Saturday, December 29, 2018

Mikaela Shiffrin Sets a New Record in the Slalom World Cup

With her 36th career World Cup victory in slalom at Semmering (AUT) on Saturday, Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. passed Austrian Marlies Schild in the history books to become the most successful female slalom skier of all time. She also became the first World Cup skier, male or female, to win 15 World Cup races in a single calendar year (2018). Shiffrin came into the weekend tied with Marcel Hirscher of Austria with 14 wins in 2018 after both passed the previous record holder, Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark, who won 13 races in 1977 and again in 1979. Hirscher is not scheduled to race again until New Year’s Day.
She was also tied with childhood hero Marlies Schild of Austria for most career world cup slalom wins with 35.
Mikaela Shiffrin held almost a half-second lead after the first run over closest rival Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, who won Friday's giant slalom race. The American was able to hold on for the win by a 0.29-second margin. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland rounded out the podium in third after skiing the fastest second run. Olympic champion Frida Hansdotter, who sat third after the first run, skied out on the second run in conditions that challenged a number of competitors.
A firm surface with some tough turns contributed to 19 skiers failing to finish or being disqualified in the first run and an additional five athletes not finishing the second run.
Mikaela Shiffrin, who now has 51 total wins on the world cup circuit, has 1,034 points in the overall world cup title race, nearly double that of Vlhova in second place (568). Shiffrin is already the two-time defending overall world cup champion.

Dominik Paris Dominates the Stelvio Races in Bormio

Dominik Paris is unbeatable on the Stelvio. After winning the downhill for the third time yesterday, he claims the double with the victory in today's Super-G. Olympic Champion Matthias Mayer and Val Gardena winner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde round out the podium.
10 years after the last Audi FIS Ski World Cup men’s super-g in Bormio, the best speed athletes of the world took a last run on the tough track before enjoying a well-deserved New Year’s break.
Yesterday, Italy’s Dominik Paris became the “King of Stelvio” equaling the record of three wins in Bormio, but today, he became the lone record holder with four wins, three in downhill and one in Super-G as of today. "You've got to be a complete skier here — good technically and strong tactically", Paris said. "You've got to ski with your head because you can't just get in your tuck and point your skis downhill".
It was a tight race, actually the tightest possible, as the second place finishes only +0.01 behind Paris. Olympic Champion Matthias Mayer is grabbing his first podium of the season on one of the toughest course on the Tour. “We need more of these races, I really like these conditions”, he said. The Austrian is very happy to be back at the end of the podium and hopes to carry on into the January races.
In third place, Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde claimed a 10th World Cup podium in career. The winner of the Val Gardena super-g wasn’t feeling very well on the downhill day, but today the stars aligned again and he could carry on the momentum on Italian snow.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Petra Vlhova Wins World Cup GS in Semmering

Petra Vlhova wrote history for Slovakia on Friday by winning the Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom race in Semmering (AUT) as an underdog for the victory. It was the first World Cup podium and win in giant slalom for a skier from Slovakia, male or female, and fans traveled from nearby Bratislava to cheer on Vlhova. It was also the first podium and victory in giant slalom for the skier who regularly challenges for wins in slalom.
Vlhova was noticeably emotional after the win which she secured only by moving up from fourth place after the first run to claim the victory. Another powerful move came from Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany who pushed from 10th position into second place with the fastest second-run time of the day. Tessa Worley of France joined the trio to round out the podium in third after sitting in seventh position after the first run.
First-run leaders Mikaela Shiffrin, Stephanie Brunner, and Ragnhild Mowinckel (who sat within 0.03 seconds of each other after the first run) had to settle for fifth, fourth, and ninth places, respectively, after their second runs were finished. The Austrian team still had a strong showing for the home crowd by placing five athletes in the top 15.

Dominik Paris Takes Victory in Bormio

The Audi FIS Ski World Cup on the Stelvio delivered the same winner as in its last edition, with local hero Dominik Paris taking the win ahead of teammate Christof Innerhofer and Switzerland’s Beat Feuz.
It was a fight from top to bottom, on a course that many described as the "toughest they have ever raced on". But there are some athletes that are not impressed by the course conditions and know how to keep the line over the bumps and icy sections.
Dominik Paris loves that kind of conditions. From the first day on, he had a smile on his face and enjoyed trying out different lines on the training runs. A flawless run where he was able to keep the line and carry on the speed all the way to the finish line, brought him his third victory on the Stelvio, the first one this season. He equaled the record of three wins in Bormio set by Michael Walchhofer and Hermann Maier.
Italy could not only celebrate a home win today, but it was a double win thanks to Christof Innerhofer’s performance. He’s also one of those athletes who like when the conditions are tough and technical skills play an important role, and today he was able to ski to his third-second place of the season, +0.36 off Paris’ pace.
Despite coming into today’s race with the red bib, Beat Feuz was not a top favorite for today’s race in Bormio. He raced on the Stelvio only twice, ending in the nets in his first participation and wasn’t feeling too well in both training runs (10th and 11th). But it all came together as he switched to race mode. He said he was happy to cross the finish line, as it was one of the hardest race he’s ever been in, and then very satisfied to score another podium and to keep the red bib.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Men's Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Goes to the Stelvio in Bormio

The Stelvio slope is considered to be one of the most technical and spectacular slopes all over the world.
The "Stelvio", which is almost 3,230 meters long with a 986-meter difference in altitude and a maximum gradient of 60%, is a notoriously unforgiving track and is the only one where the finish area can clearly be seen from the starting gate.
It was inaugurated in 1982 for the first edition of the World Series. The course hosted two editions of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships: in 1985 and exactly twenty years later, in 2005. It also hosted two World Cup Finals, in 1995 and 2008. From 1993 the Stelvio has yearly hosted the World Cup Downhill Men.
Alongside the Streif of Kitzbuhel, the Stelvio is by unanimous opinion the most spectacular and technically difficult course all over the world. Champions of the caliber of Luc Alphand, Stephan Eberharter, Johann Grugger, Lasse Kjus, Hermann Maier, Daron Rahlves, Andreas Schifferer, Hannes Trinkl, Fritz Stobl, Bode Miller and Michael Walchhofer have triumphed on the "Stelvio".
This season the Men's World Cup DH training on the Stelvio in Bormio announced that the race of Friday will be a fascinating one. The rain of the past days and the cold temperatures turned into a very icy base layer, that goes from top to bottom of the course. The Stelvio is well known for being one of the toughest course on the World Cup Tour, with dark light and lots of bumps and this year it is even more demanding than in the past.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Daniel Yule Wins Last Slalom of 2018 in Madonna di Campiglio

