On 17th February, the “Ski Festival with Heart” officially came to an end. 12 days of thrilling ski races delivered memorable experiences for both the crowds and the athletes. Some 300,000 spectators attended Schladming 2013, with the men’s slalom setting the record of 40,300. In terms of coverage, over 1,600 representatives of the media were on-site in Schladming and more than 100 cameras on the slopes provided in excess of 50 hours of live coverage of the truly spectacular event. Now it’s time to reflect on some highlights:
US on top of the medals table
Ted Ligety and teenager Mikaela Shiffrin led the US team to the top of the medals table (4 gold, 1 bronze), ahead of Austria (2 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze) and France (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). This was the first time in history that a non-European nation led the medals standing.
Big Names clinch medals, Ligety makes history
Ted Ligety clinched three gold medals: The “king of Schladming” stunned the field to win the men’s super-G, the super combined and also his speciality, the giant slalom. Ligety thus joined an elite group of male racers to have won three or more gold medals at a World Championship event. It was the first time a man achieved this feat since Jean-Claude Killy won four gold medals in Grenoble in 1968. His 17-year-old teammate Mikaela Shiffrin showcased her supreme talent in the ladies’ slalom race and became the third youngest slalom champion of all times.
Skiing viking Aksel Lund Svindal from Norway took the men’s downhill gold and super-G bronze, whilst narrowly missing out on the giant slalom podium in 4th place.
Slovenia’s ace and overall World Cup leader Tina Maze won the super-G and two silver medals (super combined, giant slalom). In addition, Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch took super combined gold and two bronze medals (downhill and team).
Host nation Austria left it to the last moment to win an individual gold medal. Marcel Hirscher, who had led the Austrian squad to gold in the team event, controlled his nerves in front of a roaring crowd to seal a memorable triumph in the men’s slalom race on the last day.
While Tessa Worley’s ladies’ giant slalom victory came as no major surprise, there were three other medals for France that were certainly not predicted by the experts. Marion Rolland nailed a sensational downhill gold, becoming the 2nd French female downhill champion in history, Gauthier de Tessieres who was a last minute replacement for an injured team mate took super-G silver and David Poisson clinched the downhill bronze. The trio has just had three World Cup podiums between them so far.
Truly exciting Team Event
On 12th February, the Nations Team Event which was held as a night race created the perfect atmosphere for both athletes and spectators. The head to head parallel slalom under the floodlights delivered one of the most exciting competitions and showcased some intense action combined with great entertainment.
For further details, visit fisalpine.com and schladming2013.at