Winter Olympics 2014: Your guide to Alpine skiing

9-22 Feb at Rhosa Khutor Alpine Centre

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The Independent Online

What is it? Ten events including the Olympics' blue riband, the men's downhill, which starts the Games with a bang on Sunday at 7am UK time. Men and women race in the downhill, Super-G, slalom, giant slalom and combined (one slalom, one downhill).

What do I need to know? Pretty straightforward: downhillers have one run, the quickest wins. There are two runs in slalom, with the lowest time winning. Super-G is a halfway house between downhill and slalom.

Tell me something I don't know These are a tough breed. In 1998 Hermann Maier, a former bricklayer, crashed in the downhill at 130kph, landed on his head, burst through safety nets and fell down a cliff. Two days later he won Super-G gold.

GB chances No chance, although Chemmy Alcott is in her fourth Games.

One to watch Ted Ligety (US). Three golds at last year's World Championship.