The winning team of Charlotte Chable, Michelle Gisin, Wendy Holdener, Gino Caviezel, Justin Mursier and Reto Schmidiger topped Germany, Italy and Sweden en route to the first-place finish.
The action-packed parallel event was filled with tight head to head battles among the seven competing nations. As the top-ranked team, Austria had a bye in the first round, but was ousted by the Swedes in the semi-finals. With the Austrians out of the picture, and World Championship runner-up Canada not entering a team, the field was wide open for the rce to the top step of the podium.
Germany, France and Slovenia all made first-round exits, leaving the semi-final match-ups of Austria against Sweden and Switzerland vs. Italy. The Swiss and Swedes earned victories and a berth into the finals, which the Swiss won on the last run in a closely contested race. Austria took third place in the small final against the Italians, keeping their podium streak alive.
A favourite of the athletes who have the rare opportunity to treat skiing as a team sport, the Nation’s Team Event also impressed the spectators with its ‘March Madness’ knock-out format. Austria has won a medal at every edition of the Team event since the event entered the World Championship program in 2005.
The race is a dual paralel slalom with pro jumps—pitting a racer from one country against another. With times coming in between 22 and 24 seconds, athletes squeaked out wins by hundredths of a second. The discipline may even become an Olympic event, with the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach hinting that he had been discussing the team event with FIS.