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- Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria
- 07-JAN-2012 at 11:59 PM
- 08-JAN-2012 at 12:00 AM
The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is one of the top international ski competitions in the world. Second only to the quadrennial Winter Olympics, it was launched back in 1966 and soon backed by International Ski Federation (FIS) president Marc Hodler. It became an official FIS event in the spring of 1967 and the first World Cup ski race was held in Berchtesgaden, West Germany, on January 5th of the same year.
Races are held primarily at ski resorts in the Alps in Europe, with regular additional stops in Scandinavia, North America, and east Asia. Competitors attempt to achieve the best time in four disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, Super G, and downhill. The fifth event, the combined, employs the downhill and slalom. The racer with the most points at the end of the season is declared the World Cup champion, and inherits the coveted 9kg crystal globe trophy. Many consider the World Cup to be a more valuable title than the Olympics or the biennial World Championships, since it requires a competitor to ski at an extremely high level in several disciplines throughout the season, and not just in one race.
Surrounded by the Nockberge Mountains in the southern Austrian Alps, Bad Kleinkirchheim makes a big reappearance onto the ladies World Cup circuit after a six-year hiatus. One of the southern-most resorts in Austria, it hosted its most recent World Cup event in December 2007, with the men’s giant slalom and slalom races. The ladies raced GS and downhill here in January 2006, and before that, on just a handful of occasions throughout World Cup history. As has always been the case, the 2012 ladies races will be held on Bad Kleinkirchheim’s Franz Klammer course.