"I just imagine a fantasy world and go for it!"
As stadium announcer, Diego Clara is responsible for creating the right atmosphere in the finish area. This is a particular challenge in front of empty spectator stands - but the experienced speaker knows a few tricks to get the athletes fired up even without fans.
Saslong editorial team: “Due to the pandemic, this year the finish area of the Saslong looks different than in previously. How can you imagine the work of a stadium announcer when there are no enthusiastic crowds to support you?”
Diego Clara: "Of course, the fans on the sidelines and in the finish area are missing, but everyone's safety comes first. Even without spectators, with the athletes, staff and many volunteers, there are still a lot of people here who deserve a show. I have full respect for every single person who made hosting the World Cup possible - so I'm just going to pretend the finish area is full and not talk less than I would usually."
"Are there any special tricks to create a good atmosphere even without an audience?"
"I plan to make up a fantasy world in my head and then work with that. When I see the 25 wooden figures in the stands, it almost goes by without saying: I just see the figures as living people and then go for it from start to finish - even though, unlike real people, the figures won't give me a reaction..."
"Is this the first time for you to perform in front of empty crowds?"
"Yes, in fact it is a premiere also for me. Usually, there are always a lot of people at the events I work - so it will be a challenge for me as well."
"Finally, complete this sentence for us: the World Cup races in Val Gardena/Gröden without fans is like..."
"...a hot dog without sausage!" (laughs)
"Thank you for the interview!"