In between the men’s and women’s slalom races at the annual Snow Queen Trophy in Zagreb, Croatia, a special night was planned following the men’s bib draw to commemorate the birth of the World Cup 50 years ago in 1967.
Zagreb’s Ban Jelacic Square was converted into a makeshift ski slope to host an exhibition race between overall World Cup winners from the past and present. In total, 18 overall champions participated in the event, including inaugural overall champion Jean-Claude Killy of France (1967, 68) and American legend Tamara McKinney (1983).
The course made its way down Zagreb’s Bakaceva Street and was 165 meters long. In order to build it, the organizers trucked in 900 cubic meters of snow to create a 50-centimeter thick skiing surface.
The race kicked off with Croatian legend Ivica Kostelic taking to the course and ended when his sister Janica was the last racer to make her way down to the square.
“The idea of skiing in the main square is excellent,” said Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell. “It’s so wonderful that people here will see the world’s former top skiers skiing again. I think Vienna could do something like that as well since it has all the preconditions for it. It would be brilliant.”
The legends skied around gates from original bamboo slalom poles to modern GS panels, most of them engaging with the crowd on their way down the slope in a variety of ways.
“It’s always great to have the young and the old legends in one place,” added Killy. “It’s a wonderful promotion for Zagreb, Croatia, and skiing in general. And it’s not like I have a chance to see Karl Schranz very often these days so I’m really looking forward to it.”