Para Alpine skiing at the Winter Paralympics: Rules, U.S. athletes to watch

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Para Alpine skiing has been a part of the Winter Paralympics since the very first edition of the Games in 1976. It comprises five disciplines: downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super-G and super combined.

The disciplines are split between men’s and women’s events, and athletes are divided into three categories based on their functional abilities or impairments. In total, 30 medal events are scheduled to be held at the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center spread across nine days of competition.

The three Para Alpine skiing event categories cover more than a dozen classifications of impairments. The first category is standing skiers. It includes athletes with leg and/or arm impairments who ski upright. The second category comprises athletes who, for various reasons, compete as sit-skiers. The third category is for skiers with visual impairments. Athletes in this category ski with a guide who gives verbal instructions.

In order to allow multiple classifications of athletes to compete against each other fairly, calculations are applied to each skier’s results based on their classification to determine ranking.

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