Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc: 1 Event - 5 Races

For this, the twelfth year, 7500 runners will take the starting line of one of the The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc races. 

On Friday 29 August 2014, at 17:30 hours a new edition of the North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc will start in the Place du Triangle de l’Amitiét in the centre of Chamonix.
The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc is one of the greatest European Mountain Trail Races. The international race takes place in one of the most incredible landscapes on the world. A breathtaking scenery of seven valleys, 71 glaciers and 400 summits like the Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géant and the rock face of the Grandes Jorasses. The athletes cover a distance of 168 km and 9,600 of positive altitude change along the famous GR TMB, within 46 hours, at an altitude ranging between 1012 m and 2537 m., crossing six passes over 2000 metres high. They will pass through 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. The sporting and human achievement is remarkable: 168 km is the distance between Paris and Auxerre by the motorway; it is also the distance of four marathons back to back. The positive height gain is equivalent to twice the ascension of Everest from base camp.

  • 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland
  • 3 alpine regions: The 2 Savoie, The Aosta Valley andValais
  • 19 communes: Chamonix Mont-Blanc (FR), Les Houches (FR), Saint-Gervais (FR), Les Contamines-Montjoie (FR), Servoz (FR), Hauteluce (FR), Beaufort (FR), Bourg-Saint-Maurice (FR), Séez (FR), La Thuile (IT), Pré-Saint-Didier (IT), Morgex (IT), Courmayeur Mont-Blanc (IT), Orsières (CH), La Fouly et Champex-Lac, Trient (CH), Vallorcine (FR), Finhaut (CH), Salvan (CH), Martigny-Combe (CH)
  • 2300 runners (77 countries present)
  • Maximum race time: 46 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is 20 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum of 7 qualification points.

Created in 2006, it has become as popular as its big sister. The CCC is considered by many runners to be "the little one" nevertheless it too, constitutes one of the most difficult challenges in ultra - trail.
A semi-tour of Mont-Blanc, starting from Courmayeur with 101km, 6,100 metres of positive height gain and in semi-autonomy.
Starting in the centre of Courmayeur Friday August 29th 2014 at 9:00.
  • 1900 runners
  • Maximun race time: 26:30 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is12 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum 2 qualification points.
Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS)

Wilder and more technical than the UTMB and the CCC, in the heart of the Aosta valley and the two Savoie, this demanding race offers a new vision of the tour of Mont Blanc and the Beaufortain country. The route will allow the discovery of the col de la Youlaz (2,661m) above Courmayeur, the "passage du Curé" or the sublime view of the massif of Mont Blanc from the col de la Gitte in the heart of Beaufortain.
A semi-tour of Mont-Blanc starting from Courmayeur with 119km, 7,250 metres of positive height gain and in semi-autonomy.
Starting from the centre of Courmayeur on Wednesday August 27th 2014 at 07:00.
  • 1600 runners
  • Maximum race time : 33 hours
  • Estimated time for the first finishers is 14 hours
  • Limited to runners who have a minimum of 2 qualification points
La Petite Trotte à Léon (PTL)

A hallucinatory and non competitive event! A "grand" tour of Mont Blanc adding high passes, often higher than 2,500 metres and with some delicate passages. If you like solitude, solidarity and total adventure, that is the reason for trying it once.
  • An event without final positions and in complete autonomy, to be realised by teams of 3 (or 2) inseparable runners.
  • The route is different each year, not way marked but simply mapped (GPS waypoints are provided).
  • Around 300km and 28,000 metres of positive height gain
  • Maximum authorized time: 141 hours
  • Start from Chamonix Monday August 25th 2014 at 17:30
  • 100 team maximum
  • Limited to teams comprising of at least 1 UTMB® finisher
A New Race: Orsières-Champex-Chamonix (OCC)

The new race launched for 2014 has seen a true success and necessitated a draw as the organisation received 2,443 registration requests for the 1,000 available places.
The race will start from Orsières located southwest of the canton in the Val d’Entremont. This valley offers unique landscapes: ultimate peaks on the eastern flanks of the Mont Blanc drawing the franco-swiss frontier, hanging glaciers on polished rocks, fiery torrents… The layout of the OCC goes through that nature, in a charming atmosphere before reaching Champex and the last part just as magical at the UTMB® or the CCC®.
Starting from Orsières on Thursday August 28th 2014 at 8:00.
  • No qualification points needed
This event is the outcome of a long life dream and a passion for Ultra-Trail®, shared by an increasing number of runners from the whole world. Its realization is possible thanks to the friendship that links the population of the French, Italian and Swiss municipalities of the pays du Mont-Blanc.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2014: Zermatt and Saas-Fee are the Favourite Destinations in Switzerland

