In an unusual move to give the leading skiers the best course conditions, organizers of Sunday’s men’s world championship slalom decided that not the top 30 but only the 15 fastest skiers from the first leg were to open the second run in reverse order.
That meant that racers who finished the first leg in 16th or lower were left with virtually no chance for a medal. The decision by the Jury was the first of its kind in roughly 20 years.
Outspoken former World Cup athlete Ivica Kostelić did not hold back his criticism.
“Where are all you now, you ‘freedom fighters,’ advocating fairness in our sport? Where are you now, FIS Alpine? Why don’t you step up and stop bowing your back to the interests of the rotten? But above all- where are you, top slalom skiers? Are you afraid to speak up in the face of undeniable injustice? You, who swear in the fairness above all? Your silence supports this injustice which is done to your fellow racers, especially younger ones, whose chances for a fair fight will a priori be erased by this decision. We are looking for champions here- are there any among you? Strength is expressed through magnanimity! Injustice is the way of the weak!
“A sporting victory that is not achieved justly and honorably is worthless.
“And never forget- greatest evils are based on the violence of the few and the silence of the many. Speak now or never speak about fairness again.”