Andreja Milenkovic: Downhill Skiing
Artist: Andreja Milenkovic
Among the three different alpine skiing events of the Olympics -- slalom, giant slalom and downhill -- the latter is ultimately the most dangerous. Although the slalom and giant slalom are quite thrilling, full of daring speeds that challenge the racer's courage, as well as his skill, when it comes to the alpine event which pushes the skier closest to disaster, the choice is undoubtedly downhill racing. In contrast to the slalom events -- where athletes must ski at more moderate speeds in order to maneuver through obstacles -- there are no obstacles which must be avoided during the downhill race. Thus, except for trees along the side of the course, there is nothing to slow down the skier. As a result, the average racing speed of a downhill skier is usually over fifty miles per hour, with top speeds approaching one hundred miles per hour. Because of the dangers involved in this event, the Federation Internationale de Ski was formed to assure the greatest possible safety for downhill and other ski racers. The dangerous sport of downhill racing joined the Winter Olympics in 1948 when the Olympic Games were held in the Swiss Alps surrounding St. Moritz, Switzerland.
This artwork was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo Yugoslavia issued November 25, 1983.
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