Alpine World Ski Championships

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Gold medal of the FIS

The Alpine World Ski Championships are a sporting event that takes place every two years, in which the world champions in the alpine ski disciplines are determined in various races . The organizer is the World Ski Federation FIS . The Alpine Ski World Championships, along with the Olympic Games, are among the most important championships in Alpine ski racing.

According to the official language of the FIS, the sporting event is named in the plural and is called "Alpine World Ski Championships (year)".


World championships in alpine skiing were held for the first time in 1931 . Initially they were referred to as FIS competitions , FIS championships or simply FIS races , from 1937 the events were officially called World Championships (and the competitions that have taken place since 1931 were subsequently referred to as such). Until 1939 the title fights took place annually. A special feature, there was 1936, when it both alpine Skibewerbe at the Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , albeit with only one combination (from a departure and a two-rounds slalom) for men and women and separately shortly after an Alpine World Championships in Innsbruck was . While practically all men from Switzerland and Austria were not allowed to participate in the Olympic competition because of their "professionalism", they were able to take part in the world championship, but on the other hand the Olympic starters were now missing. At the World Championships in 1938 and 1939, the runners from Austria belonged to the team of the German Reich due to the affiliation that has now been completed .

After the Second World War , the world championships were held every two years from 1948 to 1982, with the Olympic champions also being world champions up to the 1980 Winter Olympics (the combination was also an Olympic ranking in 1948; after that, the combination winners were "only" world champions from 1956 to 1980 ). Since 1985 the World Championships have been held in odd years independently of the Winter Olympics. The exception was the World Cup in the Sierra Nevada, which could only be held in 1996, as there had been an acute lack of snow the year before.


Initially there were only three disciplines (downhill, slalom and combination, although these were not part of the program in 1931, 1950 and 1952 and on the other hand only a "paper race" up to and including 1980 - only in 1948 there was a small deviation), and thus also up to and including 1939 an event scheduled for two or three days, the duration increased due to the addition of further disciplines afterwards. From 1950 the giant slalom was included, from 1982 the combination was held in a different form and thus as an additional competition, and from 1987 the Super-G was added. From 1996 the combination was no longer calculated in points, but by adding times. From 2005 a team competition was installed, which was changed in its form and rating in 2011 to a parallel race. The "Super Combination" (later "Alpine Combination") was modified in 2007. At the 2021 World Ski Championships, additional parallel individual races will be held for the first time, bringing the number of medal decisions to 13.

Duration of the event

In the thirties it was a weekend at the beginning, later three days, but this was extended (with the introduction of the giant slalom) to a good week (from one Sunday to the next). With the addition of changed and additional disciplines, it was eleven days in 1982, this increased to around two weeks. Hand in hand with this, the number of participants also increased enormously, which also caused problems with their accommodation. Only 20 women and 25 men competed in 1931; In 1938 there were 30 women and 50 men, in 1970 there were 50 women and 120 men; In 1991 that number roughly doubled, and in 2017 there were 589 athletes from 77 different countries. However, the basic planning since 1996 with first the "speed" and then the technical disciplines brought the advantage that, especially in the larger nations, the "technician troop" only arrives at a later point in time, and it becomes a kind of " Shift change "in the accommodations.

Successful nations

In the first few years it was only the traditional Alpine nations (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, shortly afterwards France) and also the women from the British ski club Kandahar who won the medals, but in 1939 a medal went to Sweden for the first time. The USA were added in 1948, Norway in 1952, Japan and the USSR in 1956 and Canada in 1958. Then it lasted until 1970 with Australia and Poland, in 1972 with the surprise from Spain, and in 1974 Liechtenstein joined them. Other nations were: 1982 Yugoslavia, 1985 Luxembourg, 1991 Russia (whereby a common ground with the USSR can be assumed here), 1999 Finland, 2001 Slovenia (here the connection with Yugoslavia), 2003 Croatia, 2005 Czech Republic, 2017 Slovakia.

