There has really been disappointingly little snow so far this winter, so most skiing conversations focus on where and when rather than how long and how often, but the
vocabulary is still needed. Skiing is basically divided into two groups of disciplines, the Alpine and the Nordic, sometimes called the downhill and classical disciplines respectively.
That can be confusing, though, because "downhill" is also the name of one of the four regular Alpine skiing events, the others being "slalom", "giant slalom" (GS) and
"super-giant slalom" (Super-G), and "classical" is also the name of the traditional style of cross-country skiing, when racers keep their skis parallel in the tracks all the time (no free-style
"skating" technique), and really look like they are "running". The other Nordic discipline is ski-jumping - and then there is biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing with small-bore rifle
shooting, producing absolutely unbelievable performances.
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