Audi Fis Ski World Cup "SNOW QUEEN TROPHY" 2017
Three ski-filled days and celebration of 50 years of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Zagreb
The traditional Snow Queen Trophy races in Zagreb again this year brought together 150 of world’s best women and men skiers to Sljeme’s “Crveni spust” slope. This year however, the traditional slalom days in Zagreb were complemented by the city being the main stage of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the very first race of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. With a total of 19,500 spectators at the races the atmosphere on Sljeme was electrifying and fit for the coronation of this year’s queen and king of Sljeme.
With the men’s race taking place on 3 January and the ladies slalom race on 5 January, Sljeme saw the crown stay out of reach of dominant skiers in the cup at the time, with the surprise slalom wins of both Manfreg Mölgg and Veronika Velez-Zuzulova who took the titles of the King and Queen of Sljeme. The Slovakian born Velez-Zuzulova is the sixth skier to win the crown at Sljeme after Tanja Poutiainen, Marlies Schild, Maria Riesch, Sandrine Aubert and Mikaela Shriffin. Velez-Zuzulova raced with a starting number one, and held on to it until the end. She was in lead after the first run, and kept that position until the finish and with it won her first race at Sljeme. Mölgg saw his first World Cup win after nearly eight years. The last time Mölgg won was back in 2009, when he came first in a slalom race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A year later, he finished second atop Sljeme, and this year, he announced his good form in the first three slaloms of the season.
Apart from the two excellent Audi FIS Ski World Cup “Snow Queen Trophy” 2017 – Zagreb/Sljeme races, this year Zagreb also hosted the central celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first ever FIS Ski World Cup race, which was held on 5 January 1967 in Berchtesgaden, Germany. The celebration, titled “Zagreb Celebrates 50 Years of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup”, took place in Zagreb’s main square. The highlight of the evening was an exhibition race between the overall World Cup winners. The race was followed live by around 15,000 people gathered in the Bana Josipa Jelačića Square. The course in Bakačeva Street welcomed 18 of the biggest names in the history of the world’s alpine skiing. The list of overall winners taking part in the celebratory festivities included the first overall World Cup winner Jean-Claude Killy, record big crystal globe holder Annemarie Moser-Pröll, Croatia’s Janica and Ivica Kostelić, Karl Schranz, Michele Jacot Herry, Pernilla Wiberg, Marc Girardelli, Alberto Tomba, Marcel Hirscher, Petra Kronberger, Tamara McKinney, Tina Maze, Andreas Wenzel, Lise-Marie Morerod, Michaela Dorfmeister, Renate Götschl and Nicole Hosp. Austria’s Renate Götschl won the exhibition race, while Ivica Kostelić came second. The exhibition race between the overall World Cup winners in the centre of the city was preceded by a parade of the representatives of the organisers of all the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup races in the period between 1967 and 2017.
The two slaloms and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup were covered by more than 600 accredited media representatives. The “Zagreb Celebrates 50 Years of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup” programme was broadcasted live by a number of well-known TV stations, including Austrian ORF, Swiss SRF, Swedish SVT, British BBC, Japanese J Sports, American NBC, and the pan-European TV network Eurosport. Among the well-known European print media that conveyed their outstanding impressions of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup “Snow Queen Trophy” 2017 ladies’ and men’s race were Austria’s Die Presse, Kurier, Kleine Zeitung, Wiener Zeitung, Tiroler Tageszeitung, Salzburger Nachrichten, Heute, Österreich Wien, Die Presse, Kronen Zeitung, Der Standard and OÖ Nachrichten, Germany’s Bild, Franfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung, Münchener Merkur, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Czech Republic’s Blesk and Mladá fronta DNES, France’s L’Equipe, Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica and La Stampa, Slovakia’s Nový Čas, and Slovenia’s Delo and Večer.
They all wrote rather favourably about the races, underlining the traditionally excellent atmosphere and particularly emotional Sljeme queen, Slovak Veronika Velez-Zuzulova, and Sljeme king, Italian Manfred Mölgg.
Organizer’s video on the preparation for and the course of the “Zagreb Celebrates 50 Years of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup” programme may be found here: Video