Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lara Gut Wins (also) First SG in Beaver Creek

Switzerland's Lara Gut was unstoppable on the Raptor Super G course today. Despite two mistakes in the top section, she didn't give anyone a chance to be faster than her. With a winning time of 1:18.42, she defeated three Austrians with Elisabeth Goergl in second (+0.90), Anna Fenninger in third (+0.92) and Nicole Hosp in fourth position (+1.11). However, the top 3 changed at the end the race after Elisabeth Goergl's disqualification for using skis that were too wide in front of the bindings.
The last five World Cup Super G races on the ladies' tour have been won by five different women – Vonn, Maze, Viktoria Rebensburg (GER), Tina Weirather (LIE) and Fenninger. With the name of Lara Gut added to that list today, it is the first time this has happened since a streak of seven straight different winners (including one tie for first) in 2007-08. Today's victory was the third in Lara Gut's career in Super G. 
"I wasn't sure what the right technique was going to be before the start", said the young Swiss. "I was very aggressive in the top section and made two mistakes because of that. I understood then what was the best way to continue and I managed to be very clean on the line until the finish line (...). When you like the slope, everything feels easier. The snow was great and the course set was also fine. It is simply a lot of fun to ski the raptor. I've been working everyday to ski faster, so hopefully it will go on!"
Runner-up of the day, Anna Fenniger made her 10th career Super G pódium: "For now, I believe I am stronger in super g races than I am in downhill", she said. "In yesterday's downhill race I made too many mistakes. I managed to ski better today espacially in the upper part. Unfortunately I lost speed and time in the bottom part. But overall being on the podium is a really good feeling (...) I know I can be fast on my skis. If I can get rid of some small mistakes, I hopefully will be able to keep up with Lara who has been outstanding this week". 
Back on the podium after Elisabeth Goergl disqualification, Nicole Hosp got her seventh career top 3 in Super G, 4 seasons later than her third place in Cortina d'Ampezzo. "I would have been very satisfied with a fourth place today", she admitted at the press conference. "It is a really difficult slope. It's so turny and dealing with the shadow of the trees in some section isn't easy. For sure for me it is nice to be on the podium, but at the same time, I'm really sorry for Elisabeth", concluded the 30 year-old.
With 300 points out of 3 races, Lara Gut moves 125 points clear at the top of the overall standings over the runner-up of the day, Anna Fenninger. Lara Gut will now have to switch to Giant Slalom mode to keep the run going. "I'm just going to sleep a bit this afternoon and I should be fine for tomorrow", she concluded with a big smile.

Dominik Paris Wins First Downhill of the Season in Lake Louise

The different conditions racers find at each venue is one of the things which makes is so interesting and today Dominik Paris showed he was in no way affected by the changing conditions. He crossed the finish line in 1 minute, 49.90 seconds and took home his first victory of the season. Austrian Klaus Kroell was not far behind as he finished only 0.03 seconds behind the winner’s time. Adrien Theaux had an outstanding run as well and ended up taking the last spot on the podium, only 0.11 seconds behind the winning time.
"I am very happy but it has been a difficult run for me" a beaming Paris said in the finish area.
"The middle section of the course was really bumpy but I am glad I figured out a way to keep pushing. It’s a great way to start the season and now all I can hope is that I keep skiing like this in the next races and once  the Olympics in February come around we will see how things go".
Klaus Kroell is a veteran in Lake Louise, this being his 12th year of racing at the Canadian resort. But despite the many starts, today was only the second podium here for him and he couldn’t hide his happiness. "It was such a tight race", Kroell said. "It always seems to be tight when I’m on the podium. I can’t say I like it, it would have been better to be at the front of those few hundreds but it was a good race and I am happy to start with a pódium".
Lake Louise has always been known as a rather ‘simple’ Downhill, but with the work done over the summer a few “hot spots” became clear already during the training runs.
"We could tell already during the first training that this year Lake Louise was going to be a different race than what we saw in the past. There are more jumps, more air time and definitely more bumps than in the past. Also with the weather changing all the time you never knew if someone from the back was going to do a crazy run and get me off the pódium", Theaux said after the last racer crossed the finish line and it became clear he would remain on the podium.
The first race of the season proved to be as exciting as expected and we can’t wait to see how things play out in tomorrow’s super-G.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lara Gut Wins First Downhill of the Season in Beaver Creek

After being so dominant in the training runs, Switzerland's Lara Gut confirmed how strong she is at the moment. She had a blast on the very technically demanding Raptor. She dealt with the 2.530 meters and the 710 meters vertical drop course in an incredible way to clock the best time of the day in 1:41.26, edging out Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather at the top of the timesheets, who finished 0.47 seconds off the pace. Rounding out the podium today, Italy's Elena Fanchini was 0.98 seconds slower.
"Today the snow was a bit different, maybe like on the second day of training. I'm in good shape right now and really enjoyed fighting on this course. I tried to be as clean as possible on my skis and even if I didn't quite managed to do so today, I'm really happy it worked out well in the end. Tina might have made a couple of mistakes as well", she concluded laughing.  
Among the favourites today after three great performances in training, Tina Weirather landed her 5th career World Cup podium.
"It is a very challenging course and taking too much risk can put yourself in a very critical situation", said the 24-year-old. "Finding the right balance between attacking and keeping the line is the key here".
 "With all the injuries I had in the past, it is clearly important for me to have such a good start into the season. It gives me confidence and hopefully I'll be able to keep this momentum".
Elena Fanchini had to wait 8 year to finally climb onto the podium for the second time after wining a downhill at Lake Louise in 2005. 
"It's a very special day for me, I'm really happy about this 3rd place on this very difficult course", conceded the Italian lady. "After the training runs, I wasn't really expecting this. It's simply a great surprise that will give me some confidence (...) I more known as a glider and usually prefer to ski on faster and straighter courses. Today is then for sure exceptional".

