Kvitfjell World Cup
“The Crystal Globe, as the trophy is called, is by many considered even more glorious than Olympic and World Cup gold medals.“
The very first alpine World Cup race was arranged 5th of January 1967. Little did the initiators know at the time what a great success this would be.
This year the circus celebrates its 50th anniversary, and the development has been astounding. Kvitfjell is the Norwegian organizer arranging the highest number of races throughout these years (57 so far).
Many of the well-known winter sport resorts have organised races for more than 50 years, but the first World Cup race was arranged in Berchtesgaden in Germany. The World Cup was founded six months earlier by the sports journalist Serge Lang and the national team coaches Honoré Bonet (FRA) and Bob Beattie (USA), in addition to lawyer and chief of the Austrian national team, Sepp Sulzberger. August 11th the four of them founded the World Cup in Portillo, Chile, during the alpine World Championship, which was arranged during the summer at this point.
To NRK, Håkon Mjøen from Oppdal uttered that he doesn’t really remember that much from the first World Cup race, other than the bad weather and severely challenging conditions.
– There wasn’t really that much focus on the World Cup in the early years, but the attention escalated quickly, says Mjøen, who was the best Norwegian alpine skier in the late 60’s. The winner of the slalom race was Austrian Hansi Messner. This would be Hansi’s only victory in the World Cup. Swedish Bengt Erik Grahn was in the lead after the first run in this race, but he fell a few meters from the finish line in the second run. 15,000 had shown up to take part in this historic event. Little did they know of how significant the World Cup would eventually be for international ski sports.
Alpine skiing led the way, and later all the other skiing sports have followed. Today the World Cup is the foundation of all the different skiing disciplines. The glory of winning the World Cup total is bigger than ever. Not least for the active athletes. The Crystal Globe, as the trophy is called, is by many considered even more glorious than Olympic and World Cup gold medals. The struggle for the organizers is also real, both to get through the needle’s eye and become an organizer, and not least, holding on to the position.
Credit for this article to Stein B. Olsen