Brilliant blue skies welcome the athletes for the first day of competition in Davos. The 39th FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championship opened with the ladies giant slalom on Jakobshorn peak.
Defending Marc Hodler Cup champions Austria got the Championship off to an impressive start as Julia Scheib and Katrina Liensberger of Austria swept the top two spots following a miscue by 1st run leader Camille Rast (SUI) within 4 gates of the finish. Rikka Honkanen of Finland took bronze.
Stephanie Currie (Osler Bluff/Dartmouth) was the lone Canadian finisher, placing 31st in her first competition in Europe. Marina Vilanova (Mt. Tremblant) led the Canadians following the 1st run, finishing 13th but did not finish the 2nd. Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler Mt.) was DNF on the 1st run.
Under a starry night sky the Burgermeister of Davos welcomed over 300 athletes from a record 43 nations at the Opening Ceremony. He remarked that Davos has regularly hosted winter sport competitions, starting with an international ski jumping competition 110 years ago. FIS Council Member Eduardo Roldan then declared open the Championship.
Tomorrow will be a busy day with the ladies slalom and the men’s downhill which has been moved forward with weather and heavy snow anticipated for Thursday.
Livestream of the races: swiss-ski.ch/davos2018
A bit of Davos history: The pride of Ski Club Davos is Paul Accola, who captured the 1992 World Cup overall title and 7 individual World Cup wins. Accola was a ‘all-rounder’ who performed well in all ski racing events. He captured an Olympic bronze in the alpine combined in Calgary (1988) and a silver (1989) and two bronze (1999 and 2001) medals in the World Championships. Today, Paul operates a farm located right beside the slope which will be used for the Nations Team Event on Saturday night.