2. Freestyling Ski Sports

Date: 30 August 2022
Skiing Sports part 2

Ski Sports


What are Skiing Sports?


Skiing is a means of transport using skis to glide on snow. Variations of purpose include basic transport, a recreational activity, or a competitive winter sport. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Ski Federation.













Back Country Skiing



Alpine Touring



Ski Mountaineering:



Free Style Skiing





Cross Country Skiing:



Ski Jumping:



Freeriding skiing:



  • Nordic Combined
  • Individual: The ski-jumping is conducted on a normal hill on day 1 followed by a 15km cross-country ski on day 2.
  • Sprint: Ski-jump from a large hill on day1 followed by a 7.5km ski the following day.
  • Team: Four athletes compete, where each makes two jumps on the first day, followed by a 4 X 5km relay race the following day.



Alpine Skiing



Speed Skiing



Freestyle skiing



Aerial skiing



Mogul skiing



Ski ballet (Acroski)



Ski cross



Half-pipe skiing






The Safety and Injuries:


Please visit these sites for Injuries that occurred:

The most dangerous Winter Olympic sports


Basic Ski Safety measures:

Ski Safety: How To Stay Safe on the Slopes


Why are there fewer women in ski competitions than men?

I have taken snippets from various articles and consolidated them.

The rate of participation of women in the Olympic Games has been increasing since their first participation in 1900. Some sports are uniquely for women, others are contested by both sexes, while some older sports remain for men only. Studies of media coverage of the Olympics consistently show differences in the ways in which women and men are described and the ways in which their performances are discussed. The representation of women on the International Olympic Committee has run well behind the rate of female participation, and it continues to miss its target of a 20% minimum presence of women on their committee.


Gender equality

Historically, female athletes have been treated, portrayed and looked upon differently from their male counterparts. In the early days of the Olympic Games, many NOCs sent fewer female competitors because they would incur the cost of a chaperone, which was not necessary for male athletes. While inequality in participation has declined throughout history, women are still sometimes treated differently at the Games themselves. For example, in 2012, the Japan women’s national soccer team travelled to the Games in economy class, while the men’s team travelled in business class. Although women compete in all sports at the summer Olympics, there are still 39 events that are not open to women.


It’s not easy to qualify for the Olympics, but it might not require super-human athletic ability either.

Take the case of Elizabeth Swaney: an American competing on the Hungarian team. Her two qualifying runs in the women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe event on Monday left many viewers wondering how she became an Olympian. While she did one alley-loop, she didn’t pull any spectacular tricks during her routine, barely even getting any air, and finishing in last place more than 40 points behind the 12th-place qualifier for the finals.

To be fair, it’s not that Swaney is a bad skier, but she’s certainly not at Olympic calibre, says CBS Sports reporter Pete Blackburn.

“It was a combination of determination and really gaming the system,” Blackburn tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. The field is not very deep in the women’s halfpipe, so she was she was able to enter events in which there were 30 or fewer competitors, and if you earn a top-30 finish in a World Cup event you score points through the International Ski Federation.”

After raising enough money through online crowdsourcing, Swaney was able to compete for two years and rack up enough points to qualify by performing very simple routines in several World Cup events– without falling. But at No. 34 in the rankings, her chances of reaching the Olympics were slim.

There are 24 spots available in women’s ski halfpipe for the Pyeongchang Olympics, but the maximum number of athletes each country can send to the Olympics for the event is four, according to NBC. Countries that dominate in women’s ski halfpipe, like the U.S., can only send their top four skiers, even though they had six skiers who qualified.

Some countries also didn’t use all of their spots because they didn’t have enough athletes that ranked high enough. Other skiers were forced to forego their spots due to injury. As a result, the list made it all the way down to Swaney.

Even though the 33-year-old from California is an American, Swaney was able to compete for Hungary because her grandparents were born there. Before that, she skied in her mother’s home country of Venezuela.

“That’s not totally unheard of,” Blackburn says. “A lot of athletes do that, where they grew up in one place, but they represent another country because it actually increases their chances of going to the games. But those athletes are usually higher skilled and sort of world-class athletes.”

While some considered Swaney’s appearance to be harmless, critics say she made a mockery of the Olympics and knocked out legitimate athletes. Others argue she manipulated a flawed qualifying system just to say she was an Olympian.

“It’s not some adult Disney world where you go to take selfies,” one commenter wrote on Swaney’s Instagram account. “The Olympics are a showcase of the BEST athletes in the world and Swaney made a mockery of that. She made a mockery of people’s life work. She made a mockery of halfpipe skiing in general. She did this so she could flaunt the title of Olympian. Unbelievable.”

