Lake Placid, N.Y.
Four-time national champion
Jumping. Time is the only thing that matters in the other events, whereas in jumping, you are judged by style and distance. Style is just as important as distance, and a skier can have the longest jumps and still lose.
MRS. SALLY PABST
Wife of Bromley area owner
The slalom, the giant slalom and the jumping event, of course, all require skill but the slalom is the most exacting. It's practically precision all the way. The giant slalom is more of a controlled downhill with the gates farther apart.
ALTON C. MELVILLE
Salt Lake City, Utah
President, National Ski Assn.
Although the downhill is the most daring, the slalom is the most exacting because it requires more rhythm, timing, technical skill and strength. Jumping is second from the viewpoint of skill, and the cross-country the most exacting for endurance.
The downhill. You have to make judgments during the race. In the other events you have a better idea of the conditions you're faced with. You travel faster in the downhill and you don't see the course the day of the race.
My parents and I used to ski in Canada every winter. I found the cross-country more exacting, although I have never tried jumping. To win in the cross-country, you must be very expert, and you also have to be in excellent condition.
President, Pacific Northwestern Ski Assn.
The slalom. It requires a greater degree of sustained precision as opposed to a high degree of precision at certain parts of jumping competition, where your timing must be exact at the takeoff and the coordination must be perfect in landing.
Director, Sky Tavern Ski School
I jumped in the Olympics, but I think the slalom is more exacting. It takes sharper training and more conditioning. The top athletes come out stronger in the slalom. I've seen some skiers "luck out" against better men in jumping.
Coach, U.S. Olympic jumping team
The takeoff for the jump. You're going 50-60 miles an hour and you must hit your spring on a few inches to get maximum distance. Next, though the slalom is precise, the cross-country is more exacting because of the physical strain.