The FIS (International Ski Federation) is responsible for the highest international ski competitions around the world. Their top competition is the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup which combines results from slalom, giant slalom, Super G, downhill and combined to decide who is the best skier on the planet, for both men and women.
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2016
The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2016 begins in Soelden, Austria on the 24th of October. Three weeks later it is in Levi, Finland, then the men’s and women’s circuits divide heading off to the North American resorts of Aspen, Lake Louise and Beaver Creek, before returning to famous resorts in Europe.
To win the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup the competitors amass points at slalom, giant slalom, Super G, downhill and combined events. According to Wikipedia – the fountain of all knowledge – the top 30 skiers in each event score points. With 100 points for first place, 80 for second, 60 third down to one point for 30th. At the end of the season whoever has the most points wins, and is the best skier on the planet.
Who is the best skier?
Well last year the Austrian skiers Marcel Hirscher and Anna Fenninger won the men’s and women’s respectively. Looking at Marcel Hirscher’s results, it is interesting to see that apart from a couple of races he predominantly competed in the Giant Slalom and Slalom, and raced in around ten less events than Kjetil Jansrud (Norway) who came second.
So who is the best skier? The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup results say Marcel Hirscher, but if he only really races in the Slalom disciplines can he be considered the best? Well the bookies certainly think so, with Betway listing him as the 7/4 favourite to retain his title in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2016.
Should you care who is the best skier?
Being a snowboarder, at this point I feel I need to take a sideways look at competition. Many of the world’s ‘best’ snowboarders have shunned the competition circuit. Instead concentrating on enjoying their snowboarding and making sick videos of showing how awesome they are. However instead of amassing FIS points they amass youtube views – so they are still competing.
Clearly the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is very important to those competing in it. The skiers are amazing and the best in the world at what they do. However I suspect they could not ski the way youtube sensation Candide Thovex attacks the slopes. Likewise I am sure if you put him on a slalom course – in Lycra of course – he would not get close to Marcel Hirscher’s times.
Perhaps the question should not be ‘who is the best skier?’ but who is having the most fun doing something they love? I am sure day to day Candide and Marcel don’t wish they had a desk job to sit at, while most of us sit at our desks looking forward to the next time we can head skiing or snowboarding.
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