The Alpine Team Event kicks off an amazing race weekend in Åre on Friday at 16.00 CET. Olympic gold medalist Frida Hansdotter is looking forward to competing in front of a Swedish audience, as do Estelle Alphand, who switched from the French national team to the Swedish before the 2017/2018 season.
The freshly baked Olympic slalom gold medalist Frida Hansdotter is back in Åre for the World Cup Finals 2018. The 32-year-old is racing her 14th World Cup season and has amassed 32 World Cup podium appearances, including four victories, so far. The last time she raced in Åre is some two years ago and Frida is excited to be back in town for the 2019 World Championships dress rehearsal.
– It’s great to return to Åre and especially fun to race on home snow, where you really sense the support of the crowds.
The 23-year-old, Swedish-French dual citizen Estelle Alphand won gold at the Innsbruck 2012 Olympic Youth Games and then debuted in the World Cup in 2013. Summer 2017 she switched from the French national team to the Swedish one and also competed under the Swedish flag at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
– I am super happy with my season and being on the Swedish national team; it’s been awesome.
The biggest difference Estelle sees between the French and Swedish national teams is less media attention and better communication with the coaches.
– I do not feel the same pressure I had in France and I can communicate much better with my coach, which has been wonderful.
Estelle feels ready for her first World Cup Finals after three days of training on the slopes in Åre.
– It feels amazing to be back in Sweden and for my first World Cup races as part of the Swedish team. I feel prepared but it is strange to think it is already time for the World Cup Finals!
There will be time for a short break before the preparations for the next big goal, the Åre 2019 World Championships season, begin.
– I look forward to spending time with the family and taking it easy for a little while.
Before the well-deserved break, however, the Swedish ladies still need to charge a few more times on the Åre slopes and do their thing – which is what they do best in any case.
Weekend Competition Schedule
Friday, March 16
16.00 Alpine Team Event
Saturday, March 17
9.45 Giant Slalom Men (1st run)
10.45 Slalom Ladies (1st run)
12.30 Giant Slalom Men (2nd run)
13.30 Slalom Ladies (2nd run)
17.30 Åre 2019 Soup tasting and autograph signing
18.30 Bib Draw Slalom men, Official Award Ceremony Slalom ladies
Sunday, March 18
9.45 Giant Slalom Ladies (1st run)
10.45 Slalom Men (1st run)
12.30 Giant Slalom Ladies (2nd run)
13.30 Slalom Men (2nd run)