For the third time in history, Åre of Sweden will host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2019. Up until then the organizing committee will be hosting a number of events and one of them is the parallel slalom World Cup competition in Hammarbybacken, Stockholm. The inaugural event in 2016 was a great success, as was the second edition in 2017.
Over 9000 fans crammed into what is normally the practice slope of the local alpine skiing club Djurgårdens IF to watch the world’s best 32 alpine skiers compete man against man, woman against woman, in the Stockholm City event on 31 January. Transformed for the night event, the slope, framed by an enthusiastic crowd, consisted out of two parallel courses, 180 metres long, with a roller and a jump.
The night became an adrenaline fueled alpine party, fireworks accompanying the salutes of the winners, Linus Strasser of Germany and Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA. Frenchman Alexis Pinturault came in second and the home audience’s darling Mattias Hargin finished in third in the men’s competition. In the ladies’ race, Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia took second with Norwegian Nina Loeseth in third place.
The Stockholm City Event 2016 was awarded ”The Best Sports Event of the Year” by the Swedish business newspaper Sport & Affärer and based on the initial feedback from the fans, the 2017 event was just as good. In social media, the fans have already given the event the best possible reviews. The event clearly helps boost interest in alpine skiing and its main stars, the FIS Ski World Cup athletes.
The Åre 2019 team is already looking forward to the next test event which will be the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships 2017 in Åre. Åre 2019 will also host the FIS World Cup Finals in 2018 to test the organization for the 2019 Championships. The City Event in Stockholm will take place again in 2018 and 2019, hosted by the same Åre 2019 team.
Photo: Jonas Kullman