Television broadcasts

At its congress in Beirut in 1967, the world ski association secured the exclusive rights to television broadcasts of the world championships. It was noted in the minutes that »the FIS is entering into negotiations directly with the TV companies in this regard«. Since the influence of television increased immensely (as in all sports), the organizers had to and still have to bow to the requirements of TV several times (which was / is particularly important for cancellations or postponements), and it is also the curiosity of known from the 2005 World Championships in Bormio when a strike by the cameramen of the Italian host station RAI triggered the postponement of the men's giant slalom by one day.

Other incidents

  • The men's slalom in 1931 was run in just one run because of the piste that melted away in the "late February sun", which is why its results were considered "unofficial" for a long time. There was actually no medal award either (the runners left immediately after finishing anyway); Only from 2013 onwards will the first three places be considered medal winners according to the FIS (and therefore winner David Zogg is considered world champion).
  • At the World Championships in 1934, the entire Austrian team was missing, only a few officials had come to St. Moritz .
  • The 1950 World Championships in Aspen were the first outside Europe.
  • There was a rather limited number of participants in Bad Gastein in 1958 due to the regulation that each nation was only allowed to name six runners, of which four could be used in every competition as usual.
  • In 1962 it was initially questionable whether these world championships could be considered such, for political reasons. For the first time, there were major shifts in the program due to weather conditions. The Austrian Ski Association won six of the eight possible gold medals.
    In addition, for the first time there was a qualifying slalom for the actual slalom; of 62 registered runners, 30 were able to secure participation. These qualifications, which were held up to and including 1970, remained extremely controversial, the runners announced boycotts, but ultimately they had to submit again and again. The main criticism was that the entire runners had to compete, which carried the risk that an elite runner would not qualify (especially if he fell); It was said, "that the elite runners had earned the good start number due to their results in the previous season and the current season and they should not be deprived of their merits in such a decision, which may also be dependent on weather conditions".
  • The Swiss Ski Association remained without a medal at the World Championships from 1962 to 1966 (although in 1964 there was no medal in the other Olympic competitions either).
  • For the 1964 Olympic slalom, which was also the world championship, there was (as in the 1962 World Cup) a qualifying slalom.
  • The only world championship to date in the southern hemisphere and thus held in August took place in Portillo in 1966 . The men's giant slalom was run in two runs for the first time, and also (with the exception of 1974 and 1978) on two days until 1980. The French Ski Association won six of the eight possible gold medals, or seven of the eight possible gold medals due to the subsequent award of the gold medal in the women's downhill.
  • For the third time here in Portillo, due to the high number of registrations for the men's slalom, the starting field was reduced by a "qualification slalom". (This measure also existed for the Olympic slalom in 1968 and in Val Gardena in 1970 - and only after that again in 2007.) The larger nations were allowed to send five runners to qualify. The conclusion was that the quota of four starters was broken, because both Switzerland and Austria brought all their runners into the main competition.
  • Both the alpine ski races at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble and the 1970 World Championships in Val Gardena were simultaneously considered World Cup races.
  • Since the ski competitions are also considered world championships at the 1972 Olympic Games, these were the first in Asia.
  • At the 1978 World Cup, the women's giant slalom was also driven in two rounds for the first time.
  • From 1982 onwards, in addition to the four permitted runners per nation, the respective defending champions (i.e. the 1980 winners) were allowed to start. For the first time there was a separately held combination, consisting of a descent and a slalom consisting of two runs, but these two races (and this also at the following world championships) were held on two different (and mostly further apart) days.
  • The Austrian Ski Association was unable to win a gold medal in 1985 or 1987.
  • For the first time in 1993 in Shizukuishi a competition, namely the men's Super-G, had to be canceled.
  • The first night slalom was the men's combination slalom at the 1996 World Championships.
  • The men's Super-G in 1999 saw an ex-aequo victory at world championships for the first time.
  • For the 2001 World Championships in St. Anton am Arlberg there was a relocation or a new construction of the train station.
  • Starting in 2007, qualification races were held both in the men's slalom and now also in the giant slalom in order to reduce the number of participants. However, the mode of these qualifications had fundamentally changed compared to those between 1962 and 1970, because in contrast to back then, when the entire registered field including the elite had to undertake this very controversial procedure, from now on only runners of lower quality were affected .
  • In 2009 in Val-d'Isère there was no team competition due to weather conditions, which for the first time was not programmed for the end of the championship but "in between". In the slaloms and giant slaloms, only the first thirty of the first run were allowed for the second run (as in the World Cup).
  • At the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , the previous rules for slalom and giant slalom were used again in 2009 when the "thirty-one rule" was applied (so the best 60 of the first run were eligible for the second run).

