December 9, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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The ladies have an advantage: the downhill World Cup Vortex spins

The ladies have an advantage: the downhill World Cup Vortex spins

Petra Velhova with a large crystal ball Zdroj: SITA / AP / Gabriele Facciotti

Sölden – The 2021/2022 World Cup alpine ski season will begin next weekend as a sign of spectators returning. However, a number of coronavirus epidemic measures remain in effect, and they vary from location to location. From a sports point of view, American Mikaela Shiffrinová will try to return to the highest places, and Slovakian Petra Vlhová will be another big competitor, including Katharina Liensbergerová, as the defender of the big world.

An introduction to the Austrian ice in Sölden is traditionally held in the spirit of the motto “ladies take precedence”. The women complete the giant slalom on Saturday (10.00/13.15), and the men come the next day (10.00/13.30).

After last season’s competitions were held in Austria without fans present, the organizers allowed a maximum of 5,000 spectators per day to participate in the Rettenbach Glacier. In 2019, 14,000 fans visited the ramp. “We wanted to start with fewer tickets so we could fully apply all the rules,” Robert Steiger from the marketing department of the Austrian Ski Association explained.

Petra Velhova in the first
Photo Gallery (3)
Zdroj: SITA / AP Photo / Giovanni Auletta

In Sölden, a negative test is enough for competitors, but notes that the number of people vaccinated has increased as winter approaches. Two years later, the prestigious series will also go to Canada, where a full vaccination is required. At Lake Louise, both men and women will compete for points in high-speed competitions in three competitions. In the USA, a special invitation letter and a PCR test are sufficient. “There has been a long discussion and the new leadership of the International Skating Union has finally decided to include Canada in the calendar,” Marcus Waldner, head of the SP men’s competitions, told APA.

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When you pass the positive test, you can’t ski

The organization itself only requires a “FIS passport” and a PCR test no older than 72 hours, but restrictions are also in force in dozens of SP-organizing countries, not to mention the February Winter Olympics in Beijing. “One day you will need to be vaccinated anyway, without that you will not make it to the Olympics in China and the procedures can be tightened at any time elsewhere.” Waldner added, according to which about two dozen leading skaters were not vaccinated until recently, but this trend is rapidly changing: “Some have been waiting for Canada for a long time. However, elite skiers and elite snowboarders already understand that if they want to compete, they must get vaccinated. Last winter we were alone in the hills, but now we meet tourists in villages and hotels. The risk of infection remains Infection is at risk. And when you test positive, you can’t skate.” According to the BVZ portal, the situation is under the control of teams from France, Italy and Austria.

In addition to fans, Michaela Shiffrin was absent from Solden last year. She had a back injury that prolonged the worst period of her career after her father’s tragic death and the coronavirus pandemic. In the rest of the previous year, she focused on the technical disciplines and scored three wins, one in the giant slalom and two in the slalom slalom. In the new season, you would like to win the sprints again.

Michaela Shivrinova
Photo Gallery (3)
Zdroj: SITA / AP / Marco Trovati

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“Ideally, my program will be similar to those of previous years. However, we will see how it goes in terms of form and condition and then reassess. It depends on the physical and mental tax at the beginning of the season it will require technical controls and speed, and we will take into account the Olympics,” Owner of Three Great Globes AFP (2017, 2018, 2019).

Points from Super-G or Cliffs can help her on her quest to bring back the season’s most valuable trophy: “It’s my big dream, but I’ll never have a guarantee that I’ll get it again. It’s hard to say if that’s a realistic goal this year, or again in my career. But I’m working towards it as possible.”

The previous season was a turning point for Katharina Linsberger, who won three world championship medals, celebrated her first two world championship victories and also won a small trophy in the slalom: “I am very happy that the carousel is spinning again. In the mega slalom I want to get to the level that I face in slalom. The competition, because everyone counts. I will be participating in event after event and now I am just thinking about Sölden.”

There is nothing to guess at in men’s skating

Among the men, the French Alexis Pintorault is defending the overall championship in the World Cup. From a Slovakian point of view, the mega slalom will be especially fun thanks to the Žampovec brothers. Adam scored seven goals last winter, placed twice in the top ten, and was the first man from Slovakia to reach a World Championship final. He confirmed this in eighth place in the world championships.

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“I am looking forward to Sölden, in the first races one always waits for what will happen. I will definitely try to build on the results of the previous season, I have nothing to lose. I have some results behind me, if I want to improve, I have to drive fully and be healthy. I have Lots of experience with how to compete in SP. To be familiar with and enjoy every single arc, one never knows which might be the last. There’s nothing to speculate about in men’s skating.” Adam Shamba said. He also wants to lure young Andreas, who added two points in 2020/2021.

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  • Source: TASR