“From the safety point of view everything has been clarified.
All we need now are wintry temperatures so that we can help a little with the snow guns, at least during the nights. For that we need 3 days with temperatures around -5°C. Only then will we be able to get to work on the run itself. The weather forecast for the coming week is very good,” was race director Siegfried Vergeiner’s optimistic statement. The 30cm-deep snow cover must be in place by December 22.
Then there will be a snow check by a FIS delegate. The run has already been accepted by the FIS officials. “The alterations were not all that significant,” says Werner Frömel, the head of the organising committee. “The finishing slope now has a gradient of 54% (formerly 45%) and is still one of the decisive criteria.” Frömel has predicted plenty of excitement in the ladies’ races (giant slalom on December 28 and slalom on December 29) as well as social highlights.
One of the social highlights will be the reception in the Grandhotel Lienz with prominent politicial figures and world cup winners of years gone by. In the Hochstein ski arena and on the main square Drumartic, Millenniumdancers, the Ski World Cup Lienz Girl or a High Emotion rock climbing performance will keep the spectators in the right mood. The starting bib draw for the slalom promises to be particularly spectacular with the racers having to ascend a 13-metre-high ‘mountain’ to get their bibs in the eyrie at the top. Why all this effort? “We want to offer the public something completely new, attract the interest of the media and present East Tyrol as a mountain and climbing region,” Werner Frömel reveals. The victory ceremony is also going to be something to look forward to; the three fastest women will ‘float’ down to the podium from a height of about 30 metres. “This is an event never before seen in Lienz,” says Frömel.
World cup painting by Hans Salcher
Kitzbühel has one every year, so has Semmering; now Lienz, too, has a world cup painting. The artist Hans Salcher has been wielding his paintbrush and has captured on his canvas everything that symbolises the world cup skiing event in Lienz including skiers, the Hochstein, Bruck Castle, the wood just above the castle and one of the windows of the Hochstein hut. Reproductions of the world cup painting will be available in limited numbers at the races. The takings will go to charity.