Vancouver 2010 Men’s Super Combined Podium
It has been confirmed by the International Ski Federation (FIS) on Monday, that during their latest meeting they discussed a draft schedule for the 2020-21 World Cup season containing ZERO Super Combined races.
The replacement for these super combined would be more ever popular parallel races. FIS are clearly looking at races that appeal to a wider audience, the excitement and unpredictability leading ultimately to higher viewing figures, and potentially further growth to the sport.
The combined is made up of one downhill or super-G run and one slalom run to determine the skiers who best balance technical ability and speed.
Head to head racing, in the team format at least, was initially seen at the 2013 Ski World Championships, and has since been added to the Olympic schedule for 2018.
The final decision has not been made on the 2020-21 World Cup schedule but with FIS due to continue their discussions when they reconvene in October, this may be the beginning of the end for the Super Combined.
FIS didn’t say if removing it from the World Cup could lead to its removal from the Olympics or world championships, though Austrian media reported it would be taken off the worlds schedule after 2019.
A little known fact by many, the combined was actually the first & only Olympic Alpine skiing event, at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games. It was taken off the Olympic program after two editions, however, and didn’t return until Calgary 1988.
In 2010 the Combined underwent a revamp to create a more exciting spectator experience. The Super Combined was born, comprising of one downhill and one slalom run. The idea was a more even test of skills whilst allowing a more ‘all-or-nothing’ approach to the slalom leg for those most speed proficient.
As the sport continues to evolve to engage a larger audience we will all wait excitedly for whatever changes FIS will provide.