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

FWT14 - Revelstoke Teaser

Revelstoke is the first stop of the 2014 Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face.
On the 18th of December, the best riders on the planet will battle it out on the long and steep face of Mac Daddy for the first contest of the FWT 2014 season.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Salomon Freeski TV: Ghost Town

Salomon Freeski TV 7th season. After nearly 100 episodes, Salomon Freeski TV is back for it's seventh season! Starting October 8th, 2013, twelve new films will be released bi-weekly. Follow the team on new adventures all over the world including China, Norway, Switzerland, France, Canada and Chile.

"In the mid 1800's, BC's mountain towns boomed as prospectors flocked north during the great gold rush. Josh Daiek, Mike Henitiuk & Kieran Nikula arrive 150 years later in search of their own fortune".

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2013-2014 Moves To North America

The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues in North America at Beaver Creek and Lake Louise next week.
Beaver Creek, November 29 - December 1 (Ladies' Races)
Beaver Creek, December 6-8 (Men's Races)

Lake Louise, November 30 -December 1 (Men's Races)
Lake Louise, December 6-8 (Ladies' Races)

As the only men’s World Cup stop in the United States, the Birds of Prey has evolved into one of the world’s premier ski events. Beaver Creek Mountain is home to the formidable Birds of Prey racecourse, challenging an international roster of top athletes for two weeks of racing featuring Women's & Men's Downhill Races.
The Birds of Prey racecourse was built during the summer of 1997 in anticipation of the 1999 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.  It was designed by Olympic Downhill gold medalist Bernhard Russi of Switzerland.
The first competition on Birds of Prey took place on December 4, 1997, with two World Cup men’s Downhills and a Super-G.  The course was officially opened with a ceremonial Native American blessing, performed by tribal elder Red Ute.
New in 2013 the World Cup ladies will also pay a scheduled visit to Beaver Creek November 29 - December 1 for the Nature Valley Raptor featuring the ladies Downhill.
A festival atmosphere surrounds the on-mountain venue which is easily accessible, free and open to the public. Vail/Beaver Creek is also the home to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships featuring men’s and women’s racing for two weeks in February 2015.

Lake Louise, amongst the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park is the only ski resort in the World Cup outside of Europe to join the ranks of the famous Club 5 Ski Classics.
The Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup is one of the select few that hold both the men’s and ladies speed events on the World Cup circuit and will play host to the first Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill and super-G races of the season. This is the only event of its kind in Canada and is broadcast to a global audience in excess of 184 million.

Located in Colorado, USA, Beaver Creek is owned and operated by Vail Resorts Management Company, one of the leading resort operators in North America. With abundant natural snow (average snowfall 790 cm), backed up by a modern snowmaking system (36 % of the marked runs), Beaver Creek guarantees skiing from early November to mid April. 148 trails (19% Beginner, 43% Intermediate, 38% Advanced) and a vertical drop of 1,233 metres. Reminiscent of a secluded European alpine village, Beaver Creek combines the luxury and refinement of a five-star resort with a relaxed, family atmosphere.
The Lake Louise Ski Area will host the 2013 Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup. Located in Alberta, Canada, Lake Louise is one of the largest ski areas in North America. With abundant natural snow (average snowfall 454 cm), backed up by Canada's largest snowmaking system (40% of the marked runs), Louise guarantees skiing from early November to mid May. 139 runs (25% Beginner, 45% Intermediate, 30% Advanced) and a vertical drop of 991 metres, Lake Louise offer a wide opportunities for skiers from perfectly groomed beginner runs to double black diamonds rated "the best super steeps in the country" (Ski Canada Magazine). The Canadian Ski resort is one of the best options to enjoy magnificent scenery and stunning panoramas.
Lake Louise is situated in one of the most picturesque spots of the entire calendar, deep in the Canadian Rockies submerged in a nature reserve on the edge of a pristine Lake that is surrounded by the local glaciers. Views are spectacular both in winter, when the Lake freezes over and in summer, when the local nature blossoms.
With 4200 rideable acres, Lake Louise is one of the largest winter sport areas in North America.
The unique layout allows families and groups of varying abilities to ride together; there are beginner, intermediate and expert runs down from every chair.
Beginners and intermediate skiers have access to an abundance of gentle slopes and long cruising runs. Experts can explore endless chutes, glades, gullies and remote bowls in some of the Rockies' most challenging terrain.

The Wonder Reels, S2: Episode 3 - The Eye Of The Storm

Storm chasing. It's a labour of love for Whistler Blackcomb avalanche forecaster Tony Sittlinger. This story follows Tony and the Blackcomb patrol on their early morning ritual, readying the mountains for the rest of us while we're snug in our beds.

