Media days kick off Sölden excitement
The excitement surrounding the Audi FIS Ski World Cup has been growing in the Ötztal Valley over the week leading into to the season opener. Athletes and media reconvened after a long break in the race calendar to kick off another winter of competition. A number of press conferences and celebrations took place over Thursday and Friday heading into the race weekend.
The first event for journalists and supporters was the annual HEAD press conference featuring the line-up of its top athletes. Retired athlete Elisabeth Görgl opened the press conference by entertaining the crowd with her single "It's Up To You" before Marco Büchel introduced 17 World Cup Rebels for the year: Stephanie Brunner, Mathieu Faivre, Beat Feuz, Lara Gut, Wendy Holdener, Conny Hütter, Kjetil Jansrud, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Ted Ligety, Ragnhild Mowinckel, Andre Myhrer, Matts Olsson, Aksel Lund Svindal, Alexis Pinturault, Anna Veith, Lindsey Vonn, and Tina Weirather.
Teams shifted gears to attend the traditional Audi Media Talk, where all partner teams were presented in front of this year's shiny car. The relaxed environment of the Gigi Tenne provided the media and local fans a prime opportunity to chat. Audi also took the opportunity to announce its title partnership extension of the FIS Ski World Cup through 2022.
Rossignol presented 2017 giant slalom crystal globe winner Tessa Worley in a special press conference at Hotel Tyrolerhof. The Band of Heroes member is featured in a new webisode "The Crystal Globe So Close, So Far." Worley joined the rest of the French women's team in a press conference following the Rossignol event. Many other nations also held press conferences around town on Thursday afternoon and into Friday.
Friday morning began with the Chief of Media meeting, where best practices were discussed between the Team Press Attachés, the Chief of Media of the different World Cup venues, the TV Right Holders, the journalists (through their association AIJS), the FIS Staff, and various stakeholders. Nordica will highlight Felix Neureuther on Friday afternoon at the Bogner shop in town.
Athletes, media, and fans are excited to get the season started with the ladies giant slalom on Saturday and men's giant slalom on Sunday on the Rettenbach glacier.