2015 World Championships garner international praise
VAIL — “Great job, Vail. You’ve stunned the world.”
And with that, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association director Tiger Shaw smiled and plunged into a massive and enthusiastic crowd in Redtail Stadium for the second run of the women’s slalom.
Shaw raced in the 1989 World Championships and had a great time, but he called the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships “an incredible step up.”
“The Olympics weren’t this good,” Shaw said.
“To have the valley come together like this is over the top,” Shaw said. “People will remember this for a long, long time.”
“We’re grateful Vail has raised the bar and provided a whole different level,” Shaw said.
Ceil Folz has been sleeping about four hours a night during the World Championships, which she said is “plenty.” Folz is the president of the Vail Valley Foundation and chairs the World Championships organizing committee.
“We feel honored and blessed to host a great competition,” Folz said. “We’ve had unbelievable crowds.”
Total attendance will be close to 130,000 for races, 200,000 when including all of the other events. Television viewers will approach 1 billion.
“If you look at our list of goals, it looks like we met them all,” Folz said.
Sarah Lewis is the secretary general of the International Ski Federation (FIS).
“I am thrilled with these World Championships. They certainly have exceeded our expectations,” Lewis said. “The commitment we’ve had from Beaver Creek and Vail, and their respective towns, and how they have worked hand in hand with the organizing committee and the USSA have been very important to spread the word of alpine ski racing in America and the world.”
Two big takeaways have been the crowds, Lewis said. On-site crowds have been the largest ever in the U.S.
“They’ve come in huge numbers and had fantastic support from everyone from all nations. And the absolutely fantastic volunteers. They’ve been the heart and soul of these Championships,” Lewis said.
“We’re delighted at the outcome of these World Championships,” Lewis said.
PRIME TIME TV
These World Championships have been broadcast to Europe for dozens of hours during prime time.
Ingo Hanneson with the European Broadcast Union said among the key elements are the super slow motion — 2,500 frames per second.
“But really the key is preparation and the people who are doing it,” Hanneson said.
They brought 25 to 30 of the top ski camera guys in the world, who have worked in some of the world’s top venues.
“They have checked and explored more than 200 different camera positions, finding the best camera positions for each event,” Hanneson said. “This will leave a legacy for years to come.”
Shaw said one of the goals was to produce an experience that people can see on TV, and show Americans what the sport is about.
Winning helps. Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety stood atop the podium and Lindsey Vonn medaled.
“We hope to capture the interest of young kids, so we’ll have more Mikaelas, Lindseys and Teds soon,” Shaw said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.