The Austrian speed specialist Oti Striedinger has probably the biggest fan club in the FIS World Cup. In Val Gardena, it certainly was the most striking which is why it also won the 1st prize at the Fan Club competition for the second consecutive year.
Shortly before the start of the race, 120 fan club members marched in the parade through the town of St. Christina in green, bright outfits, accompanied by an endearing mascot. The specially composed marching songs including the famous battle cry "Oti, Oti, Oti!" were not to be missed. Otis fans were the most creative and expressive of the more than 20 supporters' clubs.
The 1st prize was a weekend in Val Gardena. This weekend, donated by Val Gardena-Gröden Marketing was redeemed by the Carinthian friends in July. Although the entire team wasn't present, at least 35 Fan club members made the journey to South Tyrol. As starters, the group was welcomed warmly by Günther Comploj, the director of events of Gröden/Val Gardena World Cup. After being fed at the restaurant "La Tambra" in St. Christina, the day continued on the red carpet with the so-called "Seira dl vin", a delightful wine tasting. Also attending were the newly elected president and race director of the Saslong Classic Club, Rainer Senoner, as well as chief course director Horst Demetz. The two board members offered a course inspection next December as a special treat.of Otis fan club
The actual prize event took place on Saturday on the Seiser Alm. In glorious weather, the Striedinger fans hiked along with Günter Comploj, dott. Günther Pitscheider of Val Gardena-Gröden Marketing and head of hostesses Verena Martiner to the "Col da la Dodesc" peak. The Carinthian group was impressed by the breathtaking mountains and the variety of alpine flowers on the lush green meadows of the Seiser Alm. Oti Striedinger couldn't resist showing his loyal fans the key section of the downhill course Saslong which can easily be spotted from the "Col da la Dodesc" peak. A scrumptious lunch was served at the Sanon Hut including a Magnum bottle of prosecco for the winning team. Günter Comploj provided the entertainment with his faithful guitar. The group was then treated to a variety of delicious deserts at the Mont Sëuc Hut. The evening concluded at the town celebration in St.Ulrich/Ortisei.
Prior to accepting the winning prize, the chairman of the Oti Striedinger fan club, Thomas Truskaller, announced his wish to capture their consecutive first prize for a third time in 2017 when Gröden/Val Gardena is celebrating its 50th anniversary.