In the recent Travellers’ Choice Awards 2014, Zermatt and Saas-Fee came in top among Swiss destinations. In addition, Zermatt is the only Swiss resort that made it into the top 20 among European destinations.
According to the annual ranking by TripAdvisor, the popular travel site, the Zermatt-Matterhorn destination ranks 19th among the European destinations. For the first time this year, TripAdvisor also provided a Swiss ranking with Zermatt and Saas-Fee in first and second place respectively.
For the sixth time, TripAdvisor has been awarding the annual Travellers’ Choice Awards to top destinations all over the world, based on millions of evaluations and opinions of TripAdvisor travellers.
Daniel Luggen, Director of Tourism in Zermatt, is pleased with the ranking: "Taking the feedback of our guests very seriously, we feel all the more honoured to have won several awards. The ranking shows that Zermatt is viewed as an attractive destination".
In 2012 Saas-Fee / Saastal was voted Best Swiss ski Resort. Internationally it was even voted to second rank out of 55 top ski destinations in Austria, Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland. In terms of snow reliability, slope preparation and cosiness, Saas-Fee / Saastal hit top status. Together with Aletsch Arena and Zermatt, 3 of the first 5 ranks are taken by valaisian destinations.
"About 70% of all ski slopes in Saas-Fee are guaranteed for snow", says Rainer Flaig, CEO of the Saas-Fee cableways. The top rank in snow security is due to the unique glacier area and the unmatched height of the area, which is offering fun in the snow up to a height of 3,600 meters altitude. Above this, Saas-Fee cableways invested strongly into the artificial snow production over the last years.
"The Travellers’ Choice Awards inspire our travellers. The award winners are must-visits", says Pia Schratzenstaller, press officer for TripAdvisor Switzerland. Referring to the new Switzerland ranking, she says: "With its idyllic mountain areas and regional cuisine, Switzerland attracts travellers who look for a relaxing holiday. This is reflected in the ranking".

Swiss Top 10

1. Zermatt
2. Saas-Fee
3. Zurich
4. Grindelwald
5. Pontresina
6. Mürren
7. Geneva
8. Arosa
9. Lucerne
10. Verbier

Monday, July 21, 2014

Base Camp Matterhorn Now Open

Zermatt has opened "Base Camp Matterhorn", a temporary campsite that can accommodate up to 50 mountaineers during the 2014 season while the Hörnlihütte hut is closed for renovations.
The Hörnlihütte (3,260 m), which will remain closed for renovation during the 2014 summer season, nestles at the foot of the Matterhorn (4,478 m). "The Base Camp Matterhorn has been set up to replace the cabin throughout the 2014 season and prevent wild camping at the foot of the Matterhorn", said Kurt Lauber, Long-standing warden of the Hörnlihütte. 
The Base Camp Matterhorn in Zermatt opened its doors and has been inaugurated on 19th July. 25 tent-like structures made from aluminium and wood have been erected on Hirli (2,880 m) at the foot of the Matterhorn.
Due to the closure of the Hörnlihütte throughout the 2014 summer season, the first pop-up hotel in the Alps was set up to provide accommodation for Matterhorn climbers close to the king of mountains. With Zermatt making preparations for the 150th anniversary of the Matterhorn’s first ascent in 2015, the Hörnlihütte is currently being renovated and will reopen its doors in July 2015. In terms of comfort and sustainability, the forward-looking conversion of the chalet will satisfy all standards applicable to modern buildings in the Alps – including sustainable energy and water supply.
The pop-up Base Camp Matterhorn was realised thanks to partners Swatch and Mammut and the municipality of Zermatt. "The installation was a great challenge", says Hörnlihütte warden and building supervisor Kurt Lauber. "The spell of winter weather with snow made our schedule tighter and tighter". But all turned out well and the Base Camp Matterhorn will be open until 15 September 2014, making it easier for Alpinists’ to access the Matterhorn. After this date, the camp will be taken down and the shelters will be up for sale.
Erected to prevent wild camping and bivouacking due to the closure of the Hörnlihütte, the Base Camp Matterhorn was conceived to protect nature and implement long-standing laws. In summer 2014, strict controls will be carried out around the Matterhorn and any contraventions of the laws will attract fines of up to CHF 5,000.

