The 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Are (SWE) got underway today, with FIS President Gian Franco Kasper officially declaring the event open this evening during the Opening Ceremony.
Kasper met the media this afternoon for the opening press conference together with the CEO of the Local Organising Committee Niklas Carlsson.
It is the third time that the Swedish village, located in northern Sweden, has welcomed the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The previous editions were in 1954 and 2007. The 12 years between hosting World Championships is the quickest turnaround time since Innsbruck (AUT) also hosted the World Championships 12 years apart in 1964 and 1976 as part of the Olympic Winter Games.
“We are thrilled to bring the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships back to Are for a third time,” said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. “The Organisers have worked tirelessly to ensure that the athletes will have ideal conditions to show world class performances in their quest for gold. The snow conditions are ideal and all of the aspects surrounding the World Championships indicate that Are will indeed inspire not just the athletes at the start, but indeed the entire world to ski.”
All in all, nearly 600 athletes representing a record numer of 77 nations have entered to participate in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2019. In total there will be 11 medal events; five individual competitions each for men and ladies and the mixed team competition.
Are has long been home to a stop on the ladies’ Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour and last season hosted successful World Cup Finals where the Organisers were challenged with unfavourable weather for much of the week.
All medal races will be carried out with the same finish at the National Area, making this a compact World Championship and ideal for spectators to enjoy, with excellent viewing opportunities. The qualification races will be staged at nearby Are-Duved.
There will be plenty of action in the town as all medal ceremonies, together with a full entertainment programme, will be held in the heart of Are, only 500 metres walking distance from the National Arena competition venue. Along the way between the venues there will be various stands to entertain the spectators. In addition, throughout the town there will be hospitality houses and interactive shows, cultural displays and musical acts.
Carlsson commented, “We have said since the day we were awarded these World Championships that our goal is to inspire the world to ski. That begins first and foremost with our community, and leaving it a solid legacy from hosting the World Championships. There is not a doubt in my mind that we have all the pieces in place to give the world an unforgettable experience during the next two weeks.”
The competitions will begin with ladies’ super-G tomorrow, 5th February and the following day, the men will take their chance at gold in super-G action.
Infront, the media and marketing rights holder reported that the World Championships will be broadcast live in dozens of countries. Over 800 media representatives across television, print and online media will be present on site in Are.