FIS Ski World Cup Finals, St. Moritz

 

The FIS (International Ski Federation) held its World Cup Finals in St Moritz, Switzerland, from 16th to 20th March 2016. The ‘Fédération Internationale de Ski’, to give it its official French title, is the international governing body of skiing and snowboarding, with 123 national ski association members. The Federation, which organises World Cup competitions and World Championships, is also the body which sets the rules for international skiing competitions. It is responsible for the Olympic disciplines of Cross-Country, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Alpine Skiing, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, and also oversees Speed Skiing, Grass Skiing and Telemark.

The pictures were all taken on 18 March 2016, and feature some introductory views of St Moritz and the way up to Salastrains, the sunny plateau above St Moritz in the Corviglia ski resort. The main competition on that day was the Parallel Giant Slalom Team event, which was won by Switzerland, with Germany second, Sweden third, and France fourth. Four countries (Austria, Norway, the USA and Italy) shared 5th place; also in the competition were Canada, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
For the World Cup Parallel Slalom Team-Event in 2016, the Swiss named a team of two women and two men; this was their history at that time:
Michelle Gisin is from Rothenfluh and is the sister of skiers Marc and Dominique Gisin. She is 22 and represented Switzerland at the 2014 Olympics.
Wendy Holdener, 23, is a member of SC Drusberg. She first represented Switzerland in the World Cup in 2013, and has been in the team every year since. During that run she had two wins and has been on the podium seven times; Wendy represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics.

Reto Schmidiger is a member of SC Hergiswil. He came 1st in a European Cup event in 2011, and in 2014 he was in the top three slalom skiers in the world. In the same year Reto came eighth in the World Cup Slalom. He lists his interests as “friends, football and other sports”, and described himself in these terms:
“I love Switzerland; I hate war; I believe in Me.”
Daniel Yule is 23, and his club is Champex Ferret. He was born in Orsières to Scottish parents. He made his World Cup debut for Switzerland in 2012 at the age of 18, and has been in the World Cup team every year since then. At 16th , he was the highest ranked Swiss skier in the 2015–16 World Cup. Daniel skied in the Olympics in 2014 but without winning a medal.

The final of the World Cup Parallel Slalom Team-Event, 2016, in St Moritz, was contested by Switzerland and Germany:
Wendy Holdener beat Katrin Hirtl-Stanggassinger 1:0; Michelle Gisin lost to Lena Durr 1:1; Daniel Yule lost to Stefan Lutz 1:1; and Reto Schmidiger won against Dominik Stehle 2:2. (When there is a draw, the skiers’ fastest times are compared.)
So the overall result in the Final was Switzerland 2, Germany 2.
To determine the final placings, the fastest time by one man and one woman on each team are then added together, and on this basis Switzerland were faster by 0.08 of a second!
So Switzerland came first in this World Cup event over all. Germany were second, with Sweden third.

All of these Swiss slalom team members also had success at Junior level before they made it into the Swiss national team, so if you are a good skier and are wondering what it takes to make it to the top, read on……

To compete in FIS competitions you must belong to a ski club which is affiliated to your national ski association. You will first need to achieve success travelling the world competing as a Junior to earn points in the rankings. Even to get into these races you have to be entered by your home club. From November to March you need to spend every weekend training, and as many weekdays as you can manage too. Then in the summer you can expect to spend about 30 days training on glaciers, or on ski slopes in the southern hemisphere, if you can afford it. Of course this is expensive: the top skiers get the ski equipment and clothing manufacturers to sponsor them, but this doesn’t happen over night, so you (or your family) are likely to be investing thousands of Euros in chasing success as a skier. If you become successful you are likely to be away from home more than 200 days a year – perhaps that is why most talented young skiers describe themselves as ‘single’, and many are officially ‘students’.
So if you do ‘make it’, what are the rewards? The top two male and female skiers in 2014-15 earned more than 400,000 CHF (Swiss francs), in prize money, and a lot more still from sponsorship deals; and a few more broke the 300,000 CHF prize money barrier. (This is partly why a spectator ticket for one day at the World Cup in St Moritz costs 60 CHF.) But the 25th man in the world rankings made only 45,500 CHF, and the 25th woman 26,500 CHF from prize money, and very much less than the top skiers in sponsor deals, so the big money is only earned by a very few. Wendy Holdener, 21st in the world in 2014-15, made 45,500 CHF from racing, but Michelle Gisin (42nd) only 6,600 CHF. That year the top Swiss man, Carlo Janka, at 13th in the world, earned nearly 93,000 CHF in prize money.
(1,000 Swiss francs = 910 Euros or 1,042 US $, or £713 GBP.)

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Railway station, St. Moritz Shuttle bus, St. Moritz Shuttle Bus, St. Moritz St. Moritz, Salastrains
Engandin, Ski Cup Ski World Cup, Entrance Ticket Ski World Cup, St. Moritz Salastrains chair lift
Ski World Cup, people Ski World Cup, St. Moritz Ski World Cup, spectators Ski World Cup, St. Moritz
Ski World Cup Swiss flag, autographs Parallel Slalom, St. Moritz Parallel Giant Slalom
Parallel Slalom, St. Moritz Ski World Cup, results Ski World Cup, skier Hargin, Grange, parallel slalom
Parallel Giant Slalom Ski World Cup, St. Moritz Ski World Cup, flags Ski World Cup, camera teams
Ski World Cup, St. Moritz Hang glider above ski region Cable car, St. Moritz Ski World Cup, people
Swedish flag Ski World Cup, St. Moritz Parallel Slalom, St. Moritz Team Event, skier
Parallel Slalom, St. Moritz Ski World Cup Parallel Slalom, St. Moritz Parallel Giant Slalom
Parallel Slalom, St. Moritz Parallel Giant Slalom, St. Moritz Parallel Giant Slalom, St. Moritz  Ski World Cup, St. Moritz
 Parallel Giant Slalom, St. Moritz Ski World Cup, St. Moritz  Switzerland winner parallel slalom  Ski World Cup, ceremony