4. January 2017.
The exhibition race between the overall World Cup winners will be preceded by a draw of the start numbers for the men’s race, on the same course in the city centre, while the official programme titled “Zagreb Celebrates 50 Years of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup” will continue with a parade of all the organisers of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup races in the period between 1967 and 2017.
The central celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first ever FIS Alpine Ski World Cup race, titled “Zagreb Celebrates 50 Years of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup”, will be held today in Zagreb. The highlight of the celebration will be an exhibition race between the overall World Cup winners, starting at 19:45. Eighteen male and female overall World Cup winners will participate in the race; they will be headed by the first two skiers to ever hold that title, the legendary Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy and Austrian Karl Schranz.
The race will take place on a ski course going down Zagreb’s Bakačeva Street, from the roundabout in front of the Zagreb Cathedral to the Manduševac Fountain. Apart from Killy and Schranz, the race will be participated in by Janica and Ivica Kostelić, Annemarie Moser-Pröll, Pernilla Wiberg, Marc Girardelli, Alberto Tomba, Marcel Hirscher, Petra Kronberger, Tamara McKinney, Tina Maze, Andreas Wenzel, Michele Jacot Herry, Lise-Marie Morerod, Michaela Dorfmeister, Renate Götschl and Nicole Hosp. Moreover, the race will start with the historic gates and end with the new ones, and each competitor will race in the ski suit worn at the time that he or she had won the title.
The course in Bakačeva Street is 165 metres long. To build it, the organisers secured 900 cubic metres of snow, so the snow cover is 50 centimetres thick throughout the course. The course is 8 metres wide at the start and 10.5 metres at the finish line.
Apart from the overall World Cup winners, the central celebration “Zagreb Celebrates 50 Years of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup” will be attended by the old friends of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup “Snow Queen Trophy” races, the male and female skiers boasting exceptional careers: Jure Košir, Matjaž Vrhovnik, Hans Enn, Bojan Križaj, Günther Mader, Marco Büchel, Kristian Ghedina, Thomas Sykora, Špela Pretnar, Urška Hrovat and Alenka Dovžan.
Prior to the exhibition race between the overall World Cup winners, the venue in the centre of the city will host the draw of the start numbers for the men’s race. Starting at 18:15, fifteen of the world’s top male slalom skiers will ski down Bakačeva Street, all the way to Zagreb’s main square, to collect their bibs for the race the next day. After the public draw, the official programme will continue with a parade of the representatives of the organisers of all the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup races in the period between 1967 and 2017.
A number of well-known TV stations, including Austrian ORF, Swiss SRF, Swedish SVT, British BBC, Japanese J Sports, American NBC, and the pan-European TV network Eurosport, have confirmed they would broadcast the entire event in Bakačeva Street as well as the celebration “Zagreb Celebrates 50 Years of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup” live.
The day after the race in Bakačeva Street, that same course will be open for public: in the period between 5 and 15 January, there will even be a children’s ski school as part of the FIS campaign “Bring Children to the Snow”. It will all end on 15 January, when the FIS World Snow Day will be celebrated on that very course and in the Bana Josipa Jelačića Square.