100th Episode of Salomon Freeski TV

Salomon Freeski TV 7th season. After nearly 100 episodes, Salomon Freeski TV is back for it's seventh season! Starting October 8th, 2013, twelve new films will be released bi-weekly. Follow the team on new adventures all over the world including China, Norway, Switzerland, France, Canada and Chile.

In the 100th episode of Salomon Freeski TV, the crew takes a look back at their favourite and most memorable moments:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nickelback To Open 2013-2014 Winter Season in Ischgl

Four men, five Grammy nominations and over 50 million album sales: one of the world’s most successful bands will be visiting the Alpine lifestyle metropolis of Ischgl on 30 November 2013 in the form of Nickelback! The Canadian rock quartet will be opening the winter season 2013/2014 and bringing the stage of the legendary Top of the Mountain Opening Concert to life with their imposing music and lights show. And best of all: admission to the concert is free with a valid ski pass.
 Rousing hard rock and full-sounding ballads: Nickelback knows how to give people goose bumps and defy pigeonholing! This band from Alberta, Canada have been rocking their way around the world for over 20 years, packing out large halls and stadiums. On 30 November 2013, they will be entering unusual concert territory: the successful rock quartet will be opening the winter season 2013/2014 before an impressive mountain backdrop at the world-famous Top of the Mountain Opening Concert in Ischgl. Thousands of spectators will be able to watch their ‘Greatest Hits Show’ at 18:00 and sing along to tunes such as ‘How You Remind Me’, ‘Lullaby’ and ‘When We Stand Together’. Brothers Chad and Mike Kroeger, Ryan Peake and Daniel Adair have big shoes to fill when they play this open-air concert. World stars such as Elton John, Katy Perry and Rihanna have already performed on the Top of the Mountain Opening stage for a breath-taking start to the winter season. The opening of the winter season in Ischgl has become legendary for its world-class entertainment and top quality winter sport conditions. Skiing in the Silvretta Arena by day and live concerts featuring top international acts in the evening.
Impatient winter sports enthusiasts can get their fix on the snowy pistes before the concert because skiing begins in Ischgl on Thursday 28 November 2013. With 238 km of prepared pistes, 44 lifts and lots of interesting new features in the ski resort.
Today the band can look back at a successful history spanning over 20 years and a lot of world tours. Singer and guitarist Chad Kroeger, bass player Mike Kroeger, guitarist Ryan Peake and drummer Daniel Adair only finished their sold-out European tour last year. Nickelback shot to number two in the German album chart with their current studio album ‘Here and Now’. The release of singles ‘When We Stand Together’ and ‘Lullaby’ also resulted in a global success. Since first being established, the band have received five Grammy nominations, won three American Music Awards and been named ‘Group of the Decade’ by the Billboard Magazine in 2009. The four rockers are going one better with their performance in the Alpine lifestyle metropolis. The band are known to be one of the best festival and arena bands with their imposing stage shows. At the open-air concert in this Austrian ski paradise, spectators can look forward to a particularly intense sound. Nickelback cannot be pigeonholed. And the same goes for their fan base. Loud guitar tones are interspersed with full-sounding ballads, giving goose bumps to spectators of all ages!
Nickelback follows in the footsteps of a galaxy of superstars who have entertained skiers and boarders in the Austrian resort's traditional Top of the Mountain gig. Long time ago, Ischgl decided to put its entire advertising and marketing budget into staging two massive concerts a year to open and close the winter season. Elton John was the first star to feature in the Tirolean resort's now famous season closing concerts, back in 1995. Since then the resort has hosted Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Sting, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Atomic Kitten, Peter Gabriel, The Corrs, Alanis Morissette, Lionel Richie, Pink, the Scissor Sisters, the Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna, Elton John again, Gabriella Cilmi, Leona Lewis, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Gossip, The Killers,Roxette, Mariah Carey, The Scorpions and Deep Purple .
Ischgl (1377m) is a truly Ski Paradise in Tirol (Austria) with 238 km of prepared pistes, 43 lifts and lots of interesting new features in the ski resort. The modern lifts managed by the Silvretta Seilbahn AG Company offer a high level of comfort and countless extras, such as heated seats in the Fimbabahn cable car built for the 2007/08 season. A variety of slopes and ski routes offer a opportunity for everyone, from beginners to experts looking for challenging pistes. Eleven is the name of the longest piste with approximately 11 kilometres from the top of the ski resort in Greitspitz (2,872 metres) to Ischgl village (1,400 metres).
From Ischgl you can access to the Silvretta Arena Ski Paradise, thanks to an alliance between two Companies (Silvretta Seilbahn AG and Bergbahnen Sammaun AG) and two ski resorts (Ischgl-Sammaun) from two different countries (Switzerland-Austria).

Salomon Freeski TV: Fjord Norway

Salomon Freeski TV 7th season. After nearly 100 episodes, Salomon Freeski TV is back for it's seventh season! Starting October 8th, 2013, twelve new films will be released bi-weekly. Follow the team on new adventures all over the world including China, Norway, Switzerland, France, Canada and Chile.

"For generations explorers have traveled deep into the fjords of the Sunnmøre Alps in Western Norway. Greg Hill, Andreas Fransson, & Chris Rubens board a century old fishing vessel in search of their own adventure".

