On February 7th at 6.45 p.m. FIS president Gian Franco Kasper declared the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships open. The "Festival in the snow" started with an impressive Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Ski Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. German chancellor Angela Merkel attended the opening ceremony as well as the Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière, the Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer and the mayor of Munich Christian Ude. The complete opening ceremony was produced on the basis of a one-of-a-kind projection-technology with the largest available video projectors using the landing area of the ski-jump as a gigantic snow-screen.
Today Ladies Super-G kicks off the Championships. The race will start at 11 a.m. The Kandahar course is in perfect shape for the Race: icy, challenging and worthy for World Championships. Previous World Cup races proved that the Kandahar with its sections "Tröglhang", "Himmelreich", "Eishang", "Hölle" and "FIS-Schneise" belongs to the most spectacular and most technical demanding slopes of the World Cup Circus.
Title holder Lindsey Vonn is one of the big favorites. This season Vonn dominated the Super-G discipline winning three of four events. But after her training crash her start is uncertain: "I have some problems with my concentration because of my concussion". She decides if she starts after skiing on the practice course. "To defend my title is the main aim, the worst-case scenario is if I don't start".
Her biggest competitor is local hero Maria Riesch. "I'm under a lot of pressure, but I have to focus fully on myself. It is a fantastic feeling to compete in front of my home crowd", said Riesch.
Although they haven't got best results in this season, never forget the Austrians. Vancouver Olympic Champion Andrea Fischbacher thinks that every athlete who starts has the ability and the chance to win. "I'm in a perfect mentally and physically condition, but tomorrow luck is a major parameter".
Other favorites are Sweden's Anja Pärson, Slovenian Tina Maze and US Julia Mancuso. "Kandahar really is a tough hill, extremely challenging and for sure the toughest race of the season. I'm looking forward to have a good race, than we see what happens" said Julia Mancuso.
From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.