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Cortina 2021 Alpine World Ski Championships. Week 1. Speed and Alpine Combined Events

Cortina d'Ampezzo. Author:

Tomorrow the inaugural race of the Alpine World Ski Championships will take place in Cortina with the first and only race in this discipline during a season characterized by the pandemic.

The Swiss Wendy Holdener is the reigning Alpine Combined Champion. In Åre (Sweden), in 2019, she won the gold medal ahead of the Slovak Petra Vlhová and the Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel.

The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships is an alpine skiing competition organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS). The inaugural world championships in Alpine Skiing were held in Mürren (Switzerland) in 1931 and consisted of Downhill and Slalom events for Men and Women.

The Combined event was added to the program of the Alpine World Ski Championships 1932 were held 4–6 February in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

After the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the Giant Slalom was added and the Combined event was dropped. The Giant slalom made its debut at the 11th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, held February 13–18 in the United States at Aspen, Colorado.

The combined event returned to the program in 1954 in Åre as a "paper race," using the results of the three races (Downhill, Giant Slalom, and Slalom).

In 1982, in Schladming, Austria, the Combined event returned as a separate event, with its own Downhill and two Slalom runs.

The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1987 held in Crans-Montana included a Super-G race for the first time.

In 2007 the Alpine World Ski Championships held in Åre, Sweden, were the first ones to use the "Super-Combined" format (one run each of Downhill and Slalom) for the Combined event.

Race Program Week 1 (updated February 9th)

  • Thursday 11th February. Women's Super-G 10:45 (CET) Men's Super-G 13:00 (CET)

  • Saturday 13th February. Women's Downhill 11.00 (CET)

  • Sunday 14th February. Men's Downhill 11.00 (CET)

  • Monday 15th February. Women's and Men's Alpine Combined, TBD

Olympia delle Tofane (Downhill and Super-G Women)

In 1954 the Cortina Ski Club staged the first speed race on the Tofana slope, which was being made ready for the VII Winter Olympics. The Winter Olympic Games were held in Cortina d'Ampezzo from 26 January to 5 February 1956.

The slopes of the Tofana were chosen for the Men's and Ladies' Downhill and Slalom Races, while the two Giant Slaloms were to be contested on the slopes of Monte Faloria (in the Sorapis group), over runs never before used. In fact, however, only the Men's Giant Slalom was held on the famous Ilio Colli run on Mount Faloria, as the Technical Committee thought it advisable to run the Ladies' event over the same ground as the Downhill Race. Nearly two years were needed to get this new run ready, as it crossed an area which could not be worked in winter-time. A notable quantity of rock was shifted, terrain leveled, and forest cleared.

In all the international contests organized at Cortina before the Olympics, the most famous run for men was the Canalone delle Tofana. For the Olympics, however, it was decided to make a new one for the Men's Downhill. The total length of the run was 3,461 meters, with a vertical drop of 902 meters.

In Cortina Toni Sailer wrote his name into history, achieving an Olympic Alpine Men’s treble that has only ever been matched by Jean-Claude Killy at Grenoble 1968. He became the first Alpine skier to win three Olympic gold medals. He began by winning the Giant Slalom by 6.2 seconds, the largest margin of victory in Olympic history. He then won the Slalom.

On 3 February, faced by a daunting Olimpia delle Tofana Downhill racecourse “the Blitz from Kitz” lived up to his nickname, dealing with the vertical drop with technical brilliance and breakneck speed. Managing to keep his balance when it often seemed as if he must surely fall, Sailer raced like a rocket to the finishing line and took gold by a three-second margin. Raymond Fellay (SUI) and Andreas Molterer (AUT) completed the podium.

Racecourse Profile

  • Start Elevation: 2320 m (DH); 2190 (SG)

  • Finish Elevation: 1560 m

  • Vertical Drop: 760 m (DH); 630 (SG)

  • Distance: 2560 m (DH); 2100 (SG)

  • Average slope: 30 %

  • Max. slope: 65 %

Vertigine (Downhill and Super-G Men)

Vertigine is the first and last of the Tofana slopes. It is a combination of slopes, stories, and emotions. As early as the Thirties, skiers descended from Pomedes after climbing up with skins on their skis or carried by tracked vehicles along the road that later became the Tofanina slope. The course turned left, for Canalone, or straight down among the mountain pines. Vertigine Bianca (White Vertigo) is an exciting film about the 1956 Olympics and gave its name to the toughest slope. Today it’s got yet another new face, designed by a woman, and it clings to the side of the Tofana. It was first tried out during Italy's National Championships in 2019 and will be officially inaugurated with the Men’s speed races at the 2021 World Championships.

Racecourse Profile

  • Start Elevation: 2400 m (DH); 2190 (SG)

  • Finish Elevation: 1560 m

  • Vertical Drop: 840 m (DH); 630 (SG)

  • Distance: 2740 m (DH); 2080 (SG)

  • Average slope: 30 %

  • Max. slope: 61 %

Rumerlo (Slalom Alpine Combined, Men and Women)

Rumerlo is the final part of the course where the Olympia delle Tofane and Vertigine slopes meet. The two Slaloms (Men’s and Women’s) of the Alpine Combined will take place here.

Racecourse Profile

  • Start Elevation: 1740 m

  • Finish Elevation: 1560 m

  • Vertical Drop: 180

  • Distance: 540 m

  • Average slope: 33 %

  • Max. slope: 38 %


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