Big celebrations in Zagreb today to honour 50 years of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup

To honour and celebrate the history of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Organisers of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup races in Zagreb (CRO) have prepared a 165-metre-long ski slope in downtown Zagreb at which former and current World Cup champions will race today, 4th January 2017.

18 skiing champions, including Croatia's most famous siblings Janica and Ivica Kostelic, will be competing in the special event to mark 50 years of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup which started on 5th January 1967 in Berchtesgarden (GER). Other big names joining the celebrations include former and current FIS World Cup champions including the first ever winner of the FIS World Cup, the legendary Jean-Claude Killy, along with Karl Schranz, Annemarie Moser-Proell, Marc Girardelli, Marcel Hirscher, Alberto Tomba, Andreas Wenzel, Tamara McKinney, Pernilla Wiberg, Tina Maze, Renate Götschl, Michaela Dorfmeister and Petra Kronberger. Other skiers with outstanding careers will also participate, including Marco Buechel, Kristian Ghedina, Thomas Sykora and Spela Pretnar. To demonstrate how technology and equipment have changed over the years, slalom poles from 50 years ago will be used and participants will wear some of the equipment from their time.

Besides, a number of special guests including FIS Vice President Janez Kocijancic, Miho Glavic, President of the Croatian Ski Association and FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis will be attending the celebrations. Additionally, the Zagreb Onganisers invited representatives from every Alpine World Cup Organising Committee to join in the celebrations.

“The participation of so many great champions and outstanding Organisers from the past 50 years at the FIS Ski World Cup 50th birthday celebrations in Zagreb has underlined the true global impact the series has made over the past five decades. This is a special moment for the sport to be proud of its achievements, and also exciting to look ahead to the next 50 years and creating new history”, said Sarah Lewis.

The race will be broadcast live at 7.45pm CET by Austria's ORF, Switzerland's SRF, Sweden's SVT, Eurosport, the BBC and Japan's J Sports.