By Peter Davies
The new parallel giant slalom was exciting to watch
Parallel giant slalom was a new addition to the World Cup. Although we have seen it before, it was introduced a point scoring event this season. The short and visually exciting discipline had viewers on the edge of their seats.Hopefully they’ll be more in the future!
Drones are dangerous
During the night slalom race in Madonna Di Campiglio, overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher was within an inch of a huge disaster. The footage went viral across the globe and reminded us that latest technology can sometimes be more dangerous than we expect.
Still debate over air bag type technology
A lot of athletes have decided to wear air bag technology to help with the impact of crashing at high speeds. Ted Ligety vented his view that it isn’t necessarily safe technology and argued that it could actually cause more harm. A lot of the speed skiers on the world cup still wear this safety equipment while racing.
A shortened Hahnenkamm is still unforgiving
Every ski race fan looks forward to the famous downhill at Kitzbuhel. This year due to high winds; the starting position had to be lowered for safety. Despite the shortened race, many high profile speed skiers ended up in the netting. Italy’s Peter Fill, who hadn’t won any major downhills, stole the show with a blistering run to take first place.
Norway has strength in depth
It was an incredible year for Norway on the World Cup circuit. Four Norwegians finished in the overall male top ten. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Henrik Kristoffersen both won crystal globes in super-G and slalom. Axel Lund Svindal could’ve possibly picked up the downhill, if he didn’t pick up an injury on the Hahnenkamm. On the ladies side, Nina Loseth put down some great results in the tech disciplines with a win in the Santa Caterina slalom.
Lindsey Vonn all-time queen of snow
Vonn has now recorded 76 World Cup victories, which is an all-time women’s record. Despite having injuries that disrupted the start of her season, the American came back to dominate the speed disciplines. She has to beat 86 World cup victories (currently held by Ingemar Stenmark) to become the most successful male and female alpine athlete. She unfortunately picked up another injury towards the end of the season.
The Swiss had something to cheer about finally when Lara Gut took the overall female title. Gut took full advantage of Lindsey Vonn’s absence towards the end of the season to win the overall title. The Head sponsored skier won by over 100 points and will hope to put up a strong defence next season.
Hirscher still the man to beat
Although Henrik Kristoffersen took his slalom crown, Marcel Hirscher has shown that he still has the consistency across many disciplines. This year he took his first super-G win, which shows he has the potential to progress in speed disciplines too. The overall win this year was his 5th consecutive title – let’s hope he doesn’t have to avoid drones next season!
Racers really took to social media
Racers have been using Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep us updated throughout the season. It’s been a welcome addition to World Cup because we get a glimpse of their travels and training. I think my Instagram and twitter accounts are just full of alpine racer profiles!
The Brits can mix it with the best
Lastly, Great Britain’s Dave Ryding and Alex Tilley have both had fantastic seasons. Ryding finished 22nd in the overall slalom rankings and qualified for the world cup finals. Tilley recorded a fantastic 19th at the Lienz giant slalom at 22 years of age. It’s encouraging to see the Brits starting to make their mark on the World Cup circuit.