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Skicross : the basics

Also called X skiing or skier cross, the discipline was born in the United States in the late 1990s.

The history

Created for the Winter X Games in the United States in 1997, today ski cross has become the leader competition in extreme sports.
In 2003, ski cross was recognized by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and integrated in the freestyle category (acrobatic skiing).
In winter 2010, ski cross became an Olympic Discipline at the Vancouver games.

The principle

Inspired by motocross, ski cross involves a 1200m course with an approximate gradient of 15%,
composed of various elements such as natural or artificial bumps, jumps, banks and flat areas.
These obstacles test the skill of each skier. Stamina and strength play a key role as the competitor makes 4 to 5 runs of at least 60 seconds each.
The start and the first part of the course towards the first corner are fundamental to the outcome of the run as well as shocks and falls during the rest of the descent.
Once the heats completed, the 16 female skiers and 32 male skiers who set the fastest times in the individual events can take part in the final competition, a knockout table.

The race

Four by four, skiers race each other down the course as fast as possible.
Only the first two racers of each run qualify for the next round. This continues until only four skiers remain on track.