What started as a powder day ended with sunshine at Red Tail Finish Stadium for the first Ladies’ Downhill Training, officially kicking off the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. With U.S. Stacey Cook generating the fastest time of 1:48:16, followed by Swiss athlete Lara Gut in second and Norwegian athlete Ragnhild Mowinckel in third, downhill training was a success, despite the initial weather delay.
Excitement continued to build in day one with an opening press conference including opening remarks from FIS President Gian Franco Kasper and 2015 AWSC Organizing Committee President Ceil Folz, along with Tiger Shaw, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (video here). The press conference also included statements from host broadcasters Franck Choquard, Managing Director for Eurovision, Ingo Hannesson, Head of Sports Rights for European Broadcast Union along with Michael Jaquet, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (video here).
Day one wrapped up with Opening Ceremonies at Championships Plaza (Solaris) in Vail Village, which welcomed more than 9,000 attendees. The hour-long Opening Ceremonies, narrated by Kevin Costner, featured appearances by athletes, skiing legends and event officials, live music, fireworks and entertainment, all following the three “themes” of the World Championships: “Dream It. Live It. Share It.”
Highlights included live performances by The Tenors, who debuted their new single “Under One Sky,” a performance by Memphis jookin’ dance star Ron Myles, to the music of a live brass marching band, an official welcoming of the world to Colorado by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, remarks by FIS president Gian Franco Kasper, a live performance of the U.S. National Anthem by the Colorado Children’s Chorale, and the passing of the FIS flag from Schladming 2013 AWSC Organizing Committee members to 2015 AWSC Organizing Committee President Ceil Folz. Opening Ceremonies closed with a live performance by Michael Franti and Spearhead.
Day two kicked off the first official race, with the Ladies’ Super G at Red Tail Finish Stadium in Beaver Creek. In contrast to the windy conditions at the top of the course, perfect spectating weather awaited a full stadium of fans who witnessed a first place victory by Anna Fenninger of Austria, with Tina Maze of Slovenia taking second and Lindsey Vonn from the United States in third.
IOC President Thomas Bach also hosted a press conference with FIS President Gian Franco Kasper and 2015 AWSC Organizing Committee President Ceil Folz, delivering remarks on his visit to Vail and Beaver Creek for the World Championships.
An official Medals Ceremony will take place at Championships Plaza (Solaris) in Vail this evening at 6:30pm local time, honoring today’s Ladies’ Super-G winners. Following the Medals Ceremony, Michael Franti and Spearhead will once again take the stage, this time for a full set, free for public to attend.
Tomorrow, February 4, the Men’s Super G race is scheduled to start at 10:30am, and will be followed by a 6:30pm Medals Ceremony in Championships Plaza (Solaris) in Vail, followed by Andreas Gabalier performing a free concert. Each day throughout the event window, fans are also welcomed to breakfast in Beaver Creek Village and an International Experience on the ice rink following the races, live music and a street fair at Après Avon from 2-5pm, Sierra Nevada Winter Beer Camp in Vail Village beginning at 4pm, and plenty more. For a full event calendar and other details, please visit vailbeavercreek2015.com.
Note: Daily press recap releases will be distributed throughout the two weeks of the event. To access press releases, photos and other assets please visit: bit.ly/2015AWSCmedia
Photo (c) Logan Robertson