Madonna di Campiglio is the oldest Italian World Cup venue, as they hold a Slalom in 1966/67, the year of the foundation of the World Cup. More than 50 years later, the event is still running and attracting thousands of people for the traditional night race on 22nd of December.
Today the night Slalom in Madonna di Campiglio delivered a surprising podium, with Daniel Yule claiming the first victory in career and the two Austrians Marco Schwarz and Michael Matt rounding out the podium.
After the first run, one could have thought that it will be another fight between Henrik Kristoffersen and Marcel Hirscher for the win on the Canelone Miramonti. Together, they won not less than 38 World Cup slaloms in the past six years. But today’s scenario was a different one. Kristoffersen straddled and Hirscher made a big mistake at the top of the second run, losing all chances to climb on the podium.
Three young guns, who established themselves in the Top slalom group lately would benefit from this storyline. First of all: Daniel Yule. The Swiss were in a solid 4th position after the first run, only +0.66 off the pace. While many others struggled in the second run, he pushed hard and laid down a fluid run from top to bottom. After two podiums last season in Kitzbuehel and in Schladming, the 25 year-old racer earned his first ever World Cup win.
Behind him, Austria’s Marco Schwarz came back after two difficult seasons. His first podium in career was here in Madonna di Campiglio in 2015, and after an excellent first run, where he finished 3rd (+0.32), he was able to hold on to his good ranking and grabbed his third podium in career.
Only 13th of the first run, Michael Matt was in a different situation. Laying down the second fastest time in the second run (behind Dave Ryding), the Austrian showed a strong reaction and earned the last spot on the podium. The winner of the Kranjska Gora slalom in 2017 is celebrating his 7th podium in career.

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins World Cup Slalom in Courchevel

Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. continued her winning streak at Courchevel (FRA) on Saturday with her fourth consecutive victory at the venue after also sweeping last year's races there. The win marked her 50th career Audi FIS Ski World Cup victory in just eight seasons competing on the tour.
Petra Vlhova of Slovakia gave series chase and sat just 0.04 seconds behind Shiffrin heading into the second run. Although Shiffrin lost time on her heading into the bottom flat, the American pulled ahead by the finish line for a 0.29-second advantage. For the third straight slalom of the season, Vlhova finished in second place behind Shiffrin. The two remain the only skiers to have won World Cup slalom races in the past two seasons.
Olympic champion Frida Hansdotter of Sweden rounded out the podium in third place after moving up from fifth place after the first run.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Giant Slalom in Courchevel

Mikaela Shiffrin battled through a raging snowstorm on the second run and overcame a 0.08-second deficit to win her 49th career Audi FIS Ski World Cup race on Friday in Courchevel (FRA). It was also her third consecutive victory at the French resort with the slalom race yet to come on Saturday. She credited a short rest period as one of the keys to her success, as she made the strategic decision to skip the speed races rescheduled in Val Gardena Gröden (ITA) earlier in the week.
Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany led after the first run and gave Shiffrin tight competition, finishing in second place just 0.14 seconds back for her second podium finish of the season.
Tessa Worley, meanwhile, delighted the French fans simply by starting in the race after suffering a meniscus tear in her knee during a crash in the Lake Louise super-G. After being cleared by her doctor to return to skiing this week, she made the decision to start her home race and was rewarded with third place for her impressive efforts.
Mikaela Shiffrin holds a commanding lead in the Overall standings and sits second in the giant slalom standings, 20 points shy of Federica Brignone who finished Friday's race in fourth.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Marcel Hirscher Wins Slalom in Saalbach-Hinterglemm

The second Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom of the 2018/19 season took place today in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, replacing the canceled race in Val d'Isère. Not less than 6500 fans gathered in the finish area and approximately 1500 cheered for their athletes along the course and saw Marcel Hirscher taking home the victory.
After a difficult day yesterday, champion Marcel Hirscher found the right setup today and was able to earn a 63rd World Cup, becoming the best Austrian skier of all times, surpassing Annemarie Moser-Proell and taking the 3rd place in the international all-time ranking.
Loïc Meillard is turning into the Saalbach-Hinterglemm hero. He earned his first podium in career yesterday in the giant slalom and could carry on the momentum to grab another World Cup podium in today’s slalom. The Longines Rising star confirms his enormous potential enters the Top group in both tech disciplines.
In third place, Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen finished on the podium for the 11th time in a row in slalom. A mistake in the first run and tough course conditions in the second run prevented him from doing better today, but he is very happy to find his way back to the podium and to share it with Marcel Hirscher and Loïc Meillard.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Zan Kranjec Wins World Cup Giant Slalom in Saalbach-Hinterglemm

Unexpected scenario at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Giant Slalom in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, with Zan Kranjec claiming a first win in career as Loïc Meillard and Mathieu Faivre complete the podium.
After earning a podium placement in Alta Badia last winter, Zan Kranjec was quite established among the best giant slalom skiers of the world, but early season, he struggled to show his best performances on race days. This is all forgotten now, as he writes skiing history, being the first male athlete of the Slovenian national team to win a giant slalom.
In the second place, another newcomer made his podium debut. Switzerland’s Loïc Meillard, known as the Longines Rising Star 2018, was knocking on the podium’s door with two solid 5th places this season, and today he made the step onto his first World Cup podium. The triple junior World Champion, who was part of the Top 7 group for the first time today, will definitely be one to watch in the tech disciplines this season.
Mathieu Faivre made his return on the World Cup podium today, finishing in the third position. Since the World Cup Finals in Aspen in March 2017, the Frenchman couldn’t find the momentum he had in 2017 when he finished second of the giant slalom standings. He was feeling good in the last months, but the results didn’t reflect that feeling, so with this podium, the motivation is back to keep working.
Marcel Hirscher, who was on the podium in the last 18 giant slalom races, struggled in both runs and finished at the 6th position.

Ilka Stuhec Wins Super-G in Val Gardena/Gröden

After winning the Downhill Race yesterday, Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec was able to take her second World Cup victory in today's super-G. Tina Weirather and Nicole Schmidhofer crossed the finished line 0.05 seconds behind. Her margin of victory would have been wider but for a mistake before the final section of the race.
"I focused on the start a lot and then I leaned too much to the left and almost fell over", Stuhec said. "Then the mistake happened but I was just like, 'Don't panic and keep pushing the skis until the fin
ish.' So I was surprised when I saw that I was fastest
Tina Weirather nabbed another podium spot after her third place in Lake Louise The 2017 and 2018 super-G discipline winner finished 15th in Lake Louise and currently sits third in the 2019 discipline standings.
"The snow was really nice therefore we really had to push hard", Weirather said. "It was kind of easy, which makes it hard to be fast", said Tina Weirather
It's the first time that the Saslong course hosted women's World Cup races, despite being a classic stop on the men's circuit for a half-century.
"I wish we could come back here more often", Weirather said, "and maybe do the downhill with a little bit more difficult course".
"I totally agree. I love it here", added Stuhec with a smile.
Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria won the opening Downhill races in Lake Louise. Now, she had a gold medal and seven Audi FIS Ski World Cup podium results since starting her career on the circuit over 11 years ago.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ilka Stuhec Wins Downhill in Val Gardena/Gröden

Today, in Val Gardena, Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia was able to return to the highest place on the podium since her injury and get his first win of the season in the World Cup.
She bested her competitors in the rescheduled ladies' Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill race at Val Gardena-Gröden (ITA). With an impressive skating and gliding start on the upper flat, Stuhec built her lead over the terrain and turns on the Saslong in the first ladies' World Cup race at the venue since 1975.
The Slovenian skier finished 0.14 seconds ahead of Nicol Delago, who grew up alongside the Saslong course in northern Italy. Ramona Siebenhofer of Austria finished third, 0.51 behind.
In 2017 Ilka Stuhec became the first Slovenian woman to ever win the Downhill crystal globe. She also won the alpine combined globe. Back then Ilka Stuhec's domination in Downhill was out of the question. The Slovenian won also the Downhill Race at the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz.
But on October 2017, she crashed during training in the Tyrolean Pitztal glacier and suffered a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. She missed out on the entire season and the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Nicol Delago posted the best run of her career thus far in her very own backyard and turned into an instant celebrity among fans and race volunteers. Delago had two strong training runs on the slope finishing third and second in Monday's practice, and she was thrilled to convert her fast skiing into a race-day result.
Austria's Ramona Siebenhofer returned to the World Cup podium for only the second time in her career and the first time since December of 2015. She had two of the fastest training runs on the slope on Monday and Tuesday and was finally able to translate those lessons learned into her race performance. Siebenhofer regularly posts lead training times in downhill on the tour, so she was quite pleased to see a podium result in the race.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Marcel Hirscher Claims Victory in Alta Badia Parallel Giant Slalom

There aren’t too many things that Austrian Marcel Hirscher hasn’t done in his illustrious career and after today he can check another accomplishment off his list as he won his first career Parallel Giant Slalom.
Under the lights in Alta Badia tonight, where he won yesterday’s giant slalom, Hirscher finally got the elusive Parallel Giant Slalom win, topping surprise finalist Thibaut Favrot (FRA) in the big final. Third place went to Favrot’s teammate Alexis Pinturault, marking the second time in as many days that the French team landed two racers on the podium.
For Favrot, Alta Badia is proving to be a memorable stop on the Audi FIS World Cup tour. Last year he earned his first World Cup points here, while tonight was his first career podium finish.
Alexis Pinturault topped last year’s Alta Badia parallel giant slalom winner Matts Olsson of Sweden in the small final.
For Hirscher tonight marked a second career milestone as he earned his 62nd World Cup victory, which now puts in third place on the all-time victory list, tied with Annemarie Moser-Pröll.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Another Victory for King Marcel Hirscher in the Giant Slalom of Alta Badia

The Austrian phenom dominated today's race on the Gran Risa slope to take a record sixth straight win in the Alta Badia GS. Hirscher ends up with a massive 2.53 seconds ahead of Thomas Fanara, with Alexis Pinturault 2.69 behind in third.
Hirscher already built up a healthy lead after the first run as he was ahead of Matts Olsson by a solid 0-94 margin. Third place after the first run was the Swiss surprise Marco Odermatt, who ultimately attacked the second run a little too hard and did not finish. Olsson had a disappointing second run and ended in sixth place.
Despite the margin, he kept pushing in the second run, to win his 61 World Cup race in career.The Austrian 7-times Overall winner Marcel Hirscher is undoubtedly the strongest Giant Slalom athlete. Not only did he win this race with -2.53 on his closest rival, but he also was on the podium in the 20 last Giant Slalom races (world cup, world championships, and Winter Games) and won 14 of them. But with this 30th GS win in career, Marcel Hirscher is trailing Stenmark with 46 wins. The statistics are also pretty impressive considering the races in Alta Badia, as Hirscher just won his sixth successive win in the South Tyrolean resort.
The French picked up second and third place in a strong team showing. Thomas Fanara, who finished the first run in 12th place, leap-frogged into second place for his first podium finish since 2016. Meanwhile, Alexis Pinturault earned his first podium finish of the season, ending in third place.
Despite Hirscher’s massive victory margin, his second run was surprisingly only the second fastest on the day. Luca de Alipradini, who finished a distant 28th place in the first run, had the run of his life in the second run,  topping Hirsher’s time by 0.24 seconds, allowing him to climb into seventh place in the final standings.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Wins Downhill in Val Gardena/Gröden

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde picked up his third career victory and kept the Norwegian dominance of the Saslong intact after winning today’s downhill in Val Gardena/Groeden (ITA).
Wearing bib 5, Kilde laid down a blistering run, that no other racer could come close to. Finishing in second place was Austrian Max Franz, a healthy 0.86 behind, while Beat Feuz (SUI) finished in third place 0.92 seconds off the mark.
Norway has dominated the Saslong race weekend in recent years as the Attacking Vikings have earned seven victories in the last 10 races dating back to 2014 picking up a total of 15 podiums during that time, including this weekend’s victories in the downhill and super-Gs.
It was a mixed day of emotions for Feuz, who watched as his teammate Marc Gisin suffered a serious crash. "That was one of the worst places for it to happen," Feuz told Swiss television. "My run was okay but I cannot be so happy about it".
Gisin caught an edge and fell right before the camel humps and was projected in the air before hitting the course with force. Gisin was airlifted from the course and transported to the hospital in Bolzano. His condition is stable enough to be flown back to Switzerland tonight by Rega (the Swiss Air Rescue Service) and undergo further examinations there. The exact diagnosis is expected Sunday afternoon.
Marc Gisin also suffered a serious crash in the super-G in Kitzbuehel three years ago which forced him to miss the rest of that season.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Aksel Lund Svindal Wins Super-G in Val Gardena/Gröden

Aksel Lund Svindal skied to his 36 World Cup win in career today at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Val Gardena / Gröden. Only +0.02 behind him, Italy’s Christof Innerhofer grabbed a second place and Norway’s Kjetil Janrsud completed the podium.
The Norwegian superstar already won pretty much everything in alpine skiing. He took gold at the Winter Olympic Games twice, became a World Champion five times, claimed 11 World Cup globes, topping the Overall ranking twice. And slowly, the 35-year-old athlete also climbs up World Cup wins ranking. Today, he equaled his childhood idol Benjamin Raich in seventh place of all time among male athletes. An honor for Svindal, but not an end in itself. The Norwegian, who suffered many injuries in the past years including a broken hand approximately one month ago, is feeling great physically.
"Physically I am feeling great, this is the best it has been since my crash in Kitzbuehel," said Svindal.
Italian racers couldn’t celebrate a Super-G win in front of the crowd in Val Gardena since 2008. Today, Christof Innerhofer got really close and earned a second place only +0.02 off the pace. The South Tyrolean is very happy with the way he is skiing at the moment, especially in super-g where the early season results were not as good as anticipated.
"I want to focus on my skiing and my technique. In the last year, I focused on the results too much, but I think if I let it go and ski well, the results will come by their own", said Innerhofer.
In third place Kjetil Jansrud earns the 50th podium in career and now holds the record of 9 podiums on the Saslong in Val Gardena together with Peter Müller.
"This hill has a great combination of jumps, terrain and sliding parts. Your timing needs to be very precise, especially in super-g. I really enjoy skiing here", said Jansrud.
This is the second podium this season for the Norwegian athlete, who was already able to win the super-g in Lake Louise a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Saalbach-Hinterglemm Replaces the Canceled Slalom in Val d'Isere

Last Sunday, the Men’s slalom in Val d'Isère was canceled due to the weather conditions.
The race will now take place in the Austrian town of Saalbach-Hinterglemm.
Candidate for the FIS Ski World Championships in 2025, the resort located in the south-west of the city of Salzburg planned to organize European Cup races this season, with two Super-Gs scheduled on 21st and 22nd of December. In addition to this, Saalbach will host two World Cup races.
A World Cup will be held on 19th of December, replacing the giant slalom from Sölden, and a slalom has just been added to the schedule on 20th of December. This slalom is the replacement of last Sunday's canceled race in Val d'Isère,

Sunday, December 9, 2018

An Unstoppable Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Parallel Slalom in St. Moritz

Mikaela Shiffrin swept the Audi FIS Ski World Cup weekend of racing in St. Moritz (SUI) by outdueling Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in the big final of the individual parallel slalom race on Sunday after winning Saturday's super-G. Despite an error in the run that looked to offer an advantage to Vlhova, Shiffrin battled back on the final gates of the course to take the win by a mere 0.11 seconds. It was a repeat of the final from the Courchevel debut of the event last season which Shiffrin also won.
The athletes skied through a variety of conditions throughout the day ranging from heavy snow during the qualifying run inspection to sunshine to blowing snow by the time the race concluded. The race crew worked tirelessly to keep a total of three tracks in great shape for the competitors.
Wendy Holdener of Switzerland turned a tough start to the day around after she nearly failed to qualify as one of the top 32 skiers from the morning. With the 31st fastest qualifying run, she faced the No. 3 seed Frida Hansdotter of Sweden in the 1/16th Final. To the delight of Swiss fans, Holdener advanced through challenges from Hansdotter, Irene Curtoni, Lena Duerr, and Katharina Liensberger to claim the final podium spot in third place.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Marcel Hirscher Wins World Cup GS in Val d'Isère

La Face de Bellevarde in Val d’Isère is one of the most iconic giant slalom courses on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Tour. Steep, hard, with a lot of terrain. Even in good conditions, this hill is not easy to ski, so with poor visibility, wind and snowfall, the task gets even trickier.
But there is one athlete that performs no matter the conditions. It’s Giant Slalom king Marcel Hirscher. Starting with bib number 1, he laid down a time that no one would be able to match. Despite a +0.71 margin, he kept pushing in the second run, to win his 60 World Cup race in career, the 5th giant slalom win in Val d’Isère.
Henrik Kristoffersen came the closest to Hirscher. +1.20 off the pace in the first run, he was able to step up his game in the second run to reach another 2nd place. For Kristoffersen, this is the 14th World Cup podium in giant slalom, but he won only once, back in 2015 in Meribel.
In third place, Sweden’s Matts Olsson managed to hold on to his third place of the first run, to claim a fourth podium in career. The giant slalom specialist already has a World Cup win under his belt as he won the parallel giant slalom in Alta Badia last season, but he is still searching his first victory in a classical giant slalom.

Second Consecutive Victory for in Super-G for Mikaela Shiffrin

The unstoppable Mikaela Shiffrin followed up her career-first Audi FIS Ski World Cup super-G win in Lake Louise with a second one less than a week later at St. Moritz (SUI). The defending Overall champion and current overall leader skied another near flawless run under sunshine and blue skies to claim her 47th career World Cup victory, surpassing Austria's Renate Goetschl to claim fourth place on the all-time winners list in the process.
Lara Gut-Behrami secured her first podium finish of the season by finishing second in front of the home Swiss crowd at the same resort where she notched her first-ever World Cup podium and subsequent victory in 2008. Showing long-standing consistency in the discipline, Gut-Behrami and Tina Weirather are the only female skiers to have won a World Cup super-G race in each of the previous three seasons, and they both gave Shiffrin a run for her money.
Tina Weirather nabbed the final podium spot in third place 0.42 seconds off of Shiffrin's leading time. The 2017 and 2018 super-G discipline winner finished 15th in Lake Louise the previous week and currently sits fifth in the 2019 discipline standings. She'll be eager for the next super-G stop on the ladies' tour scheduled in Val Gardena/Gröden on 19th December.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Val Gardena/Gröden Replaces the Canceled Races in Val d'Isere

Due to warm temperatures, lack of snow, and unfavorable weather forecasts, the ladies' World Cup races in Val d'Isère (FRA) scheduled for 14th - 16th December 2018 twere canceled.
The canceled Ladies'races will be rescheduled in Val Gardena/Gröden (ITA) on 18th-19th December 2018 with the following programme:

Downhill, Tuesday, 18.12.2018

Super-G, Wednesday, 19.12.2018

The Val Gardena and the magnificent three villages of Ortisei, S. Cristina, and Selva Gardena, surrounded by the scenario of the Dolomites, offer a paradise of opportunities for ski with 175 km of pistes, 85% of which has snowmaking cover, accessible by 83 lifts.
The resort is lift linked to the Sella Ronda sector of the Dolomiti Superski pass. The Sella Ronda is probably the world’s third-largest lift-linked ski area with over 500km of lift-linked ski runs. The Dolomiti Superski pass is one of the world’s largest lift pass areas with over 1200km of maintained piste served by nearly 500 lifts on one ticket.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Stefan Luitz Wins Beaver Creek Giant Slalom

The race weekend in Beaver Creek concludes with Stefan Luitz taking the giant slalom win ahead of Austria's Marcel Hirscher (+0.14) and Thomas Tumler (+0.51) from Switzerland.
Last season in Alta Badia, on December 2017, after scoring to World Cup podiums in Beaver Creek and Val d'Isère, Germany's Stefan Luitz tears his ACL. Another season-ending injury, another recovery phase has to start. But Stefan Luitz doesn't lose his motivation, he keeps his goal in sight: getting back on the World Cup and be competitive. Today on the Birds of Prey, Luitz was more than competitive. He was the fastest and could claim his first ever World Cup win.
Even super star Marcel Hirscher couldn't keep up with the pace set by Stefan Luitz. The Olympic Champion, World Champion, 5-times globe holder and winner of 9 of the 10 last races in giant slalom, finished second.
In third place, the surprise came from Thomas Tumler. The Swiss racer was only 21st on the first run, but an amazing second run, where he laid down the fastest time in all the splits, brought him to his first World Cup podium in his career.

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins World Cup Super-G in Lake Louise

Mikaela Shiffrin takes her first Super-G victory at Lake Louise. Ragnhild Mowinckel came in second +0.77 behind and Viktoria Rebensburg took third +0.83 seconds out.
At the age of 23, defending Overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin became the first athlete – male or female – to win in all six disciplines currently contested on the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup circuit by claiming her career-first victory in Super-G at Lake Louise (CAN) on Sunday. She described the run as nearly perfect and surprised even herself with the accomplishment. The American secured her first speed victory in Downhill last season at the same resort. She has now won World Cup races in ladies' Slalom, Parallel Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Downhill, and Alpine combined.
Shiffrin joined the selected group of six female skiers who achieved that (without the Parallel Slalom) before her (Petra Kronberger, Pernilla Wiberg, Janica Kostelić, Anja Paerson, Lindsey Vonn and Tina Maze).
Attacking Viking Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway picked up her second podium finish of the winter and first in the speed disciplines by finishing second behind Shiffrin following some rocky downhill results. Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany, who has threatened for the podium in both giant slalom races contested so far this season, put down a solid run to kick off the race with bib 1 and held on for her first podium of the winter in third.

Nicole Schmidhofer Wins Again in Lake Louise

The second Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill of the season for the ladies went down today at Lake Louise. The ladies were greeted by sunshine and exceptional conditions on the track which allowed them to push for their very best skiing.
Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria had never won a World Cup heading into the start of the 2018-2019 speed season (She had a gold medal and four Audi FIS Ski World Cup podium results since starting her career on the circuit over 11 years ago). But by the end of the opening Downhill races in Lake Louise, she had two consecutive victories to her name and 200 points to lead the discipline standings. She was joined on the podium in second by her teammate Cornelia Huetter (+0.44), who won in Lake Louise last season, and Switzerland's Michelle Gisin in third (+0.47), who also picked up a podium result in Friday's race. 
Over the past 10 World Cup seasons, the winner of the first day of downhill racing at Lake Louise proved victorious in the second race as well a total of eight times. The last Austrian woman to achieve the feat prior to Schmidhofer was Renate Goetschl in 1998.

Max Franz Wins Beaver Creek Super-G

Snowy conditions marked today's Super-G at Beaver Creek. Austria’s Max Franz charged his way to his second victory in seven days after also winning last week’s downhill in Lake Louise, Canada. Switzerland’s Mauro Caviezel continued his hot-streak of podium finishes in second, 0.33 seconds back. The story of the day, however, was a rarely seen three-way tie for third place between Italy’s Dominik Paris and Norwegians Aksel Lund Svindal and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who each finished 0.41 seconds behind Franz for a total of five racers on the podium.
Max Franz grabbed today in Beaver Creek his first Super-G win in his career. The Birds of Prey wasn't so good to Franz in the past as he suffered many crashes on this hill, including a season-ending ACL tear. But with this win, his third in career, he's at peace with the US venue again.
In the second position, Mauro Caviezel showcased his early season form again. After a 2nd place in the super-g in Lake Louise and a 2nd place in the downhill yesterday at Beaver Creek, the Swiss racer was able to claim a 4th World Cup podium in career.
Behind the two leaders, three athletes are tied in 3rd place. Aksel Lund Svindal, Dominik Paris and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. It's the first time since 2006, when Lindsey Vonn, Nadia Styger and Michaela Dorfmeister shared the win in Hafjell/Kvitfjell, that three athletes are tied on the podium.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Nicole Schmidhofer Wins First Downhill of the Season in Lake Louise

The first Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill of the season for the ladies went down today at Lake Louise and saw Nicole Schmidhofer claiming the win, followed by Michelle Gisin (+0.15) and Kira Weidle (+0.50).
The 2017 super-G World Champion Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria had a gold medal and four Audi FIS Ski World Cup podium results since starting her career on the circuit over 11 years ago when she notched her career-first victory on the tour in Friday's opening downhill at Lake Louise (CAN). Both the discipline and the venue proved a surprise for Schmidhofer who expected that a first win would come in super-G, and likely on a slope more suited to her style. Despite a previous best finish in the Lake Louise downhill of eighth, she posted the fastest time on race day after leading the final training run the day before.
Michelle Gisin of Switzerland followed in close second just 0.15 seconds from the win. The former slalom specialist expanded her racing repertoire two years ago to include more speed events, and she was rewarded with success in Lake Louise for the second time after finishing in third place last season. Gisin held the fastest time on the course from bib 1 all the way until Schmidhofer unseated her with bib 15, and she now sits in an impressive fourth place on the downhill WCSL following her podium finish.
Kira Weidle of Germany, a newcomer to the podium, rounded out the top three finishers of the day. She posted noteworthy results in the training runs including leading on the second day and slotting the third-fastest time on the third day. Her previous best result heading into the day was an eighth-place finish in the Lake Louise downhill last season.

Beat Feuz Wins Beaver Creek Downhill

The infamous Birds of Prey downhill saw Switzerland's Beat Feuz take the win by a very small margin over his fellow countryman Mauro Caviezel (+0.07) and Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal (+0.08).
After the program of both speed races has been inverted, anticipating the overnight snowfall going into Saturday, the best downhillers of the World tackled the Beaver Creek race course.
The downhill globe winner of the 2017-2018 season was able to lay down the fastest time, carrying the speed from the steep sections all the way down to the finish line.
Mauro Caviezel again surprises the crowd with the second fastest run of the day. Less than one week after scoring his second podium in career in Lake Louise, the Swiss racer doubles up and adds another podium to his collection.
In the third position, Aksel Lund Svindal claims his 78 podium in career, the 14 in Beaver Creek. The downhill Olympic champion had a hand surgery less than two weeks ago, but nothing that prevents him to be among the fastest down the Birds of Prey.
Unfortunately, three athletes crashed during today's downhill. While Peter Fill and Marko Vukicevic were able to ski to the finish area by themselves, Thomas Dressen from Germany had to be transported to the Vail Hospital for further examinations.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Peak Resorts Closes On Acquisition of Snow Time Ski Areas

