Press conferences and meetings highlight days leading into Sölden
The anticipation surrounding the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Opener has been growing in the Ötztal Valley over the days leading into this weekend’s races. Athletes and media reconvened after their summer break from racing to kick off another winter of competition. A number of press conferences and celebrations took place starting on Thursday.
The first event for journalists and supporters was the annual HEAD press conference featuring the line-up of top athletes sponsored by the manufacturer. Retired athlete Marco Büchel introduced some of the World Cup Rebels for the year (all pictured above) before opening the event up to individual photo and interview opportunities with the star athletes.
Teams shifted gears to attend the traditional Audi Media Talk, where all partner teams were presented in front of a very special car this year – the new Audi e-tron. One of the main topics of conversation at the event that unofficially kicks off the World Cup was the new sponsoring display of the brand with the four rings in winter sports. Starting this season, the new Audi e-tron will be visually in focus at the events supported by Audi. At the 2019 Audi FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre, the all-electric SUV will additionally serve as a shuttle car and provide driving impressions as part of the Audi driving experience. The relaxed environment of the Gigi Tenne provided the media and local fans a prime opportunity to chat with the ski stars following the photo sessions.
Friday morning will start with the annual Chiefs of Media meeting, where best practices will be discussed among team press attachés, the chiefs of media from the various World Cup venues, TV rights holders, journalists (through the association AIJS), and FIS staff.
The FIS Forum Alpinum will be the highlight of Friday, where all stakeholders will gather in Freizeit Arena for Q&A sessions with FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, Chief Race Directors Markus Waldner and Atle Skaardal, and remarks from several other distinguished guests.
Athletes, media, and fans alike are excited to get the season started with the ladies’ giant slalom on Saturday and men's giant slalom on Sunday on the Rettenbach glacier.