Courchevel-Méribel 2023. Alpine Combined Races Preview
Updated: Feb 7
The 47th Alpine World Ski Championships in Méribel and Courchevel kicks off on Monday with the Women's Alpine Combined Event followed by the Men's event on Tuesday. The inaugural race of the Alpine World Ski Championships will take place in Méribel with the first of the only two races in this discipline this season.
The Alpine Combined is composed of 2 runs of 2 contrasting disciplines, a speed run followed by a slalom run. The fastest competitor in the speed event will set out first in the slalom. The 2 times are added together and the fastest at the end of both runs is the winner.
Monday, February 6. 11:00 Super-G /14:30 Slalom CET Roc de Fer Alpine Combined Women
Tuesday, February 7. 11:00 Super-G /14:30 Slalom CET L’Eclipse Alpine Combined Men
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships is an Alpine Skiing competition organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS). The inaugural world championships in Alpine Skiing were held in Mürren (Switzerland) in 1931 and consisted of Downhill and Slalom events for Men and Women.
The Combined event was added to the program of the Alpine World Ski Championships 1932 held in Cortina d'Ampezzo.
After the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the Giant Slalom was added and the Combined event was dropped. The Giant slalom made its debut at the 11th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, held February 13–18 in the United States at Aspen, Colorado.
The Combined event returned to the program in 1954 in Åre as a "paper race," using the results of the three races (Downhill, Giant Slalom, and Slalom).
In 1982, in Schladming, Austria, the Combined event returned as a separate event, with its own Downhill and two Slalom runs.
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1987 held in Crans-Montana included a Super-G race for the first time.
In 2007 the Alpine World Ski Championships held in Åre, Sweden, were the first ones to use the "Super-Combined" format (one run each of Downhill and Slalom) for the Combined event.
Mikaela Shiffrin won the Gold medal in the Alpine Combined in Cortina 2021 after crushing in the slalom run.
With her victory in the Alpine Combined in the last Championships, Shiffrin has already won world championships medals in the Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, and the Combined.
With eleven medals, Mikaela Shiffrin is the most-decorated American skier in World Championships history (six golds, two silver, and three bronzes).
Only Christel Cranz (12), Marielle Goitschel (7), and Anja Pärson (7) have claimed more gold medals among women at the world championships than Shiffrin, now tied with Erika Hess with 6.
The 27-year-old US skier is currently joint-third in total medals at the World Championships among women, alongside Goitschel (11). Only Cranz (15) and Pärson (13) collected more.
Until Cortina 2021 the only US winner of the Women's Combination was Tamara McKinney in 1989.
Shiffrin can become the first non-European skier (male or female) to win a combination event more than once at the world championships.
Wendy Holdener won two of the last three titles in the Alpine Combined at the World Championships, in St. Moritz in 2017 and in Åre in 2019. Only Christel Cranz (5), Marielle Goitschel (3) and Erika Hess (3) won the world title in a women's Combination event more than twice.
Holdener can become the second Swiss alpine skier after Hess, to win a specific event three times at the world championships.
Michelle Gisin won the Alpine Combined at the 2018 and 2022 Olympic Games. At the world championships, she finished second in 2017 and third in 2021 in this event. Gisin can join Lisa Resch, Nicole Hosp and Käthe Grasegger on a record
three medals without clinching gold in women's combination events at the World Championships.
The last reigning Olympic champion in the Alpine Combined to win the world title in this discipline was Maria Höfl-Riesch in 2013.
Gisin can become the eighth Swiss woman to win a world title in a combination event. No other country has more than six different winners in this discipline (6 by Austria).
Switzerland has won a record 10 world titles in women's combination events. Germany follows on with nine wins.
Federica Brignone can become the third Italian woman to claim a world championship medal in the combination, after Giuliana Chenal-Minuzzo (bronze) in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1956 and Karen Putzer (bronze) in St. Anton am Arlberg in 2001.
The Alpine Combined is the only event Italy has yet to win on the women's side. Italy already claimed the world title in the Women's Slalom (1), Giant Slalom (2), Downhill (1), Super-G (2) and the Parallel (1).
Brignone, 32 years old, could become the oldest winner of a women's Alpine Combined gold medal at the World Championships. The only women that won a combination world title while being older than 30 are Rösli Streiff (31 in 1932) and Tina Maze (31 in 2015).
Marco Schwarz won the Alpine Combined gold medal at the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. He was bronze in this discipline in Åre in 2019. Austria has won 31 World Championship medals in the Men's combination events.
Austria has won 10 world titles in Men's combination events, two more than France. Until Cortina Austria had won this world title only twice in the last 14 editions of the world championships: Benjamin Raich in 2005 and Marcel Hirscher in 2015.
Schwarz impressed with his fifth-place finish in the Super-G putting him in a prime position to challenge for the gold.
The last man to win back-to-back world titles in the Alpine Combined was Aksel Lund Svindal in Val d'Isère in 2009, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2011.
Schwarz finished fourth (PyeongChang 2018) and fifth (Beijing 2022) in the Men's Alpine Combined at the Olympic Winter Games.
Johannes Strolz won the Olympic gold medal in the Alpine Combined at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Strolz's father Hubert Strolz also won Olympic gold in the Alpine Combined at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games.
Courchevel-Méribel 2023 will be their first World Championships.
Alexis Pinturault won the Alpine Combined at the World Championships in Åre in 2019. At the world championships in 2021, he won a silver medal in this event.
Pinturault can become the third man on a complete medal set in combination events at the world championships, after Kjetil André Aamodt (G3-S1-B1) and Rudolf Rominger (G1-S1-B1).
Since the start of the 2020-2021 season, Alpine combined is no longer part of the World Cup calendar. Pinturault topped six of the last eight Alpine Combined World Cup classifications.
He can become the third man representing France to win the world title in the Alpine Combined on home snow, after Émile Allais in Chamonix in1937 and Jean-Claude Killy in Grenoble in 1968.
Loic Meillard is one of the last all-round skiers. This season he achieved five podiums, the last one after winning the Giant Slalom in Schladming, his 14th World Cup podium.
In 2022 he had previously achieved a second place in the Slalom in Wengen, a third place in the Giant Slalom in Adelboden, and two third places in the Slalom in Val d'Isère and in the Super-G in Bormio. This makes Meillard the first skier since Marcel Hirscher in the 2015-2016 season to have made it onto the podium in Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super-G podiums in the same winter.
At the world championships in 2021, he won a bronze medal in the Alpine Combined event.