Architects: Selina Walder and Georg Nickisch
Access: from Schwarzsee cable car station(2,583 m, 297 m altitude)
Accommodation: 25 shelters
One night with half board: CHF 150 per person
Booking by telephone only: +41 27 967 22 64

14 July 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the first successful ascent of the Matterhorn by Zermatt mountain guides and British mountaineer Edward Whymper. Zermatt will celebrate its famous mountain and honour it with a completely refurbished Hörnlihütte, which will open its doors on the occasion of the 150th anniversary celebrations in July 2015.
Since the first ascent of the Matterhorn by British mountaineers in 1865 laid the foundation for the tourism industry in Zermatt, the Matterhorn village has invited the Queen of England to attend the week-long celebrations in July 2015. Mountain guide Anjan Truffer was personally conveying the Queen’s invitation to Buckingham Palace in London.
Livia Anne Richard gave an overview of "The Matterhorn Story", an open-air theatre play that will be performed on Riffelberg (2,560 m) in front of 700 to 800 spectators in summer 2015

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Club Med’s New Val Thorens Resort

Val Thorens Sensations is located in the heart of the 3 Valleys one of Europe’s most popular and largest ski regions in the world, with 372 miles of pistes for exploring. Ski season will run from November through May at the resort.
In keeping with the youthful and contemporary feel of the ski domain, this Resort will be chic and 
informal. The concept, highlighting sport and energy, will combine intense thrills with an inviting party 
atmosphere. The architecture by Studio Arch, in harmony with the ski domain’s young, modern allure, 
and the interior design by Sophie Jacqmin, seamlessly link the latest trends to the local spirit, for an 
up-to-the-minute spin on Alpine culture.
Club Med Val Thorens will have 384 rooms from 248-square-feet and up, including 12 Deluxe Rooms, five Junior Suites and six Suites. Family rooms will be available, as well as kids clubs for young skiers.

The project amounts to an €80 million investment on the part of Club Méditerranée and 
its partners, Crédit Agricole des Savoie, SETAM (Operating company for Tarentaise Maurienne cable-cars and managing ski-lifts for Val Thorens), CEPRAL (Caisse d'Epargne Rhône Alpes subsidiary), 2 RB-1(A Private investment company) and SSP (Mixed company combining the investments of the "Conseil Générale of the department of Savoie" in the local ski-lift companies; actor of the development of the ski resorts, it is also involved in real estate. Biggest shareholder of SETAM, it is particularly interested in the development of the 3 Valleys ski domain.). One third will be financed by the  simplified stock corporation SAS Val Thorens le Cairn, and two thirds will be financed by a banking  syndicate loan. Crédit Agricole des Savoie, SETAM and Club Méditerranée hold equal shares  amounting to 22.22% of the assets of SAS Val Thorens le Cairn, whilst CEPRAL, 2 RB-I and SSP hold shares amounting to 16.67%, 11.1% and 5.56% of assets, respectively.
Club Méditerranée will operate this Resort under a renewable 12-year leasing contract.

New Paris City Stop for US visitors:
With Club Med’s new City Stop option, guests can add on a stay in Paris when headed to or coming from one of Club Med’s French ski resorts. Flights, premium hotel accommodation and airport transfers will be arranged by Club Med, freeing guests up to explore the city.

Pioneer of the upscale holiday club concept, Club Méditerranée (Club Med) is the only global holiday brand and a leader in its sector: all-inclusive, high-end, friendly and multicultural holidays for families and couples.
With resorts in 26 countries, it boasts 71 Villages on five continents as well as the cruise ship Club Med 2, with 14,000 GOs and GEs representing over 100 different nationalities. Club Med also offers "Circuits Découverte By Club Med" discovery tours and "Club Med Business" incentive programmes and conferences.
Since 2004, Club Méditerranée has been pursuing a strategy of high-end repositioning, to meet the expectations of a clientele in search of an exceptional holiday experience.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Willy Bogner Film: Skiing Hawaii

A Willy Bogner Film

From "Ski Fascination" to "Fire and Ice" to the exciting action scenes in four "James Bond" movies: As of the early 1960th Willy Bogner is a successful cinematographer, director and producer. Bogner was honored with the "Bambi" as well as the "Bavarian Film Award". The Willy Bogner Film archive consists of about 40 movies, produced in more than 50 years.
Bogner teamed up with elite downhill snow skier Chuck Patterson for this amazing video.

