Roland Haldi to start in his 100th World Cup race
Roland Haldi from Switzerland is facing a very special moment in a snowboarder's World Cup career.
The season's opener of the 2014 Alpine Snowboarding World Cup season, scheduled at Carezza, Italy, for Friday and Saturday Dec 13 and 14, marks his 100th start in the world wide most respected race boarding tour.
Haldi will become the 49th male snowboarder to pull off this feat.
However, the 34-year-old from Schönried, who celebrated a comeback after a a one-year break from active snowboarding last winter in Carezza, didn't even know about that magic number when FISSnowboard get hold of him on the phone after a training session in South Tyrol.
Roland, did you know that you will compete in your 100th World Cup race on Friday?
Roland Haldi: Really? I had no idea. And actually never thought about anything like that.
I always took it race by race. When I was a young boy, I dreamed of podium results but never of achieving a special number of starts.
Now that you know, what does this mean to you?
It means I'm old (laughs). You feel like an old-timer. I was among the veterans before but now it's more definitive.
Do you have any expectations for the race?
That's hard to say. I'm feeling better than last season when I came back from my break. I guess that I finally closed the gap to the rest of the world. So, it would be amazing to podium but I'm not counting on that.
For us in the Swiss Team, it's all about claiming a personal spot for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Sochi right now.
So, it would help to make it to the semi finals. I think I'm capable of this this winter but everything has to work out perfectly.
Roland, good luck and thanks for your time.
While Haldi gets his 100th World Cup start, a pretty rare achievement, he won't get where Jasey Jay Anderson (CAN) is already.
The 2010 Olympic Champion (PGS) has 227 World Cup starts to his belt and is thus leading the ranking of the most starts in the men's World Cup history ahead of Daniel Biveson (SWE, 211), Harald Walder (AUT, 204) and Stefan Kaltschuetz (AUT, 203).
Andreas Prommegger (AUT), who is still active compared to Biveson, Walder and Kaltschuetz, sits in 5th position with 201 World Cup starts so far.
On the women's side, Manuela Riegler (AUT), who has already retired, has competed in impressive 306 World Cup races while her older sister Claudia, who is still competing, is chasing her with so far 282 World Cup starts.
2010 Olympic Champion (PGS) Nicolien Sauerbreij (NED, 225) sits in third of this ranking.