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SKI LEGENDS TURN OUT... - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Thursday January 5, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Imagine this. Alberto Tomba, Annemarie Moser-Pröll, Janica and Ivica Kostelic, Tina Maze, and Marcel Hirscher racing each other! It happened in Zagreb last night. Even the great Jean-Claude Killy was there.

Rarely, if ever, can so many legends of alpine ski racing have been brought together in the same place,  let alone with their ski boots on, ready to do battle against each other on a slalom course. 

Eighteen racers past and present were in the Croatian capital to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Alpine Ski World Cup with an exhibition race.

Ski racers past & present at FIS 50th anniversary exhibition raceSki legends













PlanetSKI watched the event live on TV and gave up trying to keep a running total of just how many World Cup victories were represented.

But every one of the skiers taking part had been Overall World Cup champion at least once.

The great Austrian, Annemarie Moser-Pröll, can do far better than that.  She has a record 6 overall titles (not to mention 62 individual World Cup victories and an Olympic gold medal in 1980).

The only current racer at the event, Marcel Hirscher, is hot on Moser-Pröll's heels.  He's won the overall title 5 times in the past 5 years and said taking part was "a real pleasure" and a "perfect pre-run" for Thursday's World Cup slalom.

Marcel HirscherMarcel Hirscher













You might expect Hirscher to have won on the distinctly unchallenging course built right in Zagreb city centre, close to the cathedral. 

He had other ideas.  The second skier on course, he stopped on the way down to allow spectators to take selfies with him.  

That set the tone for the rest of the night. 

Pernilla Wiberg (Sweden, 1997 WC overall winner) took a very wide line round the gates, high-fiving spectators all the way down.

Pernilla WibergPernilla Wiberg













Austria's Renate Götschl (overall WC champion in 2000) cheated by avoiding the gates completely and going top to bottom in a tuck.

As a result, she was the fastest of the lot, beating the early leader and local hero, Croatia's Ivica Kostelic (26 WC victories) and his sister Janica (3 overall titles, 6 Olympic medals - 4 of them gold, 5 World Championship gold medals, etc, etc).

One of the biggest cheers of the night came as Alberto "La Bomba" Tomba entered the starting gate.

Alberto TombaAlberto Tomba













The Italian slalom specialist, who has just celebrated his own 50th birthday,  played to the crowds, waving his poles in the air as he cruised past the gates in a very un-Tomba-like way.

The only disappointment was that the man who won the first two World Cup titles in 1967 and 1968, Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy, did not compete.

"I don't ski any more but I'm absolutely delighted to be in Zagreb," he told the crowds.

Jean-Claude KillyJean-Claude Killy being interviewed













Killy is 73, but was not the oldest in Zagreb.

78-year-old Karl Schranz who took the two overall titles immediately after Killy in 1969 and 1970 was there too, and did put his skis on.

I am guessing this was the first time he's been in the same race as his fellow Austrian Marcel Hirscher!

Here's the full line-up of legends at the 50th anniversary event.

Ivica Kostelic, Janica Kostelic (Croatia); Marcel Hirscher, Karl Schranz, Petra Kronberger, Renate Götschl, Annemarie Moser-Pröll, Michaela Dorfmeister, Nicole Hosp (Austria);  Jean-Claude Killy, Michelle Jacot Herry (France); Lise-Marie Morerod (Switzerland); Alberto Tomba (Italy);  Marc Giradelli (Luxembourg); Andreas Wenzel (Liechtenstein); Tina Maze (Slovenia);Tamara McKinney (USA), Pernilla Wiberg (Sweden).

All but Killy and Jacot Herry took part in the race. 

Happy 50th birthday FIS Alpine Ski World Cup!

Photos by Agence Zoom

FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 50th birthday cakeHappy 50th Birthday




















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