Start authorization

According to the currently valid FIS rules, there are limited numbers per nation (here also divided between women and men; Swiss-Ski provided eleven men and thirteen women for 2017, the ÖSV fourteen women and thirteen men) that per individual competition only four runners and the defending champions may be used. In addition, only runners with 80 FIS points or less are allowed to start , which is especially important for very small ski nations. In Skiweltcup other guidelines apply here.

Nomination by the national associations

The nominations are made by the "large" associations in the alpine sector (Switzerland and Austria) according to stricter guidelines than those of the German Ski Association. The increase in competitions has also led to a greater number of start authorizations, and the "defending champion regulation" that came into force in 1982 can avoid possible hardship cases. The partially used phrase of "fifth place on the grid" has to be restricted in such a way that actually only defending champions are additionally entitled to start.


So far there have been 45 Alpine World Ski Championships at 29 different venues. Once the World Cup results were annulled (Cortina 1941). The 1931 World Cup in Mürren was only later recognized and added by the FIS.

year venue country comment
1931 Murren SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
1932 Cortina d'Ampezzo Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Italy
1933 innsbruck AustriaAustria Austria
1934 St. Moritz SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
1935 Murren SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
1936 innsbruck AustriaAustria Austria
1937 Chamonix Third French RepublicThird French Republic France
1938 Engelberg SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
1939 Zakopane PolandPoland Poland
1941 Cortina d'Ampezzo Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Italy The results were canceled in 1946.
1948 St. Moritz SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland Olympic games
1950 Aspen United StatesUnited States United States
1952 Oslo NorwayNorway Norway Olympic games
1954 Are SwedenSweden Sweden
1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo ItalyItaly Italy Olympic games
1958 Bad Gastein AustriaAustria Austria
1960 Squaw Valley United StatesUnited States United States Olympic games
1962 Chamonix FranceFrance France
1964 innsbruck AustriaAustria Austria Olympic games
1966 Portillo ChileChile Chile
1968 Grenoble FranceFrance France Olympic games Results also counted for the World Cup
1970 Val Gardena ItalyItaly Italy Results also counted for the World Cup
1972 Sapporo JapanJapan Japan Olympic games
1974 St. Moritz SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
1976 innsbruck AustriaAustria Austria Olympic games
1978 Garmisch-Partenkirchen GermanyGermany Germany
1980 Lake Placid United StatesUnited States United States Olympic games
1982 Schladming AustriaAustria Austria
1985 Bormio ItalyItaly Italy
1987 Crans-Montana SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland First edition of the Super G
1989 Vail United StatesUnited States United States
1991 Saalbach-Hinterglemm AustriaAustria Austria
1993 Morioka- Shizukuishi JapanJapan Japan The men's Super G could not be played
1996 Sierra Nevada SpainSpain Spain Postponed from 1995 to 1996 due to lack of snow
1997 Sestriere ItalyItaly Italy
1999 Vail / Beaver Creek United StatesUnited States United States Joint hosting of the games
2001 St. Anton am Arlberg AustriaAustria Austria
2003 St. Moritz SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
2005 Bormio ItalyItaly Italy First staging of the team competition
2007 Are SwedenSweden Sweden
2009 Val d'Isère FranceFrance France The team competition was canceled due to the weather
2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen GermanyGermany Germany The team competition was held for the first time as a parallel race
2013 Schladming AustriaAustria Austria
2015 Vail / Beaver Creek United StatesUnited States United States Joint hosting of the games
2017 St. Moritz SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
2019 Are SwedenSweden Sweden
2021 Cortina d'Ampezzo ItalyItaly Italy First parallel individual races planned
2023 Courchevel - Méribel FranceFrance France

