American skiing superstars Bode Miller and Ted Ligety are among the first to sign up for the first "World Alpine Rockfest" which is being staged on December 22nd by the Paganella ski pass region in the Italian Dolomites with a prize purse of 100,000 Euros ($150,000 US) for the winner.
"I’ve been saying we need something new in the world of skiing, and this is just the kind of event I was looking for, so I signed up right away", said Miller.
The event will see 16 world-class skiers battling it out to win the Paganella Ski World Alpine Rockfest. Twelve ski stars will automatically take part, alongside four other athletes who will be selected before the competition.
Each of the stars has the chance to choose two friends-colleagues from their national team who will race against each other in a sort of afternoon pre-qualifier.
The real race will be held at night under the floodlights – and the finest four will make it to the final and rather than the head-to-head format that has been popular in recent years, each participant will race against the clock with the slowest four eliminated after each of the four runs,
The four finalists will be left to battle it out for the final victory and the 100.000 euro prize.
The twelve ski stars will be selected on the basis of their popularity, their success in sports events, their style, their fame, and their nationality. Each of them will have the chance to "invite" two other athletes. Davide Simoncelli - the local champ – will be able to choose four.
The 26 "selected" athletes will compete in one run, and the first four will make it to the select group of 16 finalists. The athletes who have already confirmed their participation include Bode Miller and Ted Ligety, USA, Felix Neureuther, Germany, Julian Lizeroux, France, John Kucera, Canada, Marco Buechel, Liechtenstein and Mattias Hargin, Sweden.
"The second big thing at the Paganella Ski World Alpine Rockfest is the combination of Great Music and Ski Champions. In fact, there will be a concert with an internationally renowned rock band at the end of the competition, a great chance for fans to dance with their favourite World Champion Skiers", said Sabina Fedrizzi of the organisers Consorzio Skipass Paganella Dolomiti.