Willy Bogner was born in Munich in 1942. Bogner took part in the Winter Olympics in 1960 and in 1964, won several titles at the German Youth Championship at the age of 16 or even earlier, and was the very first German to win the famous "Lauberhorn ski race" at the age of 17.
Willy Bogner entered the family business in 1972 – 40 years after its foundation in 1932. He expanded the company after his father’s death in 1977 continuously to one of the most established lifestyle labels in the world.
As of the late 1960th Willy Bogner devoted himself to another new challenge: He founded the film production "Willy Bogner Film GmbH" in 1968 and is well-reputed as one of the world’s best camera men on skis until today. He worked as cinematographer, director, actor, producer and screenwriter and took part in the production of almost 40 movies. Bogner was responsible for the skiing scenes in four James Bond movies (e.g. “On Her Majesty's Secret Service“ and “The Spy, Who loved Me“) as cinematographer und director. In 1987 he was honored with the Bavarian Film Award for the most successful German sports movie "Fire and Ice".

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

News From Vail-Beaver Creek 2015

FIS Finalizes 2015 World Chamiponships Competition Schedule

The competition schedule for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek is now set as the International Ski Federation (FIS) recently made final changes to the slate of Championships race events during their biennial Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
In addition, the international governing body also finalized start times for the individual races, as well as the Downhill training runs.
"The major change to our schedule was switching the Men’s and Ladies’ Super Combined dates", explained Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation and head of the 2015 World Championships Organizing Committee. "The change was made in order to help ensure that we have the best possible course conditions for both men and women for these events (...) The switch means that the men’s Super Combined will now be run on February 8, while the Ladies will have their event on February 9".
The opening race of the 2015 World Championships will take place on February 3 with Ladies’ Super-G, while the Men’s Slalom will bring down the curtain on the Championships on February 15. All races are free to the public with stadium seating/standing areas filled on a first come, first served basis.
"Ski racing fans can ill afford to miss the 2015 World Championships", Folz added. "The U.S. Ski Team will certainly be in the medal hunt and all the races are free. It doesn’t get much better than that".
The speed events of Downhill, Super-G and Super Combined will take center stage during the first week of competition, while the technical events of Giant Slalom, Slalom and the Nations Team Event, a parallel Giant Slalom format, will occupy the second week.

Construction of New Beaver Creek Combo Lift Well Underway

Out with the old and in with the new. Construction is well underway in Beaver Creek this summer as the resort replaces the Centennial Express Lift with a new high-speed, state-of-the-art combination lift for the 2014-15 ski season and the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
The first ever of its kind and the longest ever installed by Doppelmayr, Beaver Creek’s unique combination lift configuration includes a series of six-passenger chairs alternating with 10-person gondola cabins. Skiers and snowboarders will have the option of riding on the chairlift which will be served by a moving conveyor to load the chair or in a gondola cabin that will load from a separate lift line.
The new uphill carrying capacity will be 3,400 people per hour, an increase of 35 percent. The new lift will debut opening day Nov. 26, 2014.

2015 Organizers Move World Championships Opening Ceremony to Solaris Plaza in Vail Village

With seven months remaining until the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships return to the Vail Valley, event organizers have relocated one of the main components of the Championships with the decision to move the 2015 Opening Ceremony to Solaris Plaza in the heart of Vail Village.
The free ceremony, scheduled for 7 p.m. on February 2, had previously been slated to take place in the Golden Peak Stadium at the base of Vail Mountain, which will play host to the Nations Team Event, along with qualification races for the Men’s Giant Slalom and Slalom during the second week of the Championships.
"Making the move to Solaris allows us to utilize the existing infrastructure such as big screens, a stage and sound system that will be in place for the nightly medal ceremonies", explained Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation and head of the 2015 World Championships Organizing Committee.
Solaris Plaza, renamed Championships Plaza at the One-Year Countdown Celebration this past February, will also play host to the official Medal Ceremonies each evening during the Championships, along with free concerts, spectacular light shows and fireworks.

