Cortina d’Ampezzo is ready for the 2021 Cortina Alpine World Ski Championships, the highlight of this alpine skiing season.
From 7 to 21 February, the Queen of the Dolomites will be the focal point for the world of skiing, with the best athletes in the all disciplines competing for the gold medals on offer.
THE NUMBERS OF THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The numbers behind the organisation of the World Chapionships are impressive. There are five world championship slopes (the athletes will compete for medals on four of these, while one is dedicated to qualification races); 13 races, that will decide a total of 39 medals; 600 athletes from 70 nations will take turns during 14 days of the event. There are 3.500 people involved, including staff, volunteers and members of the teams; 450 men and women working on the tracks, 550 accredited media; 140 TV cameras are installed and 90 of these will operate simultaneously, transmitting images to more than 500 million viewers worldwide.
THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM
The Opening Ceremony will kick off the World Championships on 7 February, then it’s action time straight away. The Competition Program is as follows:
- Monday 8th February - Women’s Alpine Combined * (rescheduled due to heavy snow)
- Tuesday 9th February - Women’s Super G 13:00 and Men’s Super G * (men's rescheduled)
- Wednesday 10th February - Men’s Alpine Combined 10.00/13.30
- Thursday 11th February - Men's Super-G
- Saturday 13th February - Women’s Downhill 11.00
- Sunday 14th February - Men’s Downhill 11.00
- Monday 15th February - Women's Alpine Combined
- Tuesday 16th February - Parallel 14.00
- Wednesday 17th February - Team Parallel 12.15
- Thursday 18th February - Women’s Giant Slalom 10.00/13.30
- Friday 19th February - Men’s Giant Slalom 10.00/13.30
- Saturday 20th February - Women’s Slalom 10.00/13.30
- Sunday 21st February - Men’s Slalom 10.00/13.30
THE ONES TO WATCH
There are many female favorties and never before has the field been so wide open as this year.
In the speed disciplines, two names have stood out during the season, Sofia Goggia (ITA) who won four of five downhill races, is out for her home World Championships after fracturing a bone in her right knee. Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI) enters Cortina with four consecutive Super-G victories under her belt. Throughout her incredible career, Gut-Behrami has claimed five medals at the World Championships but is still missing the gold.
Let's not forget the reigning Super G World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), whose return to speed skiing will come at the World Championships. The American will enter four events in Cortina: Combined, Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom (to defend her four consecutive titles).
Overall leader, Petra Vlhova (SVK), proved to be strong in both tech and speed, taking her first Super-G podium last week. Her dominance in slalom with three wins in five races is not to be disputed.
Marta Bassino (ITA) showed her class between the Giant Slalom gates and leads te season standings, winning four of the fiveraces this season.
There's also Michelle Gisin (SUI), who can play for a medal in all disciplines. She earned her maiden World Cup win in Semmering, becoming the first Swiss skier to win a women’s slalom in nearly 19 years and ended a streak of 28 slaloms that were won by either Shiffrin or Vlhova.
Overall World Cup Leader Alexis Pinturalt (FRA) has shown incredible consistency so far and will be fighting for two, if not three medals. The Frenchman is among the favorites in Alpine Combined, Giant Slalom and Slalom.
Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), despite a season characterised by highs and lows, will try to defend his Giant Slalom World Championship title from Are in 2019 and will chase a medal in Slalom as well.
The men's Slalom is once of the most hotly contested mendals where standings leader Marco Schwarz (AUT) together with teammate Manuel Feller will battle it out with Clement Noel (FRA), Sebastian Foss-Solevaag (NOR), Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI) and Linus Strasser (GER).
On the speed side, with Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) out of the picture, the three favourites in Downhill are Beat Feuz (SUI), Matthias Mayer (AUT) and Dominik Paris (ITA).
Paris, fresh off the downhill win in Garmisch, will try to defend his Super-G World Champion title as well, even if the downhill is his calling card. He will ace the competition of the likes of Kjetil Jansrud (reginign Downhill World Champion), Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), as well as Swiss talent Marco Odermatt (SUI).
Odermatt, the young Swiss sensation will look to conquer his first World Championship gold in the Giant Slalom. But he is an outside chance in the speed events as well.
Having mentioned the potential winners, the surprise is always around the corner, especially this season where most races have been exciting and open until the very end.
APP & VIRTUAL MEDIA CENTER
The official Cortina 2021 App (available for both iOS and Android devices) is designed to fully involve and engage the public, who will not be able to attend live. Every day, a lot of content will be available, including news, live races, competitions with prizes, live streaming of press conferences and lots of “behind the scenes”, allowing users to experience the event interactively.
The Virtual Media Centre is a technological platform that will allow all accredited and registered media to access a series of exclusive content. A tool designed to facilitate the work of the media working remotely, providing them with images, videos, quotes and links to follow press conferences (with the possibility to ask questions) and the FIS jury meetings.