The Hungarian Olympic Committee also told Reuters that the incident has prompted it to reevaluate the selection process.

“We, the Hungarian Olympic Committee, have to learn the lessons from this case, and we must consider rethinking our nomination procedures,” a Hungarian team spokesman told Reuters via email.

While Swaney’s road to the Olympics is unusual, it’s not uncommon for athletes to lack the world-class talent that is expected of most Olympians. Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua – who notably marched through the frigid opening ceremony shirtless – finished 114th in the 15km cross-country skiing event after skiing on snow for just three months.

Others have criticized Swaney’s Olympic dreams as the latest in a slew of unusual, somewhat unrelated pursuits. When Swaney was 19, the Harvard graduate ran an unsuccessful campaign for California governor, losing to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The AP notes she only started skiing eight years ago after she failed to qualify for the Olympics as a skeleton racer.

“I want to show others that freestyle skiing is possible and it is never too late to get into this sport and to help others to dream and to progress the sport in Hungary,” Swaney told Reuters. “I hope this can be a platform to inspire others.”

Since she was a little girl, Ashley Caldwell has been in constant motion: jumping out of her crib, tumbling off the couch, leaping downstairs, flipping on a trampoline.

So it seems fitting that now, at 24, Caldwell is the reigning women’s world champion in aerials skiing — a sport in which she somersaults and spins through the air, some 60 feet off the ground.

Caldwell is about to compete in her third Olympic Games. Along the way, she’s pushed the boundaries for women in her sport. She won gold at last year’s World Championships by doing something no woman had ever accomplished. She made a successful, clean landing in a quadruple-twisting triple flip: a full, double full, full. “They call it the ‘Daddy’ of all tricks,” Caldwell says. “It is a really big trick. Only two girls have ever done it, and I’m the only one who’s ever landed it, so it’s a bold move.”

In fact, just a handful of women aerial skiers around the world attempt triple jumps, even those with a much lower degree of difficulty than the Daddy.

When aerial skiers are flying through the air, the action happens so quickly, that it’s a blur. So here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what Caldwell is doing:

  • First, she launches off a 14-foot jump, arms raised, at speeds approaching 45 miles per hour.
  • She does her first backflip, combined with a 360-degree rotation, or twist.
  • She brings her arms in tight, mummy-style, and does her second backflip — this time with two 360-degree spins.
  • She does her third and final backflip, with another 360-degree spin.
  • She looks at the slope below and preps for landing.
  • If all goes well, she lands clean, hands up.


And all of this happens in about three seconds.


“Pretty wild,” Caldwell says.

Triples are much more dangerous than doubles; the risk of injury much greater.

“It’s so much faster,” Caldwell says, “and the hits are so much harder.”

But soon after she started competing as a young teenager, Caldwell set her sights high. “I wanted to be jumping, doing as big tricks as the boys were,” she says.

Caldwell first saw aerials as a 12-year-old in Virginia, watching the 2006 Turin Olympics on TV.

“Why are these people so crazy?” she remembers thinking.

Her mother Leslie had a different thought.

“‘You’d be good at that,'” Caldwell recalls her mother telling her. “And I looked at her and went, ‘You’re crazy.’ Who tells their 12-year-old daughter they’d be good at doing triple back-flips 60 feet in the air?”

Mom does, and mom was right. Caldwell was already a strong gymnast, and a skier. At 13, she headed up to New Hampshire to spend the summer at a ski academy, found she loved aerials and excelled at it. Straight away, she was recruited to join the Elite Aerial Development Program in Lake Placid, N.Y., and at age 14, she moved from her home in Virginia to train full-time at the Olympic Training Center there.

By 2010, just four years after seeing aerials for the first time, Caldwell was walking into opening ceremonies at the Vancouver Olympics — at 16, the youngest member of Team USA.

But even as she rose through the sport, Caldwell found her coaches were skittish about letting her try triple jumps. They felt it was too risky.

“I’ve definitely gotten pretty upset with my coaches,” she says. “But I had to. I had to push 10 times as hard [as the guys] in order to do triples … I got up on the hill every day and had to beg for it. I don’t have to beg anymore, because I’ve proved myself. But it took a long time.”

Caldwell’s teammate, Mac Bohonnon, says the scoring scale is one-factor dissuading women from doing triples. At the elite level, men have to do triples to be competitive. But, Bohonnon says, triples aren’t scored with a high enough degree of difficulty to make them worth the risk for women.

