Beaver Creek loses out on 2013 World Alpine Ski Championships
May 29, 2008 —
Schladming, Austria, beat out Beaver Creek for the 2013 World Alpine Ski Championships in a decisive first-round vote by the International Ski Federation (FIS) Congress Thursday in Cape Town, South Africa.
Schladming had finished second in voting for the last two Worlds awarded (2009, 2011), and won in the first round Thursday with 10 votes. Beaver Creek got 4 votes. St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Cortina, Italy, finished out of the running with one vote each.
“While it is certainly disappointing to have not been able to bring home the 2013 Championships,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, “we knew from the outset that Schladming was a strong front runner with great momentum. We congratulate them on their victory and we will now regroup and focus on creating our campaign for the 2015 Championships.”
This is definitely a bummer for all the extremely hardworking folks at the Vail Valley Foundation and for the entire Vail Valley community, especially those of us who love and follow ski racing, but I had to admit to somewhat mixed feelings on the topic.
The first time Vail and Beaver Creek hosted the Worlds in 1989, the event that in alpine ski-racing circles is second only to the Winter Olympics got huge media play and put the valley on the international ski-destination map.
The second time around, in 1999, it was still an awesome event and garnered tons of international TV time, but the buzz wasn’t quite as big. Now ski racing is even on the decline a bit in Europe, where it used to be king, and in the United States the fragmentation of the snow-riding sports has led to a million different events and tours, and arguably the X Games are a much bigger deal than even the Winter Olympics to some snow sports fans.
I thought the Vail Valley Foundation was brilliant a few years back when the organization that hosts these major events proposed combining the alpine racing championships with freestyle (moguls and aerials) and snowboarding for the 2009 Worlds. FIS balked and we lost the bid.
Then the FIS basically stole the idea for the 2007 World Cup Finals in Bormio, Italy, last March, and at that time I said we should stick to our guns and bring back the concept for our 2013 bid. We didn’t, and we still lost.
I think the European-dominated FIS and ski racing in general need the United States more than we need them, and if a bid is already in the works for 2015, I strongly suggest we go back to that mini-Olympic (or better yet, mini-X Games) concept.
It’s the only thing that will get American snow sports fans to take notice, and essentially FIS has sanctioned it by doing the same thing at Bormio. And in that scenario Vail could actually host events (like half-pipe at Golden Peak) instead of being snubbed the way we would have been for 2013, where all the events would have been held at Beaver Creek.
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