myself included.

And while most people get the concept of skiing, boards on each foot, poles in each hand, and a big mountain to slide down, the Winter Olympics showcase a few specific types of races you might not be familiar with.

First up is the Alpine Downhill race.  This race is probably what most of us think of when we thinking of a ski race.  It is the longest race as well as the fastest.  Skiers fly down the course around sweeping turns at speeds surpassing 70 miles an hour. The course is marked by polycarbonate gates or flags, but within them skiers can chose their own lines, and they do their best to find the fastest one, because the fastest person across the line wins.

Next is the Super G, which is very similar to the downhill in that it’s a speed event, where skiers pass through wide-set gates that mark the course.  In fact, Super G races are often set on the same slope as downhill races, but the starting point is lower, and there are more turns.  This makes the course a little slower and a little more technical to run. You’re more likely to see people go out of bounds in Super G than downhill because of this.

The next two races move more fully into the technical area. They are called slaloms.

The Slalom has the shortest course in all of skiing and the quickest turns. Skiers have to weave around color-coded gates, which are more like flexible poles placed very close together, and skiers have to turn incredibly quickly in very little space. While they actually cover a lot less ground and don’t reach nearly the speeds of Downhill, their skis switch direction with vision-blurring transitions. Even after watching this sport quite a bit, I occasionally need to see the slow-mo replay to tell if a skier has actually cleared all the gates.

The Giant Slalom follows the same basic principles but has fewer turns and wider, smoother turns. I find this one to be one of the prettiest events to watch because it combines a lot of the elements of the other races.  In both the Slalom races, each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. The times are added, and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Lastly is an event called the Super Combined. That’s what it sort of implies, in that it combines the times from one shortened downhill run and a one-run slalom. The fastest total time determines the winner.

So there you have it, the 5 events that both the men and women race in order to make up  Alpine Skiing at the Winter Olympics.

But because I spent so much time researching skiing for Edge of Glory, I don’t want to leave you with just the basics.  I wanted to share with you just a couple things I found fun or impressive along the way.

The first is this article about how Julia Mancuso prepared physically for the winter games.  There are pictures like this.


You’re welcome.

And lastly I want to leave you with this incredibly fun video from the Canadian ski team, which introduced me to the concept of “skin to win.”  This video right here was the inspiration for one of my favorite scenes in Edge of Glory.  🙂


And now it’s your turn. Because skiing is something I actually do for fun, comment below and tell me what you’ve done that is either an Olympic event, or something you think SHOULD be an Olympic event.  I’ll do a drawing for FREE BOOKS and announce the winner with next week’s blog.


January 31, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. That was actually great information to know about skiing and the winter games. I like to play basketball and go cycling. I wish I knew how to ski or snowboard its on my bucket list.

    Comment by Tsha | February 1, 2018 | Reply

  2. Summer Olympics, not Winter, but I think rock climbing is great fun and I’m excited that it’s been approved for Tokyo 2020!

    Comment by Olivia L | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  3. It’s a little hard to find snow over here in Australia, though the winter Olympics is one of my favourite things to watch on TV! I’d love to try skiing – have only ever walked in snow a couple of times!

    Comment by Bonnie | February 4, 2018 | Reply

  4. I’ve always wanted to try bobsledding. Both because it looks fun and mildly scary… 😀

    Comment by shannon | February 5, 2018 | Reply

  5. I use to downhill ski when I was younger and my knees were strong. I might have tried a wrong hill a time or two and moved far too fast for my skill level. I have such respect and awe for the athletes who can ski downhill those speeds.

    Comment by Cheryl H | February 7, 2018 | Reply

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