After years of preparation, Vail is now taking a breather – and perhaps a sad sigh, as we wave goodbye to the FIS World Alpine Ski Championships. The world’s eyes were certainly on Beaver Creek and Vail as the world’s best skiers converged for two weeks.
It was a very successful championships for American skiers Mikaela Shiffrin, Lindsay Vonn, Ted Ligety, Steve Nyman and Travis Ganong (among many others from the U.S. Team) with the U.S. ending up in second place in the overall medal count.
Spring visited us in February, making it an incredibly sunny, warm and pleasant time for fans from over 70 countries. Spectators are still talking about the thrill they experienced watching Mikaela and Ted roar through the finish line in first place in front of a cheering crowd of thousands.
In the midst of the races, our very own Sacha Gros, and dear friend and pro-skier, Chris Anthony, competed in the Korbel Charity Cup – a fundraiser for The Vail Valley Foundation (vvf.org) and Right to Play (righttoplay.com) under the name of Faber Audiovisuals. Competing against 15 teams, dressed in Norwegian sweaters and jeans, they still weren’t slowed down – coming in 2nd to secure the Silver, edged out only by Team USSA led by Phil Mahre, winner of the overall World Cup title three years in succession (1981-1983). In a race-in-relay, the fastest eight teams first qualified for the quarter-finals and then had to make their way to the finals in a knockout format.
Read Vail Daily’s coverage of the event and Sacha’s reflection on his 1999 FIS World Alpine Ski Race in Vail: “Gros Reflects On Competing At 99 Worlds.
“Having my parents ski shop right there was awesome,” said Gros. “It was our home, right there. It was 20 feet away from the finish line. I went in, changed, unbuckled my boots, then came back out to take everything in and appreciate what it was.”
~ Sacha Gros, Former U.S. Ski Team member
Estimates say a total of over 130,000 people watched the FIS races over the two weeks. And, according to the Vail Valley Foundation, 25,000 showed up to watch Mikaela Shiffrin don the Gold Medal on Friday night. Nighttime award ceremonies and concerts followed at Championship Plaza. From OAR and Bare Naked Ladies, Phillip Phillips and CeeLo Green, every night was a big party at Solaris. If you were unable to be in Vail, we hope this provided the energy for you virtually!