With both the FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships in Utah (USA) and the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre (SWE) just days away, the excitement is palpable in both venues and across the skiing and snowboarding world.
While Park City’s streets bustle with movie buffs, film industry insiders and celebrity watchers in town for the Sundance Film Festival this week, nearby on the snow at Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain and Solitude Mountain Resort, the energy is just as palpable, but in a decidedly different way.
In just two short days, the eyes of the international winter sports community will tune in to Utah for 10 action-packed days during the 2019 FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships, presented by Toyota. The finishing touches have been made at the venues and, with the conclusion of last week’s FIS World Cup events and the X Games , the athletes are now arriving in Utah enforce and ready for the highlight event of the season.
New to the schedule for this year’s FIS World Championships are two innovative mixed team events with aerials and snowboard cross. Additionally, big air will now include free skiers as well as snowboarders showing their acrobatic skills. All three events will make their debuts on the programme of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Anticipation for the 2019 World Champs is inspiring those off the snow as well. Glass artist Daniel Bell has designed and handmade 192 trophies to be awarded to the top three of each competition. The elegant, wing-like shape of the trophies, Bell explained, represents the culmination of the athletes’ hard work. “There’s a reason we throw our arms in the air after we win: it's the universal expression of strength and mastery,” Bell said. “It’s embedded deep within our psychology: a natural reaction that occurs within milliseconds signifying all the dedication we put into getting here, the top of our metaphorical mountain. No matter how drained or depleted we are from putting everything into our sport, we’ll always have enough left over for that small, but mighty signal of victory.”
In Åre, things are heating up for the start of the championships on 4thFebruary as well. The two weeks of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2019 in Åre (SWE) will see new world champions crowned in downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, alpine combined and the alpine team event.
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre will also be the Swedish premiere for a brand-new electric car. Longstanding sponsor and partner of FIS and many National Associations, Audi will contribute to the event’s ambitious sustainability goals. Athletes and guests in Åre will be transported emission-free in the new electric SUV Audi e-tron. A fleet of 50 shuttle cars will arrive from the World Economic Forum in Davos to be used by the organising committee for sustainable transport of athletes and other accredited participants in Åre.
“We have reached a point where we need to act sustainably for the long run, both in the world of skiing and in the car industry. Åre 2019 wishes to become a role model for Championships to come. Audi is one of the main partners of international ski racing and I am impressed by their commitment to electrification and sustainable mobility“, said Niklas Carlsson, CEO of Åre 2019.
During the Championship in Åre, visitors will be able to test-drive the electric SUV on Lake Åre opposite to the finish area.