Friday, November 22, 2013

Salomon Freeski TV: Return to Mica

Salomon Freeski TV 7th season. After nearly 100 episodes, Salomon Freeski TV is back for it's seventh season! Starting October 8th, 2013, twelve new films will be released bi-weekly. Follow the team on new adventures all over the world including China, Norway, Switzerland, France, Canada and Chile.

"The last time we visited Mica Heliskiing, it turned out to be one of the best powder skiing trips we've ever experienced. Mike Douglas, Mark Abma, & Chris Rubens return to Mica to see if the magic is still there!"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Epic Race to Ski the World Begins Tomorrow

On November 22, 2013, over 300 contestants will descend upon Vail Resorts’ mountains in Colorado and Lake Tahoe to officially start the Epic Race. The Epic Race is a season-long competition to visit all 26 resorts spread across four countries that make up the Epic Pass. The reward: The first 10 participants to complete the adventure win a lifetime Epic Pass.
"The participation in the Epic Race has completely exceeded our expectations,”said Vail Resorts chief marketing officer, Kirsten Lynch.“With over three hundred racers, it’s clear that the eyes of the ski and snowboard world will be on the Epic Race when it kicks off with the openings of Vail and Heavenly on Friday".
Each racer will need to ski or ride all 26 resorts on the Epic Pass (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). Epic Racers will be asked to document and share their experience at each resort to be eligible to win. After all resorts have been visited, all content will be verified.  Winners will be determined upon completion of the race and verification of compliance with the Official Rules. Registration for the race closed on Nov. 17, 2013. 
"Registration is closed, so you can’t participate in the Epic Race, but you can have the same type of experience by buying your Epic Pass before time runs out", said Lynch.
Follow the #EpicRace on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and at A leader board will chronicle the top contenders. Some of the best stories to emerge from the registration process include:
  1. Father-son teams from Park City, UT and Louisville, CO, who want to spend serious bonding time over their shared passion.
  2. A man from Denver who has run for President of the United States, holds multiple Guinness World records and has been SCUBA diving with sharks.
  3. A family from Eagle, CO, whose daughter’s middle name is “Vail.”
  4. A student at Colorado State University who is currently studying abroad in France.
  5. An Odessa, FL couple of 32 years that is skipping Thanksgiving, which they had planned to host at their own house, to participate in the race.
  6. An airline pilot from Atlanta, GA who, at 47, is out to prove that older guys have still got it by doing a board slide in the terrain park of every mountain.
  7. A family from St. Paul, Minnesota that is new to the Epic Pass family, courtesy of Afton Alps, and excited to explore every Epic resort.
  8. A couple from Lake Tahoe who got engaged at Heavenly and will use the race as the honeymoon they never took.
  9. A woman from New Jersey whose second date with Mr. Right will be the Epic Race.
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).

Epic TV: Another Day in Paradise, Ep. 4

Having travelled all over the world making freeride movies, pro freeskiers and movie producers Matthias 'Hauni' Haunholder and Matthias Mayr decided to make a film at home in their personal paradise - Austria.They invited some of the world's best freeskiers and snowboarders to join them in making a series to document the life of a freerider - deep snow, bright sunshine, tight friendships, big mountains and even bigger goals. The message of the movie is simple - Paradise can be anywhere, you just need to recognise it.

Day 4 in Paradise is shot in what will, after this video, be YOUR new favorite spot to ski. With endless free ski lines, jumps and drops, is this the best ski run ever? Matthias Mayr thinks so. This is Matthias's favorite spot, close to his home in Salzburg. Together with his friends, Rookie Sebastian Fischer and Tom Leitner (Freeride World Tour Swatch Skiers Cup and Line Catcher approved), they waited for the perfect moment and had the most epic of powder ski days. They waited for almost two years for this perfect day at this most favorite spot and to get the most out of the day they spent the night at 3000m, left at sunrise and ended with a beautiful sunset. They truly got the most out of it... Your New Favorite Ski Spot | Another day in Paradise, Ep. 4

Epic TV: Another Day in Paradise, Ep. 3

Having travelled all over the world making freeride movies, pro freeskiers and movie producers Matthias 'Hauni' Haunholder and Matthias Mayr decided to make a film at home in their personal paradise - Austria.They invited some of the world's best freeskiers and snowboarders to join them in making a series to document the life of a freerider - deep snow, bright sunshine, tight friendships, big mountains and even bigger goals. The message of the movie is simple - Paradise can be anywhere, you just need to recognise it.

After enjoying Snow and Sun the first two days skiing in Paradise, we're going to explore the best part of being in paradise - WOMEN! These girls RIP on skis - back country, deep powder, big drops and speed -- they do it all. Pia Widmesser and Sandra Lahnsteiner, two world-class Big Mountain Freeski girls, with Freeride World Tour podiums and nominations for Best Line of the Year under their belt, they are A LOT more than just cute sexy girls. But that's nice too... Director: Matthias Mayr Producer: M-Line Athletes: Matthias Mayr, Matthias Haunholder, Pia Widmesser, Sandra Lahnsteiner, Flo Orley, Gri Reichenberger, Phil Meier, Sebastian Fischer, Tom Leitner Wicked Women of Winter Big Mountain Ski | Another Day in Paradise, Ep. 3

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Epic TV: Another Day in Paradise, Ep. 2

Having travelled all over the world making freeride movies, pro freeskiers and movie producers Matthias 'Hauni' Haunholder and Matthias Mayr decided to make a film at home in their personal paradise - Austria.They invited some of the world's best freeskiers and snowboarders to join them in making a series to document the life of a freerider - deep snow, bright sunshine, tight friendships, big mountains and even bigger goals. The message of the movie is simple - Paradise can be anywhere, you just need to recognise it.

If there's one thing that beats a heavy dump of snow, it's a bluebird powder day after. On day 2 in Paradise, the guys find out that with the sun, things are even more beautiful in this skiing paradise. Enjoy the sun, the powder and the sweet skiing lines in this video. Get ready for winter, and look forward to those ideal ski days in the sun and powder snow - it's coming! Bluebird Powder Day, SUN | Another Day in Paradise, Ep. 2

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Epic TV: Another Day in Paradise, Ep. 1

Having travelled all over the world making freeride movies, pro freeskiers and movie producers Matthias 'Hauni' Haunholder and Matthias Mayr decided to make a film at home in their personal paradise - Austria.They invited some of the world's best freeskiers and snowboarders to join them in making a series to document the life of a freerider - deep snow, bright sunshine, tight friendships, big mountains and even bigger goals. The message of the movie is simple - Paradise can be anywhere, you just need to recognise it.

What would you do if you found yourself in a psychiatric ward, just because you friggin' loved skiing powder? Ski and snowboard mentalists Matthias Mayr, Matthias Haunholder, Pia Widmesser, Sandra Lahnsteiner, Flo Orley, Gri Reichenberger, Phil Meier, Sebastian FIscher and Tom Leitner find themselves in just that situation. They believe in 'living in Paradise' - they believe in skiing and snowboarding in waist-deep powder so thick you can't see where you're going (watch out for those trees...). Will they be able to convince the doctor that this is THE truth? Watch the video to find out... Day 1, SNOW | Another Day in Paradise, Ep. 1

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Levi 2013. Behind the Scenes

Skiers sometimes get to travel to some really unique places, and the Finnish resort of Levi is certainly one of them. Located some 170 km north of the Arctic Circle, Levi is the biggest ski resort in Finland and the host of the northernmost World Cup race on the Tour.
Nine years have gone by since the first World Cup slalom race took place in Levi. In February 2004, the ladies faced the Levi Black slope for the first time. The race proved to be a great success, and only two years later, a men’s race was added into the calendar. With two races in the calendar, Levi quickly became the traditional slalom opening of the season and one of the favorite destinations for the teams.
This year, over 150 racers from 25 different national teams arrived in Levi to compete in the first slalom races of the 2013/14 season.

Marcel Hirscher Wins First Slalom of the Season in Levi

After making it on the podium in all nine World Cup slalom races last season, Marcel Hirscher added a tenth one to the list. After two flawless runs, he claimed his first victory of the season. Austrian veteran Mario Matt, who was sitting in third place after the first run put down a great second run and moved one step up, finishing second, 0.62 seconds behind Hirscher.
"It’s such a good feeling, it’s not easy to be in the role of the favorite… it makes the job far from easy but on the other side this makes it definitely not boring. Now I just want to take a day off, sleep a lot, regain some energy and than I will start thinking about the next races", Hirscher said.
The big surprise of the day came from Henrik Kristoffersen who claimed his first ever top 10 today by finishing third. The 19 years old was thrilled by the result.
"My goal for this season was to make it into the top 10, but today was like a dream. I had a good first run, knew I had a shot at going far but I tried to keep myself calm by thinking it was just another race. When I realized I made my first podium, I experienced probably the best feeling a skier could ever wish for", an enthusiastic Kristoffersen told the media after his race.
Matt also seemed very pleased with his race, he put together two very consistent runs.
"I am happy with my race, I have been skiing well for a while now and it’s showing. It’s satisfying to start a season like this, knowing that the summer work is paying off and I can be a contender for the top spots", Matt said at the press conference.
A light overnight snowfall gave organizers a lot of work early in the morning and crews were out pushing the fresh snow off the race line from the earliest morning hours.
"The base preparation with the injection was very good, it had been done a week before the race. Last night’s snowfall put a 10cm cover on the racecourse, which is always a challenge for the Organizers. They needed to work really hard to have everything ready for the start. But, there is a great group of young and enthusiastic people ready to give a hand and this is what enabled us to make sure conditions were great", said FIS Race Director, Hans Pieren.
Their work paid off as everyone had nothing but praise for the conditions the slope was in once the race kicked off at 10 am CET.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins First Slalom of the Season in Levi

Mikaela Shiffrin put down two outstanding runs today and showed once again that she is in a league of her own in Slalom. Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who was in third place after the first run climbed up one place to finish in second place, 1.06 seconds behind Shiffrin. Tina Maze finished third, crossing the finish line with a combined time 1.61 seconds slower than Shiffrin’s. 
Shiffrin earned herself 100 slalom points, and got to keep the red leaders’ bib she earned last season.
"There's definitely some relief there…one of my goals is to keep my slalom standings, and it's nice to know I'm not that far off", she said with a smile.
It has been a first slalom of the season full of surprises, especially as in the first run the wind played tricks with the races through the whole first run.
Tina Maze had high expectation coming into the new season, so she seemed slightly disappointed by her third place.
"Of course I always expect the best from myself, especially after the season I had last year. But I am also learning that it doesn’t really matter what I did or what I will do, I am learning to live in the present so this third place gives me confidence that I am on the right track", Maze said at the press conference.
One young lady today made it clear that her first run had little to do with wind luck and all to do with skill. Christina Ager definitely proved to be the biggest surprise of the day. The Austrian newcomer, who turned 18 years old just five days ago started her first ever World Cup race this Saturday in Levi with bib 53. She skied an outstanding first run, finishing in fifth place. She might have seemed overwhelmed when realizing how fast her run had been, but she was able to regain focus for the second run and ski even faster! She finished in an impressive fourth position, missing the podium by a mere 0.07 seconds.
Ager was far from the only surprise of the day.

Six Cities Bid To Host 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Six cities have bid to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games: Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (China), Krakow (Poland), Lviv (Ukraine), Oslo (Norway), and Stockholm (Sweden).
The strength of the field, which includes a strong mix of both traditional and developing winter sports markets, highlights the keen interest cities around the world have in the Games and the lasting benefits and legacy they can bring to a region.

"I am delighted that six cities are bidding to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games", said International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. "These cities and their supporters clearly understand the benefits that hosting the Games can have and the long lasting legacy that a Games can bring to a region. Indeed, while recent Games have left an array of sporting, social, economic and other legacies for the local population, many cities that did not go on to win the right to host the Games have also noted benefits as a result of their bids".
As part of the assistance the IOC offers bid cities, the six Applicant Cities will be invited to attend a seminar in Lausanne from 4 to 6 December 2013 and to participate in an Observer Programme tailored to their needs during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

National Olympic Committees had until midnight on 14 November 2013 to submit an application to the IOC that complied with prerequisite criteria (declarations concerning the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport) established by the IOC Executive Board in 2010. Having fulfilled these requirements, the six Applicant Cities now enter Phase 1 of a two-step technical analysis that culminates in the election of the 2022 host city by the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur on 31 July 2015.
At the end of Phase 1, and following a first assessment by an expert IOC Working Group, the IOC Executive Board will select the cities that will move forward to Phase 2 of the process as Candidate Cities.
Following the submission of their Candidature File – an in-depth blueprint of their Olympic project – an Evaluation Commission appointed by the IOC will visit each Candidate City to prepare a technical risk assessment to assist IOC members in electing the host city. This report will be made available to IOC members prior to a two-day briefing that provides the members with the opportunity to question the cities directly about their Olympic projects.
In line with the IOC’s commitment to transparency, all documents pertaining to the 2022 bid process are available to the public on

A summary of the key 2022 timelines can be found below:

Phase 1:
  • Deadline for NOCs to submit an Applicant City – 14 November 2013
  • Applicant City Seminar – Lausanne – 4-6 December 2013
  • Sochi Olympic Winter Games Observer Programme – 7-23 February 2014
  • Submission of the Application File - 14 March 2014
  • Selection of Candidate Cities by the IOC - Executive Board – 8-9 July 2014
Phase 2:

  • Submission of the Candidature File & Guarantees – January 2015
  • IOC Evaluation Commission visits – February – March 2015
  • Evaluation Commission report / Candidate City Briefing for IOC Members – May - June 2015
  • Election of the 2022 Host City by the IOC Session - Kuala Lumpur – 31 July 2015

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Levi To Host Slalom World Cup Opening

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2013-2014 season continues with the Slalom opening at Levi (FIN) this coming weekend. Levi is ready to stage its 14th and 15th World Cup races since the first (Ladies') race was held on 28th February 2004.
One of the biggest milestones was reached in 2006, when the event adopted its current form as an annual opening races in both the ladies and men’s slalom seasons.
 In the Year of 2012 The Regional Council of Lapland awarded World Cup Levi event for its’ annual nomination for Regional Developer. The award was a great honour for the event and the recognition of creating the attractive World Cup Levi brand and promoting significantly the international visibility of Lapland.
Levi, located about 170 km north of the Polar Circle (Levi World Cup is the northmost Alpine World Cup), is one of the largest ski resorts in Finnish Lapland. Levi Fell village is actually a small holiday town, which offers a wide range of first-rate services to its guests.
The Levi fell is 531 meters above sea level. There are some 50 ski slopes in Levi and the skiing and snowboarding season is particularly long, typically lasting from mid-October to the beginning of June. Levi has been chosen the best domestic skiing resort in Finland several times.
Levi is the market leader and pioneer in Finland in Ski Resorts. In the area there are 24 000 beds, which makes possible 2,5 million overnights/year with 650 000 visitors/year.
Beside the 43 slopes and 28 ski lifts there are 230 km's cross-country tracks and 880 km's snowmobiling routes.
More than 20,000 spectators are expected at the two races on the weekend, when the Ladies compete on Saturday November 16th and the Men on Sunday November 17th and the organizers have put great emphasis on involving local schools and youngsters to bring them to the events.
The Levi Black competition course vertical drop is 180 meters and the steepest part of the race course has the steepness of 52 %.
Levi is Father Christmas's official fell and ski centre. Since last year a new attraction for audience is a Christmas market. The market is organized by a local tourism project. Near ZeroPoint in the center of Levi about 20 small cottages with different colors have been built. They will be lit and decorated in the Christmas style. Local companies will be selling their products, with traditional Lapland and Finnish Christmas themes. German style Glühwein and warm cider as well tasting samples of the products are offered.
The World Cup Levi Slalom Opening will take place at 16th and 17th November with the following program:

