The common feeling is that men professional alpine skiers are faster than women professional skiers. Though, it is not easy to prove it. Usually, even the competitions at the same places have different course lengths and poles set for ladies and men’s races. And then there is a weather factor, so there are just a few occasions when we can compare the speed of both genders at the track. Thankfully, we found one and compared the times.
For those who do not like to read many words, here is the answer:
Question: Are Men Alpine Skiers faster than Ladies?
Answer: Men Alpine Skiers are faster on average approximately by a second at 200 meters.
The explanation and reasoning can be found below.
Team Event Parallel – the same conditions for ladies and men.
A team event parallel is a mixed team competition when teams of two ladies and two men are racing on the same track at the same time.
Therefore, it is the right place to compare the speed.
The parallel giant slalom is the shortest alpine skiing discipline with a vertical drop minimum of 50 meters and a length of 160 meters (compared to a vertical drop of 300 – 400 meters of normal Giant Slalom).
The track is the same for all competitors. They are going one after one, so weather conditions are also the same for everyone. That is an ideal situation to put numbers on the table and see what the reality is.
We looked at the team event that took place at FIS Alpine World Championships 2023. Here are all times racers reached in semifinals, small and big finals.
|Big Final||Steen Olsen Alexander [Norway]||Men||21.95|
|Big Final||Radamus River [USA]||Men||21.99|
|Semi Final||Radamus River [USA]||Men||22.01|
|Semi Final||Read Erik [Canada]||Men||22.03|
|Semi Final||Steen Olsen Alexander [Norway]||Men||22.03|
|Semi Final||Haugan Timon [Norway]||Men||22.10|
|Semi Final||Raschner Dominik [Austria]||Men||22.14|
|Small Final||Read Erik [Canada]||Men||22.39|
|Semi Final||Brennsteiner Stefan [Austria]||Men||22.44|
|Small Final||Raschner Dominik [Austria]||Men||22.50|
|Small Final||Brennsteiner Stefan [Austria]||Men||22.54|
|Semi Final||Ford Tommy [USA]||Men||22.59|
|Semi Final||Read Jeffrey [Canada]||Men||22.60|
|Big Final||Ford Tommy [USA]||Men||22.67|
|Big Final||Moltzan Paula [USA]||Ladies||22.74|
|Big Final||Stjernsud Thea Louise [Norway]||Ladies||22.74|
|Semi Final||Stjernsud Thea Louise [Norway]||Ladies||22.74|
|Semi Final||Moltzan Paula [USA]||Ladies||22.78|
|Semi Final||Grenier Valerie [Canada]||Ladies||22.83|
|Small Final||Grenier Valerie [Canada]||Ladies||22.91|
|Semi Final||Scheib Julia [Austria]||Ladies||23.09|
|Big Final||OBrien Nina [USA]||Ladies||23.14|
|Big Final||Lysdahl Kristin [Norway]||Ladies||23.27|
|Semi Final||OBrien Nina [USA]||Ladies||23.40|
|Small Final||Scheib Julia [Austria]||Ladies||23.47|
|Small Final||Gritsch Franziska [Austria]||Ladies||23.47|
|Small Final||Richardson Britt [Canada]||Ladies||23.56|
|Big Final||Haugan Timon [Norway]||Men||24.17|
|Semi Final||Richardson Britt [Canada]||Ladies||24.40|
|Small Final||Read Jeffrey [Canada]||Men||25.26|
|Semi Final||Gritsch Franziska [Austria]||Ladies||27.30||impacted by fall of competitor|
|Semi Final||Tviberg Maria Therese [Norway]||Ladies||DNF|
The result is absolutely clear.
Nevertheless, if we make a simple average, then the men’s average time (for the 14 fastest racers*) for this race was 22.28. The ladies’ average time (for the 14 fastest racers*) was 23.18.
*There were 32 racers altogether. However, one of them Tviberg did not finish her semifinal race and Franziska Gritsch’s time was impacted by the Tviberg fall and subsequent crossing of her track. Also, two men: Haugan Timon in the big final and Jeffrey Read in the small final had big technical problems during the race that impacted their time. We skipped the two above-mentioned ladies and men from the average calculation.
The difference is almost one second (0.90) and even the fastest lady was slower than the last men who finished the race without falling.
Of course, this is just a numbers game. It does not mean that ladies’ races are boring and slow. No way, they are just as fun as the men races.
Enjoy the skiing.