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Alpine skiing involves reaching maximum speeds through a series of turns and jumps to reach the bottom of the snow-covered hills on skis using fixed-heel bindings. There are four different events within the alpine skiing category: slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, and downhill. The slalom ski races feature short tight turns as opposed to the giant slalom races in which the courses are set with widely spaced turns. Super giant slalom and downhill have very few turns that are spaced widely apart, so skiers frequently reach speeds of 100 km/hr.
Keep an eye out for alpine favorites, Ted Ligety, Julia Mancuso, and rookie Mikaela Shiffrin in the events leading up to the 2014 Games as the U.S. Ski Team begins the 2013 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria. 2010 Olympic downhill gold medalist, Lindsey Vonn, suffered a season ending knee injury this past week in the opening race in Austria, but is expected to have a full recovery and be back in action for the 2014 Olympic season.