Calgary, AB (October 27, 2023) — Coming off a season that saw two world championship gold medals, seven athletes stand on the world championship podium, five World Cup podiums and a breakout World Cup win, to say that Canadians are excited about the 23/24 FIS alpine World Cup season would be an understatement.
The season starts this weekend with the women and men racing giant slalom at the 30th anniversary of the Sölden, AUT, World Cup. Providing insights to some of the storied venues on the calendar this season is Alpine Canada alumni and Olympian, Michael Janyk through excerpts from his new book “Go To The Start” (link here).
Nov 11-12, Women, Slalom x2, Levi, FIN
“The opening World Cup slalom of the season was held in Levi, Finland, 170 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, near the Swedish border. With it being early November at the Arctic Circle, the sun just peeked out around 10:00 a.m. and was soon gone by 3:00 p.m., never really showing its full face.”
Dec 2-3, Women Giant Slalom x2, Mont-Tremblant, QC, CAN*
World Cup racing returns to Tremblant for the first time in 40 years. With World Cup winner Valérie Grenier (CAN) racing on her home hill, and Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), Lara-Gut-Behrami (SUI) and Marta Bassino (ITA) scheduled to compete the racing will be extraordinary. Link here to learn more.
*This section is not from “Go To The Start”*
Dec 22, Men Slalom, Night Race, Madonna di Campiglio, ITA
“Madonna is a classic stop on the slalom circuit, a race always held at night, and it ranks up there with some of the best hills on tour. With great terrain features out of the start to keep you on your toes, it levels out a bit halfway down, letting the racers regroup briefly before taking a hard left turn, breaking over onto a steep pitch, and gradually flattening with terrain features all the way into the finish. It’s an exciting hill to race because the whole way down it dares you to release your skis and let them run, but if you’re not careful, it spits you out quickly, leading to some exciting crashes and setting the stage for anything to happen. Adding to its character, the hill ends in the middle of town, surrounded by hotels, houses, and buildings, which naturally shapes the finish area into a horseshoe inside of them. A true slalom hill through and through.”
Jan 6-7, Men Slalom, Giant Slalom and Slalom, Adelboden, SUI
“It’s a hill that boasts more terrain, sharp breakovers, and side hills than any other and culminates on a massive basketball turn that sweeps to the right before dropping down the steepest few gates on the circuit. Then it finishes in a scaffolding made amphitheater, creating stands filled with 30,000 Swiss fans cheering the racers on.”
Jan 12-14, Men Super G, Downhill, Slalom, Wengen, SUI
The Lauberhorn, as its downhill track is called, is one of the most iconic of the circuit, being the longest course at 4.5 kilometers, which takes a skier around two and a half minutes to descend. It boasts some of the highest speeds of up to 160 km/h; the coolest jump on circuit called the hundschopf, which falls off a cliff; and the most unexpected downhill turn called the Kernen-S, which snakes through a chicane and onto a banked turn and then under the train bridge. The slalom also keeps a place in the race hill Hall of Fame for its drastic and ever-changing terrain, with the steepest six or seven gates on tour.
Jan 19-21, Men Downhill x2, Slalom, Kitzbühel, AUT
The Kitzbühel race week starts with the super G race on Friday, the main event of downhill on Saturday, and after the speed skiers are done, Sundays are for slalom. Kitzbühel is one of the few circuit stops where the tech and speed groups cross over.
Straight below me was the slalom finish area surrounded by grandstands, creating a larger amphitheater, which would soon be filled with 40,000 fans. To my right, a few hundred meters away, I looked at the finish of the downhill track, the “Strief” where less than twenty-four hours before, 80,000 fans had been cheering on their favourite racers and gasping at spectacular saves from near crashes.
Jan 23-24, Men Giant Slalom, Slalom, Night Races, Schladming, AUT
The Schladming night race is the biggest slalom of the year. Held in the province of Steiermark in Austria, it brings out 50,000-plus fans to line the hill, surrounding all sides and encircling from the finish and up to the start. As race hills go, it’s one of the best. The length and consistency of steepness makes it challenging, giving no reprieve until you hit the finish line. Adding to the intensity of the hill, with the energy of the crowd, every athlete wants to put their best performance on the line for this one.
By The Numbers:
This weekend’s races and future races this season can be seen on CBC and CBCSports.ca. CBC’s broadcast schedule is available here.
Follow Canada’s Ski Team this season on Alpine Canada’s website, across our social media accounts and subscribe to our newsletter.
For more information or media inquiries please contact:
403 777 3204
About Alpine Canada
Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community.