Anecdotes, part 3: Aksel Lund Svindal and Marc Girardelli
Aksel Lund Svindal: World Cup debut with panoramic views
"Val Gardena/Gröden is unique and very special to me. Not only because I had my World Cup speed debut here but also because I placed sixth on my first Super-G with bib number 56 - along with that guy Bode Miller - and only 11/100 seconds behind my countryman, the big Kjetil Andre Aamodt. This was in 2002 and since then - even after 15 years - I get on real well on the Saslong and I am looking forward each year to stand at the start in front of this unique mountain scenery."
Marc Girardelli: Premature winner interviews
"Although I always enjoyed racing in Val Gardena/Gröden, unfortunately I never made it to the top of the podium. The closest I got was in 1993. I set the fastest time with bib 30 sending the current leader Patrick Ortlieb wordlessly out of the finish area. I thought that would be something! After an odyssey of years without a downhill success, I reveled on cloud 9 even giving interviews as the supposed winner, but then I heard the stadium announcer: "Interim best for Werner Franz!" It came as it had to and he beat me with bib 52! And it got even better when Markus Foser won the race with bib 66. Once again, higher numbers had won in Val Gardena/Gröden. At least I was on the podium, though longing with some sadness for that lost victory."