Acrobats, Fireworks and a Lot of Skiing History
While preparations are still in full swing, the excitement for the party of the year is almost immeasurable. Just one more sleep, then the day is finally here: the most spectacular anniversary party ever seen in Val Gardena/Gröden is taking place in the finish area of the Saslong.
Günter Comploj proudly tells of the preparations for the anniversary party to which he has devoted himself for months. The event director of the Val Gardena/Gröden Organizing Committee has been in charge of planning, organizing and implementing the event and he aims to make Friday’s 50th anniversary celebration as attractive as possible. "Fifty years is not just a mere number; after fifty years, there is a ton of work, energy, motivation and commitment - and we want to put all of it into the show, which is very important to us” explains Comploj.
The starting signal of Friday evening’s program will be the bib number selection for Saturday's downhill. That will be at 5:15 pm at the Saslong Arena: The world’s best ten downhill skiers will be on stage, which has been specially set up for the event in the finish area of the Saslong. "This program certainly offers a highlight for every ski enthusiast who wants to experience his idols up close" explains Comploj. The six best Super-G racers will shortly be invited to the stage for the award ceremony. This, as well as the entire show, which is expected to last around 45 minutes will be broadcast from 7:40 pm, time-delayed, on "Rai TV Sport" channel. "It is a very important point for us: We want to reach many people and thus transmit on the one hand our passion for skiing and on the other hand demonstrate our skills in organizing this type of sporting events, which we have done so for decades in Val Gardena/Gröden.
Ski stars, music and dance
The anniversary show will then continue with music: the mezzo-soprano Sabina Willeit will perform - in a vintage look - the traditional song "Gherdëina, Gherdëina" while she will be lowered from the Sochers gondola lift with the help of the Val Gardena/Gröden mountain rescue service. Before the word is given to the former ski stars, the folk dance group of Ortisei/St. Ulrich will showcase its skills by enchanting with tradition, music and modernity. To reminisce their active racing time, former ski stars have been invited to join the anniversary celebration in Val Gardena/Gröden. The Italian TV presenter Ivana Vaccari will be emceeing none other than World Champion Bernhard Russi, the first Italian downhill winner on the Saslong Herbert Plank, Uli Spieß, who was first to jump over the camel humps, Gustav Thoeni, Pirmin Zurbriggen, the record downhill winner Franz Klammer and Aksel Lund Svindal, who won five times on the Saslong. The interviews are visually framed by talented acrobats performing acrobatic arts on a pyramid - no less to the pop music of Val Gardena/Gröden native Giorgio Moroder. The 45-minute show concludes with a children's choir performing together with mezzo-soprano Erika Mussner the Christmas song "Silent Night" in three languages. The singers will be accompanied by an artist who will paint the journey of a family from Milan to Val Gardena, in sand.
What makes the anniversary show so breathtaking is Günter Comploj's secret: "In the end, you can not reveal everything. The fact is that the show will finish with a very special ending organized by the Leitner company - fitting with the ski circuit with lots of snow, light and music. Not to be missed are the guests of honor from politics, sports and business, such as regional councilor Martha Stocker, Secretary General of the FIS, Sarah Lewis, the FISI President Flavio Roda and the mayors of Val Gardena. "The dedicated stands have been specifically set up in the finish area to hold up to a thousand spectators. We would be happy to welcome many South Tyroleans, tourists and ski enthusiasts here in Val Gardena/Gröden to share with them what we have achieved here” explains Günter Comploj. "You should not miss such a unique show."