Do Skiers Have to Hit the Flags

Unlike other Winter Olympic sports like curling, alpine skiing has a more familiar appearance. A lot of people ski in the United States, and I’ve never heard of somebody sweeping the ice in front of a stone and shouting at it.

The skiers start crashing into the flags, and suddenly you have no idea what’s going on. Must they be so rude? Who is forcing them to do this? Can we expect them to cease?

The quick replies are, “No,” “Themselves,” and “No,” in that order. The longer response is that the focus should be on speed and winning the gold medal. Keep reading to find out the details:

Do Skiers Have to Hit the Flags

Why do Slalom Skiers Hit the Gates?

In slalom and giant slalom, it is not a requirement that you strike the gates; rather, you must pass between them on alternate sides, with the tips of both skis touching the poles. You’ll have a shorter run time if you start your descent closer to the gate.

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You can knock down the gate by striking it with your arm or shin if you are getting your skis close to it. It’s for this reason that skiers also protect their heads and bodies with visored helmets and knee and elbow pads.

The combined time of each skier’s two runs is used to determine their overall score. Getting out of the gate quickly enough might mean the difference between coming in first and last in a race and taking home a bronze, silver, or gold medal.

How Long is a Slalom Course?

The PyeongChang slalom course for men is 575 meters, while the course for women is 556 meters. In the men’s giant slalom, the course is 1,326 meters long, while the women’s is 1,250 meters. V

ery steep slopes (often 591 to 722 feet) provide skiers with a thrilling downhill racing course. It looks like a snake as skiers make their way through the course since the gates are spaced far apart.

How Fast Do Slalom Skiers Go?

The typical speed for a giant slalom skier is 25 miles per hour. Standard slalom allows skiers to push their limits by placing the gates closer together and requiring a more direct approach across the course.

High speeds increase the risk of injury, especially for the knees, in the event of a fall, especially when combined with the high winds seen at these Olympics.

The Need For Speed

All downhill skiers share a same goal: to reach the bottom of the slope as quickly as possible. In this conception, there is a single, unbroken path from the outset to the conclusion.

On their runs, skiers aim to keep in as straight a line as possible in their minds. They achieve a meditative condition of unfettered flow in which the flags are merely an annoyance.

Only by colliding with each pole as you descend can you ensure that your line remains as taut as possible. It’s practically conclusive evidence to the motorcyclists that they’re keeping a perfectly straight course.

Injuries Are Possible

Poles rarely cause injuries, but we’ll get into that more later. The issue arises when riders, who are moving at incredible speeds, are thrown off-kilter by a gate contact. Their momentum carries them down the hill into a smash.

Injuries including broken wrists, ribs, shoulders, and much worse are common among speed skiers. As such, the poles are only partially to blame for the injuries. Injuries sustained while skiing, especially at high speeds, can be rather serious.

Some of the worst speed skiing incidents will involve mishaps and smashes from pole impacts; as a result, hitting the gates is risky business. Padding and protection are essential for skiers, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Pain Levels

The earliest gates were made of wood, and they have undergone many changes since then. To allow for some “give” when a skier connects them, modern ones are constructed of durable plastic and fold at the bottom.

Any slalom skier will tell you that the poles get tired after a while. Adrenaline and the fact that motion dulls pain both play a role in reducing how uncomfortable something can be. There are skiers traveling so fast that they don’t feel any pain until they slow down.

Suddenly, when the welts and bruises appear all over their arms and hands, they are overcome by a world of pain. No matter how fast or how well a skier descends, hitting the gates is always a terrible experience, and it can leave them in a variety of discomforts afterward.

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Conclusion

It’s quite amusing to see skilled skiers often slamming into the gates on their descent. They appear to be failing, suggesting that they may be doing something incorrectly. Yet in reality, that’s not what’s taking place. Slalom skiers race down the mountain to the finish line.

Skiers need to locate the narrowest lines possible to do this. A direct line between two locations will get you there the quickest. Under this interpretation, a successful attempt to cross that boundary will necessitate touching many flags. So, it is typical for slalom skiers to hit all of the flags.