Next February, four sports will feature events that will be brand new to the Olympic Winter Games. In a series of installments, Olympic.ca will give you the low down on these new events and what they might mean for Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018.
After looking at mass start, big air and mixed curling, today we present the last of the new events… Alpine skiing team.
This will be the first non-individual alpine skiing event at the Olympic Winter Games. Each country’s team consists of two women and two men who race through giant slalom gates.
Instead of racing against the clock, countries race head-to-head in a bracket-style tournament.
Each individual skier from one country faces another skier of the same gender from an opposing country. The winner receives one point for their team.
So what if it’s tied 2-2? Then the nation with the lowest combined time of their best man and best woman will win the heat.
The event begins with 16 teams and continues through the bracket until only two remain to race for gold while the semifinal losers race for bronze.
History of alpine skiing team event
The alpine skiing team event debuted at the biennial FIS World Championships in 2005. Since then, Austria has captured a medal at each world championship. In 2015, the Canadian quartet of Erin Mielzynski, Phil Brown, Candace Crawford and Trevor Philp (along with teammates Marie-Pier Préfontaine and Erik Read) won silver, losing to Austria in the final, who won their second straight gold medal. Also of note, Sweden has captured four medals since 2005.
Canada at PyeongChang 2018
Any alpine skier who qualifies for the Games is eligible to participate in the team event, but the focus will be on athletes who excel in the technical events.