At the Winter Olympics, winning the Downhill Alpine skiing title is the equivalent of gold in the 100m at the Summer Games. It's the blue riband event and the ultimate speed test, with skiers reaching 150km/h.
While winning Olympic gold in the Downhill at the Beijing Winter Olympics might be a stretch, with the Games little more than a year away, Kiwi Alice Robinson has started the process to become a champion in the famed discipline.
The Queenstown 18-year-old has put on a pair of downhill skis for the first time at her training camp in Switzerland as she looks to add the ultimate test to a repertoire which already includes Giant Slalom and Super G.
Robinson has achieved star status in the Giant Slalom, having won
two of the six World Cup races last season after claiming gold at the world junior championships in Italy last year. She contested just one World Cup Super G last season but is anticipating racing them all this season, and will potentially line up in a World Cup Downhill race.
Robinson has goals of one day winning the overall World Cup title, and to do that, she needs to excel in multiple disciplines.
"It's very different but I had such a good time," Robinson says of trying Downhill skis for the first time.
"It's obviously a big can of worms that you've got to open and there is so much fine tuning that needs to happen in Downhill, so there is a lot of work to do. But I felt comfortable getting on the skis."
For now, it is just small steps and Robinson is tempering expectations as she builds to the busiest season of her career. She's already had one World Cup Giant Slalom race in Solden in Austria last month, when she finished a "disappointing" 12th as defending champion, but there are eight more, plus a full Super G season and the world championships in February.
"With Downhill, everything is just lengthened out significantly, so it's a bit more like you've got to go for it and [unlike Giant Slalom] not turn as much. There's more emphasis about being as smooth as possible and that's something I've got to change because I'm quite aggressive when I ski GS.
"Some people grow up on gliding, flat hills, whereas I grew up on Coronet Peak where it's steep and icy and you do a lot of turning, so that's kind of like a new thing for me.
"The good thing is most of the World Cup slopes are quite difficult and technical, so that suits me quite well, but learning how to be really smooth and glide is a big change."
Robinson is targeting the Olympic test event in China in late February for potentially her first World Cup race but is not putting pressure on herself.
"It's all about experience with Downhill and these girls have done these tracks more than a dozen times and I will be going into these courses blind, so the only way to get better is practise."
While the Olympic downhill is a target for the young Kiwi, Robinson insists she won't do it if she was just going to make up the numbers.
"It would be really awesome to get in there for Beijing but I would have to see a justification to why I would do it. If I was going to get 20th, I couldn't see as much justification, as it would impact my performance in Giant Slalom if I had to take time out of my training for that to do Downhill when I don't see myself as a medal contender."
Robinson will be among the favourites for gold in GS and that will remain her priority, with Super G her second event. For now, the World Cup season resumes next week with a Parallel Giant Slalom in Lech in Austria, where two races run side by side. It's the only one on the circuit and something the Kiwi is looking forward to.
"I haven't done much of it. The only big difference is that you have someone else there at the start gate, so it's a big thing for me. I need to focus because I like looking at the person next to me, wanting to beat them, but all I need to do is focus on me, and if I'm skiing well, I can win."
Her Super G campaign will kick off early next month in St Moritz, and unlike her bolt from nowhere to the top of the Giant Slalom standings, Robinson expects to make steady progress this season.
"Some of the girls have been doing this for 15 years and I haven't done much, so it's a big change, and I have got to be a bit lenient on myself and concentrate on just getting some really solid results."
Robinson has been in Europe since the middle of August and won't return to New Zealand until the end of the season in late March.
"It's been really tricky this year not being able to see anyone. It's not like the Europeans, who train and then go home for a few days — I've pretty much been on the road for more than three months without really having a base, and especially with Covid, it's made everything 10 times harder."