Le stade d’arrivée des Barzettes remodelé pourrait accueillir près de 20’000 spectateurs. 

Alpine skiing: Forty years later, the World Championships back in Crans-Montana?

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The Valais broadcaster, which dreams of hosting the 2027 World Cup, will be fixed on its fate on Wednesday evening. Crans-Montana, host of the 1987 edition, is one of the two favorites out of four candidates.

The converted Barzettes arrivals stadium could seat nearly 20,000 spectators.

DR

Nervousness has increased in Valais. At 7.30 p.m. this Wednesday evening, the holiday resort of Crans-Montana is fixed on its fate. One of the four candidates for the organization of the Alpine World Ski Championships 2027 will be determined. Forty years after the historic edition organized on the Haut-Plateau in 1987, the Valais resort dreams of rediscovering these emotions.

Odermatt, forty years after Pirmin?

“Our project is based on authentic worlds and the idea is to revive the magic of the 1987 edition that everyone remembers,” says Marius Robyr, executive director of the candidacy. Pirmin Zurbriggen, Erika Hess, Vreni Schneider and Maria Walliser had won eight of the ten titles in Crans-Montana.

At one of the 1987 sites (Les Barzettes), a new multifunctional arrivals stadium would be built in the event of a vote in favor of Crans-Montana. It could hold almost 20,000 people for the world championships and could then be reused (for example for queen fights).

Around 20 million have already been invested in the renovation of the slopes and the men’s slope in Bella-Lui would be similar to the American one in Beaver Creek (USA). The budget is estimated at 60 to 80 million and aims to integrate the local population and especially the youth. Marius Robyr and his buddy Hugo Steinegger also rely on their experience as organizers, which has made Crans-Montana a classic on the women’s World Cup calendar. “One thing is certain: we won’t regret it, because we did our best,” emphasizes Hugo Steinegger.

Discreet but dangerous Bavarians

The Germans from Garmisch-Partenkirchen are the main opponents of Crans-Montana. Like the Valais, the Bavarians have already applied for the 2025 World Cup, but were also crushed by the Austrians from Saalbach-Hinterglemm, who had already presented themselves for the previous edition. This first criterion (applicable at least once) is therefore fulfilled by both stations.

The Germans, on the other hand, were not very present in terms of communication (no candidacy-specific website and little presence in social networks). Were they more active behind the scenes?

Tensions behind the scenes between the DFB and FIS over the legendary Garmisch-Partenkirchen Downhill, which has been on the calendar since 1954 and could be scrapped, could affect the final vote.

The other two candidates are perfect novices. The Norwegians of Narvik offer a dream setting with railways that flow directly into a fjord. But the Scandinavians have very little experience of organizing international races and that would require building new tracks.

Andorra is the last contender in the race for the 2027 World Cup. The Andorrans successfully organized the 2019 World Cup and will host it next winter. According to the Valais organizers, their lobbying work was “quite aggressive” and the candidacy had significant resources. Enough to surprise you and challenge the expected duel between Crans-Montana and Garmisch?

Will actress Michelle Gisin convince the jury?

The 53rd FIS Congress takes place from Wednesday to Thursday on the 47th floor of the Allianz Tower in Milan. No official press conference is planned in Milan as the FIS has ‘locked’ the event (due to Covid-19?). The small Valais delegation in Milan will consist of Hugo Steinegger and Daniel Bollinger (World Manager at Swiss-Ski).

At around 5 p.m., Crans-Montana will be the first candidate to present their film, which will be no longer than ten minutes. Garmisch, Narvik and Andorra follow. Michelle Gisin, ambassador for the candidacy, is the leading actress in the Crans Montana film that will be broadcast. Candidates will not be able to speak on stage but will be able to answer any (and rare) questions from FIS Council members. “We will take part in meetings locally and try to meet some voters if possible,” Daniel Bollinger specifies.

The organizers met most of the FIS voters physically beforehand. The 18 members (including the Swiss Urs Lehmann) choose their favourites. The candidate who gets the fewest votes in each round is eliminated unless one of them gets an absolute majority. The verdict falls at around 7:30 p.m.


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