Para-alpine skiing is a Paralympic sport which is an adaptation of alpine skiing for athletes with disabilities like cerebral palsy, spinal injuries, amputations and visual impairments. The sport consists of five main disciplines and team events: slalom, giant slalom, downhill, super-G and super combined. Athletes combine speed and agility while skiing down slopes and can reach speeds around 100km/h. Skiers with visual impairments are guided by sighted guides through the course.
The sport has its root at the end of Second World War which produced a large no. of injured soldiers who showed interest in skiing despite their disabilities. The first recorded championships of the sport took place in Austria in 1948 and since 1950, competitions have been held around the world. The sport was included at the first Paralympics in 1976 with its two disciplines- slalom and giant slalom. The world championships of the sport were first held in 1974 in France.
The boots for para-skiers are designed to give support to foot and ankle with the use of materials like hard plastics in boot construction.
Skiers belonging to standing classes use the normal skis. The minimum length of the skis used by men must be at least 165 cm and those for women must be at least 155 cm. Bindings used for skis can be maximum 55 mm high.
These are similar to ski poles but have a larger base of support at the bottom. It assist skiers with speed control, balance and turns. Outriggers are mainly used by sit-skiers or single leg skiers.
Sit-Ski / Mono-Ski
Para-alpine skiing is one of the most courageous sports performed by disabled athletes. It requires unique boards such as sit-ski or mono-ski to perform the events.