Compared to Winter Olympics events like curling, alpine skiing looks comfortingly familiar. People ski in America all the time, and no one is brushing the ice in front of a stone while yelling. But then skiers start slamming their bodies into flags and any sense that you know what’s going on rapidly disappears. Do they have to do that? Who is making them do that? Will they stop?
Well, the short answers are no, themselves, and no — in that order. The slightly longer answer is that it’s all about speed and taking home that sweet gold medal, baby. Read on to get the full answer: