Saint Moritz, Switzerland – After thirteen days of top level sports action and excitement filling the tribunes and the town centre alike, the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz (SUI) closed on Sunday, 19th February. During the 11 competitions, many nations had a chance to shine.
Altogether, 12 nations won medals as Austria edged host Switzerland with nine medals thanks to a two-medal performance on the final day of action in the men’s slalom. Austria closed the Championships with three golds, four silvers and two bronze medals. Switzerland ended with seven total medals, including three golds, thanks in large part to a strong showing from their speed teams which accounted for six of the medals.
Only one athlete earned three medals at these World Championships, as Marcel Hirscher cemented his place among legends with two gold medals and one silver after winning the giant slalom and slalom and taking second place in the alpine combined.
St. Moritz World Ski Championships Medals
Several athletes came away from these World Championships with two medals, Erik Guay (CAN) claimed a gold in the super-G and a silver in the downhill. The 36 year-old also became the oldest medalist in World Championship history.
On the ladies’ side Tessa Worley (FRA) earned two gold medals, one in the Nation’s Team Event and the second coming in the giant slalom. American Mikaela Shiffrin also had a double medal showing earning the silver in the giant slalom and gold in the slalom for the third consecutive time. Rounding out the double medalists was Swiss ace Wendy Holdener who won the alpine combined and took silver in the slalom.
An unexpected ‘Super Sunday’, which featured both the men’s and ladies’ downhill due to fog delays from the originally scheduled men’s downhill on Saturday, brought the most spectators to the Salastrains Stadium with nearly 40,000 packing the stadium, hospitality terraces and lining the course. The day also shattered all television viewing records according to the European Broadcast Union audience figures. This day was arguably the outstanding highlight of the World Championships as Swiss star Beat Feuz claimed the gold under blue bird skies.
In total, some 165,000 spectators attended the 11 competitions and the official opening ceremony; while and estimated 30,000 visited the Kulm Park in St. Moritz Dorf, where all the ceremonies were staged under the watchful eye of ‘Edi’ a three-story 19 metre tall wooden ski figure that was a fan favourite and central character of the post-medal ceremony evening programme.
At the closing press conference FIS President Gian Franco Kasper proudly stated about the Championships in his home town: “The St. Moritz Organisers did a world class job of hosting these World Championships. They were ready to deal with a first week of challenging weather, whilst the sunny skies the second week gave St. Moritz a chance to truly shine. The enthusiasm of the officials, volunteers and spectators with their great vocal support created a fantastic atmosphere that gave all the athletes from 76 participating nations the ideal backdrop to shine.”
Outside of the races, the programme at the Kulm Park and around the entire town of St. Moritz was a massive success. With free concerts every night from major headline bands such as 77 Bombay Street and Bastian Baker, Kulm Park and the many hospitality houses were buzzing with activity during the two weeks of evening festivities.
Additionally a number of prominent figures attended the World Championships headed by IOC President Thomas Bach and President of the Swiss Federal Council Doris Leuthard.
President of the St. Moritz Organising Committee Hugo Wetzel said, “We are very proud of the last two weeks. Our volunteers, staff and the thousands of fans made these World Championships a massive success and hopefully unforgettable for the hundreds of competing athletes.”
Facts and Figures
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2019 will be held in Are (SWE)
165,000 spectators at the races
30,000 visitors at Kulm Park
1,500 accredited media representatives