Peak Resorts has completed its $76 million acquisition of Snow Time, Inc., which includes three Pennsylvania ski areas—Liberty Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, and Roundtop Mountain Resort. The deal expands Peak Resorts’ portfolio to 17 ski areas across the Northeast and Midwest.
Prior to closing, Peak Resorts offered Snow Time passholders the opportunity to upgrade to a Peak Pass—the company’s season pass product that includes access to Peak properties in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire—and 27 percent of Snow Time season passholders did so. As of Oct. 31, Snow Time pass sales were up approximately 20 percent in units and about 19 percent in revenue compared to the prior year.
"The addition of the Snow Time properties to our growing portfolio of Northeast and Midwest operations further expands our reach into the affluent and densely populated Baltimore and Washington D.C. markets and provides our customers in the Northeast with three new complementary and conveniently located mountains where they can ski and ride as well as enjoy a four-season resort experience (...) By adding these new mountain destinations to our Peak Pass portfolio, we can drive additional value for our most loyal customers. In addition, all three mountains greatly expand our night skiing capabilities, further extending the fun for all visitors and providing a highly sought-after differentiating factor. Importantly, season pass holders at Liberty, Roundtop and Whitetail who have already made the decision to purchase or renew their season passes for the 2018/2019 ski season will have the ability to upgrade to the Peak Pass and enjoy all 10 of our Northeast resorts. We expect to provide these customers with more details, including pricing options, in the coming weeks", said Peak Resorts president and CEO Tim Boyd.
Liberty Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort and Roundtop Mountain Resort are within driving distance of the Baltimore-Washington D.C. market, which comprises nearly 10 million people, and welcomed more than 600,000 visitors during the 2017/2018 ski season. Snow Time’s resorts offer a combined 65 trails, more than 325 skiable acres, and an average of approximately 700 vertical feet of terrain. Snow Time also operates two 18-hole golf courses, a 115-room hotel and 22,000 square foot conference center at Liberty Mountain Resort, and more than 20 food and beverage locations across its three resorts.

Headquartered in Missouri, Peak Resorts is a leading owner and operator of high-quality, individually branded ski resorts in the U.S. The company operates 14 ski resorts primarily located in the Northeast and Midwest, 13 of which are company owned.
The majority of the resorts are located within 100 miles of major metropolitan markets, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and St. Louis, enabling day and overnight drive accessibility. The resorts under the company's umbrella offer a breadth of activities, services and amenities, including skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, tubing, dining, lodging, equipment rentals and sales, ski and snowboard instruction and mountain biking and other summer activities.

Peak Resorts Owned Mountain Resorts:
Boston Mills/Brandywine, Ohio. All three Northeast Ohio ski resorts – Alpine Valley, Boston Mills and Brandywine – are operated collectively.
Mad River Mountain, Ohio. Resort is operated under long-term agreement by Peak Resorts, Inc. Resort is owned by EPR Properties.
Attitash, New Hampshire
Crotched Mt. Ski Area, New Hampshire
Wildcat Mountain, New Hampshire
Jack Frost, Pennsylvania
Big Boulder Ski Area, Pennsylvania
Mount Snow, Vermont
Hunter Mountain, New York
Paoli Peaks, Indiana
Hidden Valley, Missouri

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Kjetil Jansrud Wins World Cup Super-G in Lake Louise

Kjetil Jansrud was in fine form again this Sunday and crossed the finish line 0.14 seconds ahead of Vincent Kriechmayr and 0.21 of Mauro Caviezel.
For the 7th year in a row, an attacking Viking was at the top of the super-g ranking in Lake Louise. Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud, all editions since 2010 were won by a Norwegian athlete, and it was no different in 2018. The Cup winner from 2016 and 2017 laid down an aggressive run and finished with a tight +0.14 advantage over his runner-up.
Vincent Kriechmayr, who really broke through last season with two World Cup wins in super-g (Beaver Creek and Are) and one in downhill (Are), had a small mistake in the upper part but was able to push hard in the steeper sections to finally grab the second place behind Jansrud. It’s his first podium in Lake Louise, the eighth in his career.
The surprise of the day came from Switzerland’s Mauro Caviezel. He was laying down solid performances in the speed disciplines lately, finishing last season in 12th position in the downhill standings and 15th in super-g. After the first podium in Aspen in 2017, Caviezel managed to earn another third place and proves he’s on a great shape for the upcoming 2018/19 season.

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Slalom in Killington

Mikaela Shiffrin continues in the path of victory in slalom with a demonstrative victory in Killington (Vermont, USA). After leading the first run of the second slalom of the season, Shiffrin finishes ahead of Petra Vlhova (+ 0.57) and Frida Hansdotter (+ 1.08). She claims her 34th World Cup slalom victory in front of a home crowd.
Mikaela Shiffrin battled challenging visibility and course conditions to win her second slalom race of the season, this time in front of her home crowd of 15,000 roaring fans at Killington (USA). She skied the fastest first run down the Superstar trail and was able to hold on in the second for the win despite a hard charge by Slovakia's Petra Vlhova, who ultimately finished second, and Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, who finished third.
Fog and light mist on the lower portion of the course in the first run made for difficult visibility and contributed to 16 athletes failing to make it to the finish line.
Shiffrin was visibly moved by her success following the second run and thanked the crowd with an emotional remark: "You guys, I could hear you from the start. That was the most unbelievable thing I've ever experienced, so thank you".
Due to the difficult conditions, a number of athletes from outside the top 30 battled into the second run for impressive finishes including Norway's Kristin Lysdahl who ended up 16th with bib 50, Switzerland's Elena Stoffel in 20th with bib 55, and New Zealand's Piera Hudson in 26th with bib 59, among others.
Shiffrin has two slalom wins and a giant slalom podium as she moves on to Lake Louise to kick off the ladies' speed season. She holds a 40-point lead over Vlhova in the slalom standings and a 114-point lead over the Slovakian in the Overall standings as well.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Max Franz Wins First Downhill of the Season in Lake Louise

The first Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill of the season went down under a bright sunshine today at Lake Louise and saw Max Franz claiming the win, followed by the Italian duo Christof Innerhofer and Dominik Paris.
With bib number 1, Max Franz was the first one to tackle the course at Lake Louise. The Austrian racer said he made some mistakes, but all in all it was a good run and he could settle in the leader seat. What he didn’t know at this point, was that he’d be able to hold on to this position all the way to the end of the race. Already last year he grabbed a third place in Lake Louise, but climbing on the highest step, for the second time in his career after Val Gardena 2016, was unexpected. Max Franz is now wearing the red bib for the first time in his career and will have to defend it next week in Beaver Creek.
"My skiiing is solid at the moment. I had problems with my knee in the past weeks and I wasn't sure if it would work for the race. But after the first training I realised that I could push. Now I feel great and I have good sensations on the snow", said Franz.
Behind Franz, two Italians share the podium. In second place, Christof Innerhofer confirmed his great shape after winning the first training run on this course.
"They call me the Training World Champion, so I am very happy that I was able to lay down my best performance in the race as well. I’m more relaxed that in the past, and focus less on the result and more on the good skiing. It seems to work for me", said .Christof Innerhofer.
Innerhofer’s last podium in downhill goes back to Lenzerheide in 2014, so it’s a relief to him to find the Top 3 again in his favorite discipline. He’ll definitely be one to watch tomorrow, as he was second of the last World Cup super-g held in Åre last March.
Dominik Paris is the other Italian that earned a podium spot today. Despite winning the downhill in Bormio, the season 2017/18 was difficult for him. So earning a podium in Lake Louise, where he could celebrate a win back in 2013, is the best possible way to start the season for him.
"I didn’t have a good feeling last season and then I lost the confidence. Starting with a podium is very important for me", Dominik Paris.

Federica Brignone Wins Giant Slalom in Killington (Vermont)

Federica Brignone skied a smashing second run to claim her first victory of the season at the Killington (USA) giant slalom race in front of 18,500 spectators. The Italian improved upon her second-place finish in Sölden at the season opener and overtook Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel for the win. The Attacking Viking held the lead following the first run and was able to pick up her first podium of the season with a second-place finish. Stephanie Brunner of Austria, who is on the comeback from a torn ACL sustained at the end of last season, showed her return is more than on pace by securing her career-first podium result in third.
Notable differences between the first and second run course sets challenged athletes to adapt and excitement ensued as the top eight from first run battled for podium positions. But the top three from the first run remained the same in the second with only the placement shifting between Brignone and Mowinckel. Brunner's teammate Katarina Liensberger skied the second run with the fastest time to improve from 28th place to ninth by the end of the day. Sölden winner Tessa Worley of France, meanwhile, had to settle for fifth place after a costly mishap on the second run.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2018-2019 Moves To North America

The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues in North America this weekend.
Killington will host two technical races. The World Cup event in Vermont will feature Ladies giant slalom and slalom ski events on the Superstar course. the races will take place on 24th - 25th November 2018.
The world's fastest Men come to Canada's Lake Louise for the first speed events. Downhill and Super-G races are scheduled to take place on the same days.

Killington (USA)
November 24th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 25th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 24th Downhill / Men
November 25th Super G / Men

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 30th Downhill / Ladies
December 1st Downhill / Ladies
December 2nd Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
November 30th Super G / Men
December 1st Downhill / Men
December 2nd Giant Slalom / Men

Monday, November 19, 2018

2018 World Ski Awards

The world's finest ski tourism brands have been unveiled at a red carpet gala ceremony in Kitzbühel, Austria. The leading figureheads, decision-makers and innovators of the ski industry gathered at the five-star A-ROSA Kitzbühel for the World Ski Awards 2018 to find out who amongst them had been crowned the finest in their fields.
Winners at the gala ceremony included Europe's highest resort, Val Thorens, voted ‘World's Best Ski Resort’ thanks to its vast network of snowsure slopes. The perfect balance of contemporary design and Swiss tradition led to W Verbier collecting ‘World's Best Ski Hotel’, whilst Chalet Les Anges in Zermatt was named ‘World's Best Ski Chalet’.
In the newcomer categories, understated luxury and home-from-home comforts helped Fahrenheit Seven Courchevel scoop ‘World's Best New Ski Hotel’, whilst the unrivaled ski-in ski-out convenience of Chalet des Cascades (Les Arcs) led to it winning ‘World's Best New Ski Chalet’.
In a special category to acknowledge his pioneering work revolutionizing the Argentine ski resort of Chapelco, Juan Cruz Adrogué was awarded the trophy for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism’.
Taking place at A-ROSA Kitzbühel for the sixth consecutive year, World Ski Awards 2018 brought together representatives from ski nations across Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australasia. The prize-giving ceremony marked the climax of a three-day itinerary that included exclusive networking events, gourmet dinners, site-seeing tours, and alpine activities.
World Ski Awards is globally recognized as the leading programme in the global ski sector. Votes are cast by industry professionals and the public in a range of categories, including best resorts, hotels, chalets, and tour operators.
Sion Rapson, Managing Director, World Ski Awards, said: “Kitzbühel, the home of legends, has proven a world-class host on what has been a magnificent evening of triumph for the winter sports hospitality industry. We have had the privilege of recognizing the leading organizations from across the world and my congratulations to each of them.”
Winners also included Aurelio Lech, Austria (‘World's Best Ski Boutique Hotel’); Ski Dubai (‘World's Best Indoor Ski Resort’); Switzerland's LAAX (‘World's Best Freestyle Resort’); Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel (‘World's Best Ski Resort Company’); Bella Coola Heli Sports, Canada (‘World's Best Heli-Ski Operator’); Rocksresort, Switzerland (‘World's Best Green Ski Hotel’); Schneebeben (‘World's Best Ski Transfer Operator’); Leo Trippi (‘World's Best Ski Travel Agent’) and Sunweb (‘World's Best Ski Tour Operator’).

A full list of the World Ski Awards winners can be seen here.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Marcel Hirscher Wins First Slalom of the Season in Levi

Marcel Hirscher won the World Cup men's slalom opener +0.09 ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen and +1.41 of André Myhrer.
Last year, Marcel Hirscher was just coming back from an ankle injury when he started in the World Cup Levi but he impressed everyone with a 17th place. This year, he was able to earn his 59th World Cup win, the 28th in slalom. The Austrian superstar Marcel Hirscher, who became a father for the first time this summer, is still eager to push the level even further. He also extended his reindeer herd with "Mr. Snow", a nice company for his two other reindeers Ferdinand and Leo.
Henrik Kristoffersen claimed his 10th slalom podium in a row. After finishing all last years' races on the podium in slalom, the Norwegian tech whiz pushed hard in both runs, to finish +0.07 ahead in the first run, and +0,09 in the end.
Olympic Champion André Myhrer was able to grab the last spot left on the podium. The World Championships in Are are the big goal of the Swede but every good race before builds up the momentum he wishes to claim the World Champion title in front of his home crowd. With this podium, Myhrer becomes the oldest podium contender in the men's slalom World Cup.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins First Slalom of the Season in Levi

Mikaela Shiffrin continued her unbeaten streak in slalom with a demonstrative victory on Levi (Finland). The course held up despite warm weather conditions in Levi on Saturday, and Shiffrin dominated both slalom runs to finish ahead of Petra Vlhova and Bernadette Schild, who were respectively 0.58 and 0.79 seconds off the winning pace. It was Shiffrin's 43rd career World Cup victory.
Mikaela Shiffrin won her third reindeer and slalom race at Levi (FIN) to bring her total World Cup slalom victories tally of 33 well within striking distance of all-time leader Marlies Schild (35).
"I was even surprised at how good the course felt with the warm conditions. The snow held up really well, and I was able to really push. I had a little bit of a scary moment on the top of the pitch, but I kept fighting and made it to the finish. That was fun", said Shiffrin following her win. "It’s the first race of the season, so there’s some nerves, there’s some excitement. Nobody knows how fast they are. So it’s always a really nice challenge, and it’s a nice slope".
The 2017 victor Petra Vlhova of Slovakia gave chase in the second run to improve her position from third to second place. But she was still just over half a second shy of Shiffrin in the end. Bernadette Schild of Austria skied the fastest second run to leap a surprising nine positions from 12th place after the first run onto the podium in third place.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What Is Going On Here? Is Facebook Dead for Marketers?

