Val Gardena/Gröden Celebrates its 50th World Cup
Val Gardena/Gröden will host the FIS Ski World Cup for the 50th time this December. The anniversary celebrations already started more than three months before. World Cup racers and race organizers of different generations as well as numerous ski fans relieved the memories of the last half century.
Attending ski stars were in great form, the fans enthusiastic and the memories colorful, the festival held what it promised. Rainer Senoner, president of the Organizing Committee was delighted: "We are very pleased with the anniversary festivities but even more with the incredible 50 years during which the Val Gardena/Gröden valley has hosted the World Cup. It was a great pleasure to welcome our many dedicated helpers and all the racers who have become friends, and to remember with them the many shared memories. Arno Kompatscher, the local governor, praised the stability of the World Cup organizers: "It is impressive how efficient and professional the Val Gardena/Gröden OC has organized these races year after year. This is an invaluable advertisement for all of South Tyrol and is honored with great prestige on the international level.”
120 participants, among them the local theater associations of Selva/Wolkenstein, Ortisei/St.Ulrich, St. Christina and Runggaditsch re-enacted the many special moments of the World Cup history in the valley such as the awarding of the 1970 Ski World Cup at the FIS Congress in Beirut, the legendary 1975 World Cup final with Gustav Thöni and Ingemar Stenmark and the famous deer encounter of Kristian Ghedina. Other highlights were the premiere of the official Grödner World Cup song written by Jenni Perathoner and Luca Langgartner and the presentation of the victory trophies for the races in December: the downhill trophies were created by Gregor Prugger, made of linden wood, are minimally enhanced at the ends with white acrylic paint and 70 cm high. The Super-G winners will be awarded trophies created by Jonas Senoner. They are also made of linden wood, finely varnished with a bronze frame and 60 cm high.
Two camels were also present to celebrate what is probably the most famous passage of the Saslong, the Camel Humps. Guests included Peter Fill, Kristian Ghedina, Herbert Plank, "Much" Mair and several other stars of the past and present.
Many prominent representatives also attended from the political side including local governor Arno Kompatscher, the mayors of the valley Moritz Demetz (St. Christina), Roland Demetz (Selva/Wolkenstein) and Tobia Moroder (Ortisei/St.Ulrich), parliamentarian Daniel Alfreider and regional councilors Florian Mussner and Martha Stocker.