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Åre : world cup finals 2018

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Åre: world cup finals 2018
After a gap of nine years, the FIS Ski World Cup Finals will return to Åre, Sweden, from 14-18 March 2018. The leading Scandinavian ski resort also staged the Finals in 2006 and 2009, just before and after the 2007 edition of the FIS World Championships there. The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2019 will mark the third time – the first was in 1954 – that the second largest winter sport event is held in Åre.
Post-olympic highlight
As has become customary, the FIS Ski World Cup Finals week will begin with two days of downhill training on Monday and Tuesday, 12-13 March. The racing will get underway on Wednesday, with the season’s last downhill races, followed by the super-G events on Thursday. The Alpine Team Event will be carried out as a night competition on Friday. With the Swedish team being a regular team medal winner in the past championships, the organisers expect a great crowd that evening. Saturday and Sunday will see the season decisions in the technical events, as the men and ladies alternate between slalom and giant slalom. The 2018 season will conclude on Sunday, 18 March with the ladies’ giant slalom and the men’s slalom. Since the tech events are the Swedish stronghold, Åre is poised for a great final weekend of racing and celebration. Post the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the finals will represent the last chance for the qualifying athletes to shine, or redeem themselves as the case may be. A total of 11 FIS World Cup globes and World Cup champion titles will be up for grabs along with a prize money purse of 1,080,000 Swiss francs.
Final test for åre 2019
For the organisers, the World Cup Finals 2018 will serve as a dress rehearsal of their preparations before skiing’s flagship event follows just eleven months later in February 2019. Specifically, the sport team will be put to a tough test as almost the full championships programme, bar the alpine combined events, is carried out within a week. In 2019, the 11 medal contests will be spread over two weeks. For the slope crew, the Finals schedule in the early spring always presents a significant challenge, given the potentially unpredictable spring weather. In addition, the logistics organisation such as transport and accreditation services as well as various elements of the promotional plan will be tested. The team delivering the Åre 2019 World Championships has set itself ambitious goals for the main event only 324 days later and will be putting their best foot forward. Niklas Carlsson, CEO of Åre 2019, commented: "The World Cup Finals are always a key event on the Alpine calendar but having them in Åre less than a year before next FIS World Championships has added significance to us as the organiser. The Finals week will help generate excitement in our community and the entire Jämtland region. But most importantly, it provides us with a unique opportunity to have a proper dress rehearsal for 2019. We especially want to test the women’s speed course that has not been used since 2007. It is a great course and we look forward to seeing the ladies race on it again."
Åre and ski racing – two sides of the same coin
Åre has a long history as FIS World Cup organiser; in fact, the Åre Slalom Club already staged its first FIS World Cup race in 1969. In the days of the legendary Ingemar Stenmark, who won in Åre back-to-back five times between 1977-1981, the races drew crowds of up to 30’000 people. By now, the resort of Åre has hosted more than 100 FIS World Cup events. One of the best training areas in the world, Åre is the unquestionable home of alpine ski racing in Sweden. During a regular winter season, the Åre resort hosts more than 6,000 alpine competitors, with a total of 25,000 training days! Moreover, it boasts more than 1,000 hours of lifts running specifically for training purposes. The competition arena in Åre, also known as the Swedish National Alpine Arena, is designated for racing and training only. With the special tunnels and crossing-free piste transitions, tourists and racers can enjoy the resort simultaneously and safely on any given day. The racing arena is furnished with permanent safety nets and one of the most environmentally friendly and efficient snowmaking systems in the world.
Åre ski area.
Skistar, a leader in the ski resort business
The operator of the Åre ski resort, SkiStar manages the five of the largest ski resorts in Scandinavia: Sälen, Åre and Vemdalen in Sweden, and Trysil and Hemsedal in Norway. In addition, it operates St. Johann in Tirol, Austria, and the city slope at Hammarbybacken in Stockholm, the host of the FIS World Cup City Event which will take place for the third time on 30 January 2018. Together with the Swedish Ski Association, SkiStar owns the company in charge of organising the 2019 World Championships, the 2018 Finals and the Stockholm city slalom events. SkiStar has a keen interest to enhance the appeal of skiing as a sport, the international positioning of the resort and its own brand as a leader in the ski business. Following the 2007 Championships, the number of international guests in Åre and other SkiStar destinations has increased significantly. Today in Åre, approximately a third of all guests hail from abroad, especially from Norway. Care for the environment is another key element of Ski-Star’s business. In 2013, Åre became one of the first ski resorts in Northern Europe to receive an ISO certification for environmental management (ISO 9001) and for quality assurance (ISO 14001). SkiStar has also made headlines by introducing the first environment-friendly grooming machines in Scandinavia. The town of Åre was selected in 2012 as one of the five sustainable development destinations by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.
A landmark: the åre cable car
The famous Åre cable car is a landmark distinguishing Åre from all other Scandinavian ski resorts; if you see a cable car, then you are in Åre! The distinctive cable car uses four pylons, four supporting cables and two haulage cables. Each supporting cable weighs 44 tons, and is isolated to prevent stretching. When the cable car was completed in 1976, it was perhaps the most obvious symbol of the so-called “Åre project,” instigated by the Swedish government in 1972 and intended to offer everyone an equal opportunity of reaching the summit. The goal was to enable everyone to go skiing, or at least reach the top, which is why accessibility has always been an integral part of the cable car. Still today the Kabinbanan transports people to the top of Mount Åre. Some of the other lifts may be more efficient; in fact, the total number of man-hours invested in defrosting, repairing and maintaining the cable car is significant. At the same time, there is no other lift in the region with the same intrinsic value. However, plans now exist to replace the 45-year-old construct in the near future – if only the town dwellers agree to let it go!
On the pilgrims’ way
For more than 1000 years, people have lived in the foothills of Mount Åre. Åre and its valley has served as a central meeting place and passage since the Middle Ages. Around the turn of the first millennium, the area around Åre was inhabited by Vikings. This can be seen in the names of the nearby villages, like Fröå and Ullå, which descend from names of two Norse gods. In the 12th century, the Åre Old Church was built. Saint Olaf the Holy had a great influence on the village and for centuries, pilgrims passed through on their way to Trondheim, Norway. Sami people settled in the mid-17th century to take advantage of the lush reindeer pastures. Initially a copper mining region, tourism in Åre started to grow with the establishment of the railroad in 1882 from Trondheim and it now represents the main source of income for the community. The resort currently has more than 32,000 beds and approximately half a million visitors travel to Åre annually.
A northern jewel
Still today, Åre remains a small village with only 1400 permanent inhabitants. However, the selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs is impressive. The local chefs put a premium on serving their guests with specialities from the region. When in Åre, make sure to try local treats such as smoked reindeer, cured arctic char, elk or trout. Not to mention desserts with cloudberries, the golden berries that can be picked in the local mountains in late summer. The most famous restaurant in Åre is Fäviken Magasinet, appraised as one of the best in the world. To secure a table there, however, a reservation is required months ahead because demand is high for the 12 seats available… Åre is both exotic and unique. Modern and inviting. It offers top ski racing conditions, great leisure skiing, beautiful nature and fantastic views. And so much more…
Åre has a long history as FIS World Cup organiser; in fact, the Åre Slalom Club already staged its first FIS World Cup race in 1969.
“Åre is a special place to me. It is where I won my first big event. I secured two gold medals at the 2007 World Championships: the first in downhill and, a few days later, the second in giant slalom. That was one of the biggest highlights of my career.”
Aksel Lund Svindal