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Audi FIS Ski World Cup Val Gardena / Gröden
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Anecdotes, part 2: Bernhard Russi and Hans Knauss

11.12.2017

 

Bernhard Russi: Coat too small for the award ceremony

“In 1970 I surprisingly became the downhill World Champion. The whole media hype was pure chaos, the traffic in town had collapsed and my personal caregiver had lost sight of me. All I knew was that the award ceremony was to take place sometime after the race in Ortisei/St.Ulrich. I hitchhiked back to the hotel - the Spaniards took me, where I realized with horror that my official team clothing was already on the way to the Award Ceremony. The hotel host quickly drove me with the help of a police escort on backroads to Ortisei/St.Ulrich. The clothes that I should have worn at the ceremony were still nowhere to be found. Finally, about two minutes before the ceremony, my team member Kurt Schneider helped me out and lent me his official coat. It was at least two sizes too small. Nevertheless, I enjoyed every moment of the award ceremony, which still brings up many emotions. Tears ran down my face as soon as the first notes of the national anthem were played. It was so emotionally overwhelming that I didn’t even realize that, in place of the Swiss national anthem, they mistakenly played the British one.”

Hans Knauss: The advice of the best enemy

"Val Gardena/Gröden and especially the camel humps have always been a legend for me! I remember when I was racing as an active racer in Val Gardena/Gröden, Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe asked me during the inspection how he could best get over the third camel hump. Until then, he always skied past it on the left. I explained exactly the line to my friend "Hubsi", but at the same time warned him that he had to ride full throttle and without fear the curve in front of it, at the wall, otherwise he would not build enough speed. I felt guilty because I did not know if “Hubsi’s” pace would be enough. When I was walking back to the hotel after my training run and some interviews in the finish area, I heard the announcer yell: "Heavy fall for Hubertus von Hohenlohe!" I knew immediately, it was the camel hump! "Hubsi" unfortunately contracted a cruciate ligament tear in his knee, but did not give up and continues to race until today. "