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Alpine Skiing

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 13:16 -- admin

Alpine (downhill) skiing is a rare opportunity for blind people to move freely at speed through time and space.

IBSA is the International body responsible for the rules which govern Alpine Skiing competition for blind and visually impaired persons. These competitions include: IPC Paralympics, IPC World Championships, IBSA European Championships and FIS World and Europa Cup Races. Also National and Regional qualifying events.

Alpine skiing is practiced by all B categories (B1, B2, B3). Blind skiing has been a part of disabled skiing from the beginning. The earliest disabled competitions (in the 1970s) included blind people. Since then blind people have competed in every Paralympics and World Championships.

Alpine skiing for blind and visually impaired persons is a team sport, as the use of a sighted guide is employed to efficiently guide the skier through a race course.


Following the end of the Second World War, there was a systematic development of ski sport for persons with a disability as injured ex-servicemen returned to the sport they loved. In 1948, the first courses for skiers with a disability were offered. From then on, the development of skiing was rapid. Up until the 1970s, amputees and visually impaired athletes were the only athletes who skied. With the introduction of the mono-ski, people in wheelchairs (paraplegics and double above-the-knee amputees) were also able to begin to ski and race.

In 1910, the International Ski Commission was founded. The International Ski Association (FIS) was the follow-up organization founded during the 1924 Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France.

The first documented championships for skiers with a disability were held in Badgastein, Austria, in 1948 with seventeen athletes taking part. Since 1950, ski races for athletes with a disability have been carried out around the world.

The first Paralympic Winter Games took place in Örnsköldsvik in Sweden in 1976, with the official events of Slalom and Giant Slalom and three distances in Nordic Skiing, plus relays for both visually impaired athletes and athletes with a severe disability.

Downhill was added to the Paralympic programme in 1984 in Innsbruck, Austria, and Super-G was added in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway. Sit-skiing or mono-skiing, was introduced as a demonstration sport at the Innsbruck 1984 Paralympics and became a medal event at the Nagano 1998 Paralympic Games.

Click here to download the rules for Alpine Skiing can be download as a PDF file

Calendar of main competitive events

For an updated calendar of events in alpine Skiing click here

Records / landmarks

Download the the results from the Alpine Skiing European Cup 2004, Italy as a Microsoft Word file

View results from past events in Alpine Skiing

Contact Information: 

IBSA Alpine Skiing Sub-Committee
39551 HWY 82 / 311
Aspen Co 81611

Phone: 1 970 544 51 25 (home)
Phone: 1 970 923 05 78 (work)
Fax: 1 970 923 73 38

Sport Type: 
Outdoor Sports

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