The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek are scheduled from February 2-15. The event is expected to showcase athletes from over 70 nations, along with an onsite media and broadcast entourage of approximately 1,500 members. An international television audience approaching 750 million people will watch the two weeks of racing and festivities.
Ladies' and Men's Downhill Events will take place on February 6th and 7th, 2015 in Beaver Creek.
Vail Resorts, the leading mountain resort operator in the United States, operate the mountain resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Zermatt: One-year countdown to 150th Anniversary of First Matterhon Ascent

On 14 July 1865, at 1.40 p.m., the first mountaineers reached the peak of the Matterhorn. Today, Zermatt is marking this historic day with the start of a one-year countdown. Seven pyro salutes will honour the seven mountaineers who accomplished this extraordinary feat. On 14 July 2015, the 150th anniversary of the first ascent, a series of events and celebrations will take place in the Matterhorn village in commemoration of this memorable day.
Today, the Swiss clock maker Tissot is unveiling its impressive countdown clock which will show the days, hours and minutes until the celebration of the historic event commences. Integrated into a pyramid, the display will draw attention to Swiss mountaineering sports and commemorate Zermatt‘s courageous mountain guides and the mountaineers who reached the peak of the Matterhorn in 1865.
Tissot’s cooperation with Zermatt underscores the Swiss character of the brand, creates a link with mountaineers and emphasises the company’s endeavour to provide them with top-quality precision instruments.

The Matterhorn (4,478 metres) was long considered too difficult to climb. On 14 July 1865, the British climber Edward Whymper reached the top together with three mountain guides and three English.
Edward Whymper was the first to reach the top. He was followed by the mountain guide Michel Croz (from Chamonix), the Reverend Charles Hudson, Lord Francis Douglas, Douglas Robert Hadow (all from England) as well as the Zermatt mountain guides Peter Taugwalder (father) and Peter Taugwalder (son). During the descent of the first climbers, the front four-member rope team (Croz, Hadow, Hudson and Douglas) fell to their deaths over the north wall while still above the shoulder. Three of the bodies were recovered a few days later on the Matterhorn glacier. The corpse of Lord Francis Douglas has not been found yet.
The tourist development of Zermatt had its beginnings here.
150 years later, the Matterhorn still stamps its imprint on the village at its base. In 2015, Zermatt will celebrate the mountain and the alpine tradition with events, experiences, festivities and special offers. The main player on this stage, besides the Matterhorn, is the Hörnlihütte, which will reopen in july 2015, as well as many other happenings.

Vail Resorts Wins Travel + Leisure SMITTY Award

Vail Resorts was awarded "Best Overall Use of Social Media by an Attraction" in the 2014 Travel + Leisure Social Media in Travel and Tourism (SMITTY) Awards. The award recognizes the Company’s “"Epic Race to Ski the World" and the engagement that the program drove across several of Vail Resorts’ social media channels.
Each year, the Travel + Leisure SMITTY awards recognize companies in the travel and tourism industry showcasing the best and most innovative uses of social media. A jury of digital insiders and travel professionals reviewed hundreds of submissions and named winners and runners-up in 30 categories.
"The SMITTY is an amazing recognition of a truly epic competition", said Vail Resorts vice president of corporate communications, Kelly Ladyga. "One of the best things to come out of the Epic Race is the amazing passion and dedication of the over 200 skiers and riders who participated, the fun they all had and the camaraderie that developed among the group, and the highly entertaining and inspiring content they all shared through social media".
The Epic Race was created to highlight the benefits of Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, primarily the ability to ski or ride 26 mountains in four countries across the world. The first 10 participants to complete the season-long competition would win the industry’s ultimate prize – an Epic Pass for life. Racers logged over 4,300 visits to Epic Pass resorts, uploading nearly 13,000 photos and videos to the official site, as well as through their own social media channels.
In 2013-14, Epic Pass resorts were Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps, Minnesota; Mt. Brighton, Michigan; Verbier, Switzerland; Arlberg, Austria – St. Anton, Lech, Zürs, St. Christoph and Stuben; and Les 3 Vallées, France – Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle.
The Epic Pass is the world’s most popular pass, sold in all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries around the globe. It features unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. In 2014-15, Epic Pass holders will have the opportunity to extend their skiing and riding adventures from the U.S. to Europe with five free consecutive days at the renowned mountain resorts of Verbier, Switzerland and and five free consecutive days at Les 3 Vallées, France. And new this season, they will be able to enjoy five free consecutive days at powder haven Niseko United in Japan.

