The Super G Ski Race is a competition that tests a skier’s speed, agility, and stamina as they ski down a terrifying face-paced course. With just one hit of a button, the skier is launched down the mountain under the watchful eye of a race official. It’s one of the most exhilarating things you can do with a ski jacket and a pair of ski pants on.
The concept for the Super G Ski Race comes from the legendary Gunnar Hjörth of Iceland, who first organized the race in 1975. It was originally called the Super Xtreme Winter Sports Race, which was shortened to the Super G Ski Race in 1988. Today, it is held annually in the Alps and attracts more than 500,000 spectators annually. It is one of the biggest events on the international ski calendar.
The course for the Super G Ski Race is just as terrifying as the name would suggest. It is a lengthy, challenging circuit that begins behind the starting gate and heads up the famous Schilthorn ski run. This is the first major climb of the course and kicks off the race at a frenetic pace. As the name suggests, this is where most of the action takes place. The entire course, which travels through some of the most stunning mountain scenery you can imagine, consists of nine ski trails. There are two loops, with a total of 15 individual trails. The trails are mostly snow-covered and feature breathtaking panoramic views. The elevation gain over the two-day race is around 7,500 feet, with the final climb totaling 1,450 feet. The top of the Schilthorn run is at 10,460 feet, and from there, it’s all downhill (well, sort of) to the finishing line.
Even if you’re an experienced skier, this is one race you don’t want to miss. The entire course is lit up by the ski resort‘s iconic yellow lighting towers, which provide an eerie glow in the dark. As if that weren’t enough, the snow sculptures along the trails celebrate the winter sport that is taking place. They are amazing works of art that depict real people in unreal situations. For example, there’s a life-size statue of David Freiburger, a famous German skier, surrounded by a group of snow animals, including a goat, a wolf, and a sheep. They’re looking at him as if to say, “Hey, Davey, don’t talk to me like that! I’m a lamb.”
When the course is over, the last thing a Super G Ski Racer wants to do is sit on the starting block for long. Once the race is finished, the competitors immediately begin the long, cold return journey to the top of the starting gate. From there, it’s a mad dash to the finish line to collect your medal and drink carton upon drink carton of Gatorade. The winning skier is the first to reach the top of the podium and pick up their lovely trophy, which is shaped like a beer mug. The mug is a testament to the thirsty nature of the competitors here, because nothing says “I won” like a frosty cold mug of lager in your hands!
Before the Super G Ski Race, there was the Xtreme Winter Sports Race. This was an unofficial race that was held between 1974 and 1978 and was named after the original supercomputer, which was aptly enough called the Xtreme. The computers used in the early years of the race were so powerful that they required regular maintenance by highly specialized technicians. One of the biggest changes the Super G Ski Race made was the way it handled the results of the races. The Xtreme Winter Sports Race used a paper tape to keep track of each finisher’s position. After each run, the tape would be manually corrected and updated for the next race. This was a cumbersome process that inevitably led to errors. The Super G Ski Race solved this problem by using microchips to store the results of each run. This is how we ended up with the current system of electronic scoring. The results of the Xtreme Winter Sports Race were also printed on a central list, which gave the illusion of a world championship even though there were only eight competitors back then.
Who Can Participate?
Anyone can participate in the Super G Ski Race, which is one of the most open and inclusive competitions in the world of winter sports. The qualifying criteria are very basic: you need to have at least one ski trail permit at the beginning of the season and be able to commit to two weekends of skiing. If you don’t live in an area that is serviced by the ski resort, you can always buy a lift ticket to get to the top of the mountain and take part in the action. Of course, being a part of the action is the main attraction!
When Is The Race?
The Super G Ski Race takes place twice a year: in the spring and in the autumn. The first weekend of the spring race is always the 17th of March, and the first weekend of the autumn race is always the 24th of September. The race director has the discretion to change the dates if necessary.
How Can I Follow The Race Live?
If you’re really interested in following the race and want to see all the action as it happens, there are a couple of options. First, you can join a winter sports club and get access to their live stream. Alternatively, you can buy one of the many digital TV packages that offer live coverage of the race. The best one, in my opinion, is called the “Race pass” and allows you to follow every bit of the action from the top of the Schilthorn run all the way down. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see international competition at work and at play.