International Roundup: Ghedina's 151st, Stenmark's near-miss, Grandi's parade


International Roundup: Ghedina’s 151st, Stenmark’s near-miss, Grandi’s paradeKristian Ghedina, the aging star of the Italian downhill team, has set a World Cup record for most career downhill starts. As of Wednesday, December 29, the friendly skier has kicked out of the start gate 151 times in the sport’s most glamorous event.

“I’m very proud to be the skier who has competed in the most World Cup downhill races,” said a happy Kristian Ghedina in Bormio today after his 151st downhill race, where he finished 21st.

The record was previously held by the Austrian Peter Wirnsberger who took part in 150 Downhills in his racing career. Ghedina, who has been racing with Fischer skis for 20 years, was celebrated by the company in a press release.

Following Ghedina’s record-breaking race in Bormio the Italian skiing legend Deborah Compagnoni, after whom the slope in nearby Santa Caterina has been named, presented him with a large cake bearing the number 151. The cake was then eaten in the Italian team quarters, where glasses were raised in honor of the record.

Four in a row: Upcoming women’s races…
According to an official communication from the FIS earlier this week, the World Cup downhills that were cancelled two weeks ago at Val d’Isere, France, have been re-scheduled for January 6-7 at Santa Caterina, Italy (home to the alpine world championships less than a month from now).

Until earlier this week, the next World Cup tech races for the women were another GS and slalom combo, January 8-9 in Berchtesgaden, Germany. (those races are still subject to whatever decision the FIS makes following a snow inspection on January 2nd).

Stenmark survives disaster…
Ingemar Stenmark, the winner of 86 World Cups over his storied career, was in Thailand last week when the tsunami hit the beaches. Stenmark escaped to tell his story.

A hero’s welcome…
Thomas Grandi and his wife, cross-country standout Sara Renner, were greated last week at the airport by proud fans, happy to see Grandi after he won two consecutive World Cup giant slaloms, at Alta Badia and Flachau. Grandi was treated to a parade in his hometown of Canmore, Alberta. A short video clip of the parade, and a quick interview with the man himself, is available online here.

Schild wins Semmering night slalom; Schleper and Stiegler in top 10World Cup women's tech moved from Germany to Italy

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