“It’s a more dangerous jump, it’s a more challenging jump, it’s a scarier jump,” he says, “and I think there’s no reward for women doing triples. In my eyes, they’re almost punished. They’re getting beat by easy doubles.”

The logic goes, if you can reach the podium more securely with a less challenging jump, why not just stick to a double? For Caldwell, that’s not the point.

“I decided I would forgo some of those podiums in exchange for doing my best tricks, and trying to see how good I could be,” she says. And who knows what tricks might still be to come?

“Ashley’s really still at the beginning or middle of her career,” says U.S. head coach Todd Ossian. “She’s got a lot of jumping left in her. She’s certainly taken this sport to another level.”

Caldwell’s success in those big, quadruple-twisting triple jumps has also led to some good-natured ego tweaking among her male teammates.

“Ashley was doing the same tricks as our entire men’s team,” Ossian says. “She really pushed the rest of our guys to start doing five twists in the triples. So they say, ‘Hey, if Ashley’s doing four twists, I better add one so she doesn’t catch up!'”

Caldwell’s approach to gender and sport has shifted over time. As she recently tweeted, “I think every time I said that I wanted to ‘jump like the boys’ I was reaffirming that boys are the standard. I don’t think that helps gender equality.”

So if she has a message to send, Caldwell says, it’s not just aimed at girls.

“I want it to be to boys and girls, men and women everywhere. Quit talking about gender. Be your best. It doesn’t matter what’s between your legs. Go out there and be your best,” she says. “I always wanted to be like the boys for a long time, and now I like it when my coaches treat me like me.”

As for that quadruple-twisting triple flip she landed to win Worlds — the jump known as the Daddy — Ashley Caldwell has a suggestion: Maybe it’s time, she says, to call it the Mama.


Some interesting reading, regarding discrimination against women in the sport:

How Freestyle Skier Ashley Caldwell Fights For Gender Equality In The Olympics — EXCLUSIVE

‘Time’s up’: Women ski jumpers still battle for equality

IOC is leading the way in Gender Equality


Whilst the obvious dangers of the sport for both men and women, discrimination, sexism, and racism are always here to stay.

Also noted is the fact that women, physically, are not as strong or resilient as men.

Women’s skiing events are hardly aired on television and the prize money is way below what the men are earning.

Also when women injure themselves, they will often hear comments of “I told you, women can’t take the pressure or that’s why women shouldn’t ski jump. They are much weaker than men so they can’t do the distance”

Companies are very reluctant to sponsor women in Nordic Combined, with the trepidation that women will badly injure themselves and this will negatively affect the company’s reputations.

There is very little marketing supporting women in Nordic Combined. Women very rarely are found to be marketable, in that, the men get all the credit.

You will very rarely find women in Freestyle skiing, in magazines, on television, on social media, branded clothing and they also have difficulty finding the right fitting equipment. Sports apparel for women in ski jumping is difficult to find, so a lot of women are having to take men’s equipment and size them accordingly to fit themselves.

Sadly, you will find audiences of men and women and competitors, mocking, ridiculing, swearing, shaming, putting women down and even spitting on them.

So all of this makes it very difficult for women to enter this arena.


The Dangers and Safety for Ski Sports in General

Skiing-Related Injuries: Who, What, How, When, And a Bit of Prevention

Visit Physio Works



Suggested manufacturers, accessories and products for Ski Equipment – just to name a few:

Ski Equipment

EVO Ski Gear




South African suppliers:






If you have the itch, go for its exhilarating and the surroundings are spectacular!

When you are ready to take on that slope or just to feel the snow on your face, please take a moment and bow for people that are disabled, that cannot take part in such sports.

To all you avid gamers out there. Here are a few Ski games for you to enjoy!


Ski Jumping VR

Alpine Ski Racing

Alpine Skiing

Winter Sports

Ski Air Mix

Steep road to the Olympics



Please note: I do not take any responsibility for an accident, disability, death, public liability, third party, medical costs, destruction of property, damages to self or others, destruction of all equipment, disability, personal liability, general liability, self-harm, suicide, harm to livestock, harm to animals, harm to children and intentional bodily harm, for using any of the listed products and suppliers. Please consult with the manufacturers and instructors, when buying the equipment that is suitable for you.

If you wish to learn more about this sport and its history, just pop me a mail and I will send the information to you: info@tanyasworldofsports.co.za

When you are ready to take on those mounts, Please take a moment and bow to people that are disabled, that cannot take part in such sports.

My views, comments and content are strictly are of my own opinion and research and are not governed or influenced by any marketing of companies or brands. It is of my own free will to mention companies and brands that supply sporting equipment pertaining to the sport in the discussion.