"Thuniversum" sets the stage for press conference

The two World Cup races were presented today at a press conference held in Bolzano.
The panoramic Thuniversum offered the ideal setting for the many guests.  Giant screens projected numerous photos of the event:  starting with the summer maintenence work up to the rich entertainment  program of music and celebrations and of course of the race itself.  Journalists and guests were immersed into the fascinating atmosphere of the "Saslong Classic".   Stefania Demetz, president of the OC, started off by reminding everyone that Saslong has hosted 43 speed events  (DH and SG) in the past 34 years, and 28 athletes from seven different nations have stood on the podium.  Demetz went on to explain that Austria is in the lead with 15 victories in comparison with the other nations.  So far, only one athlete has ever won both of the events and that was Pirmin Zurbriggen from Switzerland.
The prize money for the two races to be held on December 19-20 amounts to 145.000 euro.  Rainer Senoner, the director of the race, has said that the run is already half way completed.  Günther Comploj, who is responsible for ceremonies and events, illustrated a program filled with a number of events, highlighting the award ceremony of the Super G and the introduction of the athletes of the Downhill on Friday, Dec.19. in Ortisei.  These events are sure to attract a number of fans and spectators.  In her closing statements, the president of the board of FIS World Cup Committee , underlined what a successful recovery the Downhill has made since the 30 rule has been put into act.  "Without television exposure and sponsors, this sport cannot survive", insisted Demetz, who will award 1970 World champion, Bernhard Russi, to mark the occasion of the Downhill on Saturday, Dec. 20.