Review Ski World Championships 2017
We look back upon an unforgettable ski party
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships St. Moritz 2017 were celebrated by 165,000 ski fans and spectators live at the scene of the action. What remains are wonderful memories of a great sporting event where St. Moritz and the entire Engadine were the focus of international winter sports for two weeks. A total of 33 medals were awarded in 11 individual disciplines.
Successful Swiss athlets
The visitors to the World Championships enjoyed thrilling battles for the fiercely-contested places. By coming first in the Slalom the Austrian Marcel Hirscher obtained his second gold medal of these World Championships, bringing up to six the total of his victories in World Championships. This makes him one of the most successful athletes in alpine skiing. The Swiss athletes can also look back on successful home World Championships. In the final medal ranking they came second behind Austria, having gained seven medals – of which three were gold. This means that the Swiss Team experienced their most successful World Championships since Vail/Beaver Creek 1989.
The „Super Speed Sunday“topped all expectations
In the first race week the weather presented a big challenge for the organisers. However, all races took place on slopes in excellent condition and from the so-called „Super Speed Sunday“ onwards, which saw two downhill races in one day, practically all competitions were blessed with brilliant sunshine. On average 1,076,000 spectators watched the Men’s Downhill live on SRF 2 – at its peak there were 1,163,000 ski fans in front of the screen. During the downhill weekend of 11 and 12 February a total of 68,000 fans witnessed the races in the Finish Area at Salastrains.
Further key numbers of these World Championships
44,000 overnight stays were generated by 12,900 accredited visitors alone (athletes, coaches, sponsors, media, partners and officials). All these people were also very hungry and thirsty: they drank 40,000 litres of beer and ate 23,000 grilled sausages and 19,000 hamburgers. An Guata!! In the VIP tent guests enjoyed their food as well. Around 14,500 VIPs consumed 1.2 tons of food every day. It was not only in the culinary department that the World Championships achieved prominence: its visual presence was also strong. Six kilometres of advertising banners with the logo of the World Ski Championships were mounted in the Engadine. But no other figure left as strong a mark as Edy, the wooden symbol of the World Ski Championships. He is 19 metres high, weighs 18 tons and was assembled with 20,000 screws.
The 250 articulated trucks had to deal with heavy weights, too, transporting material amounting to 450 tons up the mountain. For instance, glass fibre cables: 23 km of these were installed in the race area. At least they were not as visible as the red B-nettings. 38 km of these were used to make the slopes safe, a distance which equals the entire stretch of the Engadine Ski Marathon from Maloja to S-chanf.
Huge media attention
The following figures demonstrate the huge media attention generated by the fifth Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz. In Switzerland alone 4,233 articles were written, reaching 165.5 million readers. Worldwide over 350 TV broadcast hours were registered, which means that 105 million spectators all over the globe watched the televised races. The stringent overall communication strategy of the World Championships organisers was courageous – and it paid off. This was evidenced by the fact that digital communication channels and social media also showed enormous growth. The World Championships App “St. Moritz 2017” was downloaded 35,000 times from the app store and the World Championships website recorded 4.5 million site views over the duration of the event. The “Super Speed Sunday” was the most popular day also on social media with the Facebook channel of the World Ski Championships reaching 4.6 million users on 12 February 2017.
Voluntari Engiadina – the heart of the World Ski Championships
As at the last World Championships in 2003, the approx. 1,350 volunteers were at the heart of these World Ski Championships and clocked up a total of 140,000 working hours. The Organising Committee of the World Ski Championships St. Moritz 2017 thanks all the volunteers for their excellent cooperation, and the same thanks also go to all the partners, the media, the politicians, the Swiss Army, the civil protection units, the cantonal police, the hotels, the mountain railways and local businesses. A special thank-you goes to the population of the Upper Engadine for their constant support and the jointly-created unique experience. The World Ski Championships St. Moritz 2017 should be encouragement for the staging of further pioneering projects in the future, with a view to continuing the unique history, the tradition and the event expertise in winter sports which has no equal anywhere else in the world.