World Cup Highlights in Winter

World Cup Highlights in Winter

If you think this is going to be a professional summary of the highlights at this winter’s Alpine Ski World Cup, you will, unfortunately, be disappointed. Although I’m a big fan of ski races and like to follow them on screen, have you ever experienced them in person together with all the side events? Après-race parties, shows, live music, and even more après-race parties. For many, the success of a weekend event like this especially depends on the latter. And so that you won’t miss the most legendary events or at least put them on your bucket list, here’s a summary of the best Winter World Cup events at Falkensteiner:

World Cup Weekend in Val Gardena & Alta Badia

Surrounded by the unique Dolomite Mountains, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, the two ski areas Val Gardena and Alta Badia host one of the classic events in the ski calendar each December. If you’re an avid skier, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Gran Risa and Saslong, but how about Morin, Dalì, or La Stua? If not, then you should definitely pay a visit to these après-ski spots in Val Gardena and Alta Badia, where the star skiers themselves often head after the races.

And just to show that the fun doesn’t wait until after the races, probably the biggest highlight during day apart from the races is the impressive performance of the Frecce Tricolori, the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Air Force. A special feature of both these venues is definitely the unique blend of la dolce vita, Italian-style, with South Tyrolean Genuss that can be felt everywhere, before, during and especially after the race.

The Schladming Night Race

One of THE highlights at the Ski World Cup. Above all, of course, the race itself is already the ultimate experience.

With 45,000 fans gathering along the track and the finish line, this is probably the most exciting turnout at any ski circuit event. With the slopes lit up with floodlights, the racers push their way down the Planai to the last gate, hoping that the finish line turns green. Once the winner is confirmed, though, that’s when the party really starts. And that, in itself, is legendary in Schladming. On the day before the actual race, the mountain town of Schladming is transformed into a giant stage. With live music, celebrities racing for charity, and the drawing of the starting number, you can’t help but party here.

And if you think things couldn’t get much better, just wait for race day itself. By afternoon, the first show kicks off with live music and entertainment until the first racer leaves the starting gates at 5:45. Whether you’re hurtling your way down the mountain yourself or just standing on the sidelines as a spectator, there are sure to be many moments that will give you goosebumps. But as with so many things in life, you simply have to come and experience it yourself up-close.

Manuel Feller (AUT)
23.01.2018, Schladming, Steiermark, Österreich (Austria): Nightrace 2018 auf der Planai, 1. Durchgang, im Bild Marcel Hirscher (AUT). Fotocredit: Martin Huber

Biathlon World Championship Antholz 2020

And because I’ve heard that not only are the Ski World Cup races a special experience, but also the biathlon events, I’ve picked another highlight: the Biathlon World Championships 2020 in Antholz, South Tyrol. One of the best-known cross-country skiing and biathlon meccas in the Alpine region is also the venue of the Biathlon World Cup every year. And the event turns the entire town into one giant party with four days of live music and lots of other entertainment. This year will be the dress rehearsal for the big event in 2020.

If you cannot wait any longer and plan to be part of one of these winter sports highlights, here are the dates: