Alpine ski racing
Once you've enjoyed the sport of skiing for such a long time, you're bound eventually to encounter a racecourse.
You may be a trainee ski instructor who needs to pass a "time test" through gates.
You may be a ski bum who enters the weekly bar race; or you may simply be a holidaymaker who has an occasional run in one of the "pay to race" schemes.
What you'll immediately notice is that there is a world of difference between free skiing, where you can choose when to turn,
and ski-racing, where the location of your turns is dictated to you.
Ski-racing (sometimes called alpine skiing to distinguish it from the nordic events of cross-country and ski-jumping) is divided into four distinct disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, and downhill. All four consist of making turns of differing sizes through a series of gates, against the clock. Parallel slalom requires two skiers to race head-to-head down two identical courses, alongside each other. There is also a separate discipline called speed skiing, which consists of a totally straight course without turns. This requires much less skill than the four other disciplines, because turning is the hardest part of racing, but plenty of courage!