Ladies' slalom - Saturday, 16.11.2013, starting times 11:00/14:00 LOC - 10:00/13:00 CET
Men's slalom - Sunday, 17.11.2013, starting times 11:00/14:00 LOC - 10:00/13:00 CET

27 nations announced they would be sending a total of 170 athletes the event.
FIS Race Director Hans Pieren confirmed the event during last week official FIS snow control inspection.
"The circumstances on Levi's race course are so good this year that the confirmation of the races is just a formality. The Organizing Committee and the snowmakers have worked very well", he said.
The entire racecourse is covered in over on meter of snow and the weather forecast also looks good for the upcoming weeks.
"The race arrangement at Levi have proceed very well and the next week's forecast promises that we are going to have great race weekend at Levi", Pieren added.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Munich votes to back 2022 Winter Olympic bid

Munich, aiming to become the first city to host summer and winter Games, failed in its bid to land the 2018 Olympics which were awarded to South Korea's Pyeongchang.
The city, which staged the 1972 summer Games, and the neighboring Alpine communities are holding a referendum after the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) decided in September to launch another bid. The 98 member organisations of the DOSB, who claim to represent a total of 27.8 million members, backed the bid at a meeting led by Verena Bentele, a 12-time Paralympic gold medallist, in Munich.
Voters in Munich, the Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the nearby Bavarian districts of Traunstein and Berchtesgadener Land are being asked in four separate referendums on Sunday:
"Are you in favor of the [Bavarian] capital city, Munich, along with Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the districts of Traunstein and Berchtesgadener Land, bidding for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic winter Games?".
If a majority of voters cast their ballots in favor of bidding for the games, and if this majority is at least 10 percent of all eligible voters (20 percent in Garmisch-Partenkirchen) in all four referendums, Munich will officially launch a bid for the Games.
Roughly 1.3 million Bavarians are eligible to take part in the four referendums Sunday, and the first returns are expected later on Sunday. Official results are scheduled to be announced on Tuesday.
Several candidates have this week come forward to declare that they are bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, joining Almaty in Kazakhstan, who had declared in September that they were candidates.
Among them is the Norwegian capital Oslo, whose residents had voted to back a bid in their own referendum in September.
Other cities to declare they want the Games are Lviv in Ukraine and joint bids from Beijing and Zhangjiakou in China and Poland and Slovakia with Krakow as its centre.
Sweden's capital Stockholm will make a decision at the start of next week about whether they bid or not.

Munich, together with Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the nearby Bavarian districts of Traunstein and Berchtesgadener Land are applying to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The election of the host city will take place during the 127th IOC Session, to be held in Kuala Lumpur on 31 July 2015.
Munich's bid will be based on previous plans for 2018, although some amendments have been made.
The most significant of these is holding the aerials and halfpipe at the Olympic Park built for the 1972 Olympics and which continues to host a series of major sporting and social events.
Another change would see biathlon and cross country skiing events being moved from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Ruhpolding and into the county Traunstein, making using of an existing venue which held the 2012 World Championships and stages and stages an annual World Cup.
The adaptations mean that the 2018 two park concept with a stand alone sliding centre venue in Königssee  would turn into a three park concept with an ice cluster in Munich, snow cluster in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and a endurance and sliding zone in Chiemgau-Königssee.
"We would like to offer the most sustainable Olympic Winter Games in history, using an existing Olympic Park and many existing world-class venues such as the ski tracks and the ski jumping hill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the biathlon venue in Ruhpolding and the sliding centre in Schönau/Königssee", said Hans-Peter Krämer, who has replaced Thomas Bach as acting President of the DOSB following his election as new head of the IOC.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Wonder Reels, S2: Episode 2 - Waffles And Wagers

A chairlift shared by a foursome of skiers and snowboarders on Blackcomb Mountain's new Crystal Ridge Express leads to a friendly wager for waffles at the Crystal Hut. We get treated to a romp through Crystal Zone while the last one to the bottom buys waffles back at the top.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Swatch Skiers Cup Returns To Zermatt

