As streaming live sports has become more popular over the last decade or so, many sports have gained added media coverage as a result. Sports that before were perhaps less likely to be broadcast on TV now have the opportunity to draw attention elsewhere and as a result have become more popular. This has even led to many becoming available to mainstream audiences on TV. Skiing is one sport that has picked up steam in recent years with skiiers such as Lindsay Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin becoming stars of the sport. As a result, a sportsbook now offers the chance to bet on Skiing championships.
As a competitive sport, skiing is one of the marquee events of the winter Olympics and you can now watch live on NBC. Though maybe considered niche too in previous years, its tag of an ‘extreme sport’ is no longer a stigma and it the skill it takes to become a professional is clear for all to see. It is one of the most high-octane, exciting sports to watch in the world with many competitions and races running throughout the year. Most of these races are on the circuit for the World Cup, making a win all the more valuable to the contenders. Let’s take a look at the biggest championships in the world.
Starting with maybe the most prestigious event, Alpine Skiing is one of the most popular events at the Winter Olympic games. First held in the 1936 Olympics, there are now 11 alpine skiing events in the games. These include downhill, slalom, Super-G, giant slalom and a team event. The main events all have two iterations, one on an ice river course and another on a rock course. This is where we see some of the best in the world performing on the biggest stage with Team US member Ryan Cochran-Seigle currently holding the gold medal for the men’s Super-G. Held in various host countries, the most recent games took place in Beijing, China and there is a good split with former host countries between Europe, Asia and North America. The event is unsurprisingly dominated by Alpine countries with Austria holding the most gold medals by some way with 40, though the US have performed well winning 17 in 3rd place.
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
The Ski World Championships were first held in 1931 and are held biennially. First established in 1931 in Switzerland, it has grown from four events to 13 in 2023. It has been hosted by 12 different countries, mostly in Europe aside from the US who hosted in 1950 and 2015, Japan who hosted in 1972 and 1993 and Chile in 1966. They are held in odd-numbered years to remain independent of the Olympics. It is the biggest competition in the Ski World Cup circuit and has welcomed stars such as Marcel Hirscher and Mikaela Shiffrin. Shiffrin is has performed incredibly in recent times and has won more medals than any other woman in the modern era with 15 between 2013-2023.
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
The FIS Alpine World Cup is the biggest and most popular skiing championship in the world. Running for around five months, the tournament typically starts in October and finishes in March. It is a circuit competition, holding numerous events where skiiers accrue points based on their finishes ine ach individual event. As mentioned previously, on years where the world championships are held the competition is included in the circuit. There are many host nations for the competition with most in Europe and North America. It was inaugurated in 1967 by a group of ski racing friends and experts which included French journalist Serge Lang and the alpine ski team directors from France and the USA. The Ski World Cup is the most exciting skiing competition to follow every year and 2023 was no different following its exciting climax.
Hahnenkamm Streif Downhill
Another event featured on the World Cup circuit, this is likely the best single race in the world. It is perhaps most famous for its enormous Zielschuss jumps at the foot of the course and is known for its difficulty. In fact, many skiiers have said that it’s not a course for pretty skiing and their main aim is to hold on and hope they can maintain a good line. This is why it seems to so often favor the more experienced skiiers. Held in Kitzbuhel, Austria, it is the most visited event every year with some 50,000 spectators including many notable celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger who has been seen enjoying the action. The Streif is not for the feint of heart and goes a long way in showing just how exciting skiing truly is.