Another passionate edition of the World Cup races gets filed away with the historic victories of Aksel Lund Svindal. We talked to Stefania Demetz, General Director/CEO of Saslong Classic Club about this year’s event.
It’s been two years since you have been able to pull off what looked like an impossible feat. What’s the secret?
Let’s say that you always need a little bit of luck, but the key for us is the extraordinary quality of our team work on all levels. Let’s start with the lift company Saslong SpA, which is in charge of the snow making machines and as such makes all this possible. Then we have the support of the valley that is fundamental and, last but not least, we have an amazing committee that is able to pull off all this extraordinary work!
How would you describe this edition of the races?
I don’t want to sound over the top, but I would almost say exhilarating. Yet again, we had to deal with an extraordinary weather situation and still we have a numerous and passionate audience. Also the winners of the races have made history with an incredible Super-G sweep. The enthusiasm has been truly overwhelming … like an early Christmas present.
What was the toughest moment?
Clearly when there are accidents. The toughest moment is when you see an athlete down who gets airlifted by helicopter. Luckily, everything went ok today, but the Downhill clearly carries a lot of risk. It’s only when the last racer has reached the Finish that one is at ease.
What was the most beautiful moment?
It’s when at the end of the races you can see people including athletes, fans, volunteers and everyone with big smiles. Their happiness is palpable and this gives me the biggest satisfaction.
Skiing is still happening in Val Gardena/Gröden despite the special snow conditions. So many compliments have been handed out from all the athletes and their teams.
This does not mean that we can rest on our laurels. We have to accept criticism and always strive to do better. These are difficult economic times and it is ever more complicated to pull off an event of this magnitude and level of professionalism. Having broad support is great but it is important to use it as an incentive and catalyst for the future.