After three illustrious years of competition, the Swatch Skiers Cup legacy continues in 2014 when the event returns to Zermatt, Switzerland on January 4-10. This year’s edition features new team captains and new riders, and with Team Europe leading Team Americas by a score of 2 – 1, the impending show down in the shadow of the Matterhorn promises to make history.
In the world of freeskiing, no other competition brings the world’s elite riders together for a single event quite like the Swatch Skiers Cup. With eight select athletes on each team, Team Europe and Team Americas face off in match play format during two days of competition: Big Mountain (freeride) and Backcountry Slopestyle (freestyle). As 2013’s event proved, the expansive domain of Zermatt guarantees outstanding terrain and the six-day event window gives riders the best possible shot at perfect conditions.
Marc Scheurer, Marketing Director Zermatt Tourism comments: "Zermatt sits in the midst of thirty-eight 4,000 meter Alpine peaks and offers the riders plenty of options to get their kicks. We look forward to a fantastic atmosphere with incredible performances from the two teams. The action on the mountain for the backcountry slopestyle and entertainment in the village are all accessible to the public, which makes this event so special".
Taking the captain positions in 2014 are two of the true godfathers of modern freeskiing, with Team Americas lead by JP Auc lair (CAN) and Team Europe under the direction of Julien Regnier (FRA). The two captains have a long shared history, first competing against each other in world cup mogul competition in 1998 and skiing and working together ever since. The goal of the Swatch Skiers Cup has always been to bring riders from around the world together in an environment that fosters camaraderie and creativity, and the two captains are ideal to progress this misión.
"When we first met it was a blast of new energy and new ideas for skiing. JP is an amazing skier, very creative, a hard worker and I really enjoy skiing with him", said Regnier of his opponent.
Auc lair responded, "I first heard about Julien through my friend JF Cusson who told me about ‘this French guy who was doing really progressive skiing.’ When we met, we instantly hit it off and starting skiing and working on different projects together".
Event co-founder and 2012 Team Europe Captain Sverre Liliequist (SWE) commented, "Europe beat Team Americas soundly last year, so I’m sure JP will bring a team eager to take back the title. Besides the competitive aspect of the event format, we should remember that even if this is a real battle, it’s also a great week to get together with some incredibly talented athletes from around the world to have fun with each other!".
"The Swatch Skiers Cup is an amazing event", said Marco Vaccari, Head of Marketing International at Swatch. "The skiers are innovators and incredible performers and they go all out, challenging each other and pushing themselves and freeskiing to the limit. We’re proud to support this spectacular sport and the riders that make it so exciting".
Though the event doesn’t begin for two months, the strategic battle begins now, as the captains adjust and confirm their team rosters. Full team lineups will be announced in the coming weeks.


Monday, November 4, 2013

MyTop10 - Zermatt, Valais by Daniela Perren

Alpine "Behind the Scenes" Video Project: Sölden 2013

Last season, FIS and Audi embarked on a new video project called "Behind the Scenes". The idea was to create a YouTube series, which would provide fans with greater insight into what happens around the Audi FIS Ski World Cup and also follow athletes and teams in their year-round preparation.
The first season of the series showcased nine World Cup venues and five summer training locations and enjoyed nearly 500,000 unique views.
Encouraged by last year’s success, this season the "Behind the Scenes" series is back, looking to revisit some of the venues while adding some new ones. Fans will be able to enjoy videos from Soelden (AUT), Levi (FIN), Val d’Isere (FRA), Courchevel (FRA), Val Gardena (ITA), Alta Badia (ITA), Munich (GER), Adelboden (SUI), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER), Lenzerheide (SUI) and other spectacular World Cup sites.
The series will feature one-of-a-kind interviews with numerous athletes and offer a unique glimpse of some of the most famous runs and resorts in Alpine Skiing.
These are the first videos of the 2013/14 season from Sölden:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sochi Declaration Sets Out Future Action for Sustainable Development

The more-than 500 participants at the 10th IOC World Conference on Sport and the Environment, held in Sochi from 30 October to 1 November 2013, adopted the "Sochi Declaration", which contains a set of sustainable development recommendations addressed to the various stakeholders in this field.

"Changing Today for a Better Tomorrow"
10th World Conference on Sport and the Environment 30th October – 1st November 2013

The Sochi Declaration

The participants to the 10th IOC World Conference on Sport and Environment
1. Call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to build on the relationship that has been established by the involvement of the Russian Government in organising the conference in Sochi and expand the network on environment and sustainability by engaging and working with relevant civil society organisations.
2. Call on the IOC to further strengthen environmental and wider sustainability requirements in the Olympic Games bidding process, and to ensure these are fully integrated into the systems and structures for organising and hosting of the Games and establishing long-term sustainable legacies. Young people in particular should be engaged throughout these stages. By extension, urge the Olympic Movement to adopt a similar approach for all major sport events.
3. Acknowledge the negative impact of food wastage, and call upon the IOC and organisers of Olympic and all other international and local sports competitions to take immediate measures that will mitigate against food wastage. Athletes in particular should be encouraged by the IOC and relevant sports organisations to cooperate with UNEP and the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation to promote the “Think Eat Save: Reduce Your Foodprint” initiative in support of the UN Secretary-General's Zero Hunger Challenge.
4. Appeal to the IOC and its partner organisations to engage and encourage National Olympic Committees, Continental Associations and national sports federations to be involved in, and support national and regional initiatives that use sport as a tool to promote values-based education and healthy lifestyles, and in the development and promotion of the post-2015 development agenda.
5. Welcome the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to proclaim 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Call upon the IOC and its partner organisations to involve themselves in the development of the content for the celebration of the day and ensure that youth, sport and sustainability play a large part in the commemorations whose main aim should be to celebrate and publicise the largely ignored value of sport to the development of humankind.
6. Propose to the IOC to review and strengthen the role of its Sport and Environment Commission with a view to expanding its scope to include sustainability and legacy in their wider context, integrating environmental, social and economic dimensions.
7. Request the President of the IOC to consult partner organisations such as UNEP, relevant civil society and national sports organisations and ensure that a plan of action is
developed and put in place and resources allocated in order for these recommendations to be acted upon. A full review of their implementation should be the major engagement of the world conference four years hence.

Sochi, Russian Federation
1st November 2013

Read here the full text of the declaration.