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Dimitris Theodorakakos and Nuria Picas are the overall winners of the Salomon 4 Trails 2014

The 4th edition of the SALOMON 4 TRAILS ended on Saturday with a spectacular stage from Landeck to Samnaun.

Dimitris Theodorakakos(GRE) claimed the overall victory after four stages with a total of 152.1 kilometers and a total vertical gain of 9376 meters. Second in the Men's overall ranking was Iker Karrera (SPA), followed by Mirco Berner (GER) in third place.

Nuria Picas (SPA) was the Women's overall winer followed by Tina Fischl (GER) and Zhanna Vokueva (RUS).

The route: 5 places - 4 stages – 3 countries

Participants enjoyed four unforgettable days (July 9th -12th) in breathtaking settings in the SALOMON 4 TRAILS. The route took them from Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) over Ehrwald (AUT), Imst (AUT) and Landeck (AUT) to Samnaun (CH). Every day about thirty to forty kilometers and over 2000 altitude difference was covered.

Partenkirchen via Ehrwald, Imst and Landeck to Samnaun, the challenge is to overcome a total of 152.1 km of distance and about 9376 meters of elevation - a challenging undertaking, because even the shortest stage from Imst to Landeck features a distance of more than 31 km and 1,800 meters of difference in elevation. At that point participants will already have the starting stage from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Ehrwald in their legs and also the high-alpine stage 2 featuring Grünsteinscharte and Tschirgant. The king's stage follows on the last day of the event: More than 44 km and close to 2,900 meters of elevation gain will then take the trail runners to an unforgettable finisher in Samnaun.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Post-Sochi Research Demonstrates Appeal of Olympic Winter Games

Last Tuesday the IOC Executive Board received a presentation on research (Click here for information on the research) conducted on the IOC, the Olympic Games and the Olympic brand that demonstrated the awareness and appeal of the Olympic Games and the Olympic brand.
The research survey was conducted by KantarSport (a division of Kantar Media), commissioned by the IOC, after the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games earlier this year, with a total of 36,000 people surveyed in 16 countries.
Both the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games had the highest awareness and appeal of any sports or entertainment event surveyed.
There continues to be considerable growth in the interest of the Winter Games globally – with a broadcast audience of 2.1 billion people, an increase of 13 per cent from Vancouver 2010 to Sochi 2014. There was also more broadcast coverage available, with 114,000 hours broadcast across all media platforms, an increase of 101 per cent on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. There were 250 individual broadcasters covering the Games, compared to 114 for Vancouver 2010, an increase of 119 per cent. There were 1.4 billion digital video views globally, a significant increase of 334 per cent over Vancouver 2010.
Athletes and spectators surveyed at the Games in Sochi rated their enjoyment of the Games very highly, primarily due to the standard of the sports competition, the quality of the venues and the atmosphere at the event.
In terms of brand recognition, 93 per cent of respondents were aware of the Olympic rings – making it the most widely recognised of all the brand symbols surveyed. There was almost equal recognition not only across geographies, but also amongst men and women, as well as age ranges. Respondents strongly associated the Olympic symbol with values like global, inspirational, friendship, diversity, peace and excellence.
The IOC was seen as showing leadership and being strict on doping, and there was widespread recognition that hosting an Olympic Games brings benefits to the host country.

During the Olympic Games in Sochi in February, millions lived, and contributed to, the passion of the Games via the social media platforms.
Olympic athletes and fans took social media engagement to new heights during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, accounting for some 2 billion impressions across all Olympic platforms.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) tracked social media activity on the Olympic Athletes’ Hub, the IOC’s social media platform that combines feeds from more than 6,000 Olympians across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The metrics included mentions, likes, shares, photos and interactions across these platforms and VKontakte (VK), the most popular social network in the world for Russian speakers.
More than 2 million new fans joined the Olympic Facebook page during the Olympic Games, the Olympic Twitter account amassed 168,101 new followers, the Olympic Instagram account gained more than 150,000 new followers, and VK saw over 650,000 new fans join the Olympic page, with a total of 3 million visitors in total during February 2014.