The story of Val Gardena/Gröden in the Ski World Cup
For the first time in 1969, a FIS Ski World Cup race was held in Val Gardena/Gröden. In 1967, the International Ski Federation decided to host the 1970 Ski World Championships in the valley. That's why a downhill slope had to be built: the local organizers decided to refer to the new FIS guidelines: more technique, less risk. The Swiss Janiel Danilel Dätwyler won the inaugural race in a time of 2:07.75.
The 1970 Ski World Championships not only formed an important milestone in the history of the valley but also constituted an significant stage in the organization of major sporting events. The World Cup was the starting point for new technologies, for innovative forms of advertising, but above all it offered a unique opportunity to make this valley located in the heart of the Dolomites known all over the world. At the time, the races ended in four different finish areas, namely Ronc, Ciampinoi, Cir and Saslonch.
The World Cup has decisively shaped the valley and helped it become a tourist destination. Many accommodations doubled the number of beds and numerous VIPs found their way to Val Gardena/Gröden. In terms of sports, it returned again in 1972 and has since then become a traditional venue for Ski World Cup races. In 1975, Val Gardena/Gröden hosted the World Cup Finals for the first and only time. Reminiscent of a parallel giant slalom, in which the South Tyrolean Gustav Thöni prevailed against the Swede Ingemar Stenmark winning the overall World Cup. 40,000 spectators witnessed the event.
Since then, no technical races have been hosted in the valley, but instead only downhill and since 2002 also Super G. 1980 will be remembered when the North Tyrolean Uli Spiess jumped for the first time over the Camel Humps. Not everyone was able to emulate him and many fell in the attempt. For this reason, the course conditions were changed but one of the most spectacular parts of the Ski World Cup still remains. The runners jump up to 80 meters and are up to six meters above the ground.