List of venues

So far, nine of the 45 world championships have taken place in Austria, eight in Switzerland, seven in Italy and six in the USA. 30 in the Alps , six in other areas of Europe, six in the USA, two in Japan and once in Chile.

venue country number including Olympia Host years
St. Moritz SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 5 1 1934; 1948 ; 1974; 2003; 2017
innsbruck AustriaAustria Austria 4th 2 1933; 1936; 1964 ; 1976
Cortina d'Ampezzo Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)/ ItalyItalyItaly  3 1 1932; 1941; 1956
Vail * United StatesUnited States United States 3 1989; 1999; 2015
Are SwedenSweden Sweden 3 1954; 2007; 2019
Beaver Creek * United StatesUnited States United States 2 1999; 2015
Bormio ItalyItaly Italy 2 1985; 2005
Chamonix FranceFrance France 2 1937; 1962
Garmisch-Partenkirchen GermanyGermany Germany 2 1978; 2011
Murren SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 2 1931; 1935
Schladming AustriaAustria Austria 2 1982; 2013
Aspen United StatesUnited States United States 1 1950
Bad Gastein AustriaAustria Austria 1 1958
Crans-Montana SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 1 1987
Engelberg SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 1 1938
Grenoble FranceFrance France 1 1 1968
Val Gardena ItalyItaly Italy 1 1970
Lake Placid United StatesUnited States United States 1 1 1980
Morioka- Shizukuishi JapanJapan Japan 1 1993
Oslo NorwayNorway Norway 1 1 1952
Portillo ChileChile Chile 1 1966
Saalbach-Hinterglemm AustriaAustria Austria 1 1991
Sapporo JapanJapan Japan 1 1 1972
Sestriere ItalyItaly Italy 1 1997
Sierra Nevada SpainSpain Spain 1 1996
Squaw Valley United StatesUnited States United States 1 1 1960
St. Anton am Arlberg AustriaAustria Austria 1 2001
Val d'Isère FranceFrance France 1 2009
Zakopane PolandPoland Poland 1 1939

* The 1999 and 2015 World Championships were co-hosted by Vail and Beaver Creek.
Olympic years are shown in italics .

The most successful participants

The most successful participants in terms of the number of world championship titles are Christl Cranz ( GER , 12 wins) for women and Marcel Hirscher ( AUT , 7 wins) for men . However, most of the men's medals went to Kjetil André Aamodt ( NOR , 12 medals).

Anja Pärson ( SWE ) is the only one to have won the title in all five ski disciplines ( Slalom 2001, Giant Slalom 2003/2005, Super-G 2005/2007, Downhill 2007, Super Combined 2007).

rank Surname from to Gold medals Silver medals Bronze medals total
1 German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era) Christl Cranz 1934 1939 12 3 - 15th
2 FranceFrance Marielle Goitschel 1962 1968 7th 4th - 11
2 AustriaAustria Marcel Hirscher 2013 2019 ** 7 ** 4th - 11
4th SwedenSweden Anja Pärson 2001 2011 7th * 2 * * 4 * 13
5 AustriaAustria Toni Sailer 1956 1958 7th 1 - 8th
6th SwitzerlandSwitzerland Erika Hess 1980 1987 6th - 1 7th
7th France 1946Fourth French Republic Jean-Claude Killy 1966 1968 6th - - 6th
8th NorwayNorway Kjetil André Aamodt 1991 2003 5 4th 3 12
9 AustriaAustria Annemarie Moser-Pröll 1970 1980 5 2 2 9
9 NorwayNorway Aksel Lund Svindal 2005 2019 5 2 2 9
* including one medal in a team competition, ** including two medals in a team competition

Eternal medal table

Status: February 17, 2019; without medals from the canceled World Cup in 1941

rank country Gold medals Silver medals Bronze medals total
1 AustriaAustria Austria 96 103 95 294
2 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 66 69 60 195
3 FranceFrance France 45 51 35 131
4th Nazi stateNazi state/ / GermanyGerman