"Facebook’s algorithms require you to pay for an audience you already own and that’s utter bullshit (...) Make the exodus. Start supporting small social media networks. Start promoting peoples’ websites again. Start subscribing to their blogs. We need to shift the consolidation of power that the major Social Media Networks have back to us again", Kira Leigh in Art+marketing

"Facebook’s algorithm isn’t surfacing one-third of our posts. And it’s getting worse", Kurt Gessler in Medium

"The Facebook anguish continues", Lucia Moses in DIGIDAY

On Friday I watched the last episode of South Park. Watching the adventures of Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick gives me the opportunity and ideas to introduce subjects to discuss in my classes in a different way. And I think the 4th episode in the 21st season of South Park is perfect to meditate about what is going on with Facebook.

"You see, what I've done, Adam, is built a completely self-sustaining chaos machine (...) doing nothing more than that Facebook was designed to do. I make money on Facebook for my fake content in order to pay Facebook to promote my fake stories". Butters Stotch as Professor Chaos in Franchise Prequel (Facebook is the ultimate weapon for Professor Chaos, he has found the perfect tool to spread lies and misinformation about Coon and friends).

If we look back, we see that Facebook was born as a social networking service. The founders had initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students; however, later they expanded it to other Universities. Since 2006, Facebook is open to anyone who fulfills the minimum age requirement and has a valid email address.
Traffic to Facebook increased steadily after 2009. Right now they claim they have 2 billion monthly active users (June 2017).
Facebook has affected the social life of the contemporary world forever. Facebook allows people using the internet to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives, and other acquaintances. It has reunited lost family members and friends. Facebook allows users to trade ideas, stay informed with local or global developments, and unite people with common interests and/or beliefs.
When I joined Facebook it was still a social networking site.
But a few years ago everything changed.
First, Facebook’s preference for video over text posts was a fact. And now is more or less a wall of news.
"There’s a large segment of the population that gets most of its news from Facebook,(...) If there’s been an overall decline in high-quality news that’s circulating on the platform, that is generally concerning from a philosophical standpoint", said Matt Karolian, director of audience engagement at The Boston Globe.

Despite you follow Facebook optimal content mix rule, 50% links, 25% video and 25% photos, you are seeing a huge fall in your post consumption or daily average reach. And there is only one way to compensate that: paying to promote your posts. Facebook algorithms have one objective: to get more money of potential advertisers because Mark Zuckerberg's platform is under the growing pressure of shareholders who want revenue.
The point is, under the current conditions, many marketers think now, and I agree, is time to move away from Facebook.

"In my mind, we’re kind of at the mercy of the algorithm", Aysha Khan said. "But there’s a lot of stories that are getting underwhelming responses that readers can’t even see. It is this constant thing, trying to figure out how to incorporate it into your workflow. At one point they were pushing images, and then they were pushing video, and live video. I don’t think it’ll ever stop"
"To some, the issue points to the need for publishers to diversify their audience sources through search, direct traffic, and newsletters, while others registered resignation",  Lucia Moses in DIGIDAY

This article was originally published on Ski Paradise on October 15, 2017

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre.

From the 5th to the 17th of February 2019, the entire ski world will be looking to Åre (Sweden). For the third time, Åre will host the 45th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, the world's second largest winter sports event after the Olympics.
The best athletes (around 600) of 70 nations will compete for medals and the title of World Champion in the six disciplines Downhill, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Slalom, Alpine Combined (Downhill + Slalom) and in the Team Event. The Award Ceremonies will take place at the Medals Plaza.
Åre 2019 is estimating 120,000 visitors during the Alpine World Ski Championships.

Race Program:

The 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre are scheduled from February 5-17.

Monday, February 4th 18:30 pm Opening Ceremony
Tuesday, February 5th 12:30 pm Super G / Ladies
Wednesday, February 6th 12:30 pm Super G / Men
Friday, February 8th Alpine Combined (11:00 am Downhill - 16:15 pm Slalom) / Ladies
Saturday, February 9th 12:30 pm Downhill / Men
Sunday, February 10th 12:30 pm Downhill / Ladies
Monday, February 11th Alpine Combined (11:00 am Downhill - 14:30 pm Slalom) / Men
Tuesday, February 12th 16:00 pm Team Event / Mixed
Thursday, February 14th Giant Slalom (14:15 First Run - 17:45 Second Run) / Ladies
Friday, February 15th Giant Slalom (14:15 First Run - 17:45 Second Run) / Men
Saturday, February 16th Slalom (11:00 First Run - 14:30 Second Run) / Ladies
Sunday, February 17th Slalom (11:00 First Run - 14:30 Second Run) / Men
Sunday, February 17th  Closing Ceremony

The village of Åre and its surroundings have a long alpine tradition and the tourist industry has been an important source of income for the village since the mid-1800s.
Interest in winters in Åre increased in the 1900s and construction of the funicular, Bergbanan, in 1910 was Åre’s start as a winter resort. The Second World War temporarily stopped development, but during the 1950s and 60s Åre, just like much of the rest of Europe, started to recover. Åre’s true golden years began at the end of the 1970s and, thanks to Ingemar Stenmark and the "Åre Project", which facilitated huge investment in Åre, interest boomed in the ski resort.
Nowadays, Åre, a small and rural town located in the Jämtland region, in the midst of the Swedish mountains, and with 1400 inhabitants, welcome around 800 000 visitors yearly.
Around 11,000 of Jämtland’s 126,000 inhabitants live in Åre Municipality. The county is about the same size as Switzerland (which has eight million inhabitants).
Åreskutan, with a summit that is snow-covered from November to May, towers above the village and the neighboring mountains. It rises 1420 meters above sea level and, on a clear day, it can be seen from the county seat of Östersund, 100 km away. "Skutan" is distinctive thanks to its alp-like character and its height; while other mountains and resorts are usually surrounded by mountains of the same height, Åreskutan is the tallest one around.

Åre first hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1954. It was the 13th championships ever and world champions in Downhill, Giant Slalom, Slalom, and Alpine Combined were crowned between 1 and 7 March.
In 2007, once again, Åre hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships. The 2007 Championships made a permanent impression on Åre’s ski system and the village, as a new Ladies’ Downhill was built, commercial space doubled and a 130-meter-long tunnel replaced the bridge that once led the world championship slopes across the E14. The 39th Alpine World Ski Championships was a success for both the host and the Swedish team.
Åre also has great experience of organizing Alpine World Cup races. Åre Slalomklubb and Världscupbolaget have organized more than 100 World Cup races over the years, with great success. Thanks to the now legendary Åre son Bibbo Nordenskiöld’s initiative, an Alpine World Cup was first held in Åre in 1969.
The third World Cup was held in Åre on 21 March 1977. It was showtime for Sweden and Ingemar Stenmark; 29,000 people visited Åre to watch him win.