What do we love about snow sports? The thrill of the spectacle, the courage on display, the exhilaration of watching athletes push themselves to their very limits. Perhaps above all, we love that snow sports are entwined with nature, the blue skies and white slopes of the mountains forming the perfect conditions for competition.
More than most sports, skiing and snowboarding are intrinsically linked with the weather. For a discipline such as Alpine skiing, decent conditions are essential – but alas, we cannot always depend on them. Luck was not on our side, for instance, for the Downhill races of the Men’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup held in in Zermatt/Cervinia last weekend.
The decision to hold these races dates back to 2019, when the two national federations from Switzerland and Italy – Swiss-Ski and FISI – developed the idea of a cross-border event. FIS was impressed by this collaborative approach and approved the proposal in 2021, when the races were added to the calendar.
The races in Zermatt/Cervinia have enormous potential. They have the benefit of spectacular landscapes, including the iconic Matterhorn. And they close a gap in the calendar by giving speed skiers an earlier start to the World Cup. A significant bonus: by offering additional training opportunities, athletes’ need to travel to South America is reduced, helping with FIS's sustainability efforts.
For all these reasons, FIS continues to stand behind Swiss-Ski, FISI and the Local Organising Committee in Zermatt/Cervinia. FIS is not just an organisation but a family, bound together by the love for the sport in good and challenging times.
Let's hope that the weather in Zermatt/Cervinia is decent this weekend; that snowfall and wind are favourable; and that we are able to celebrate the Women’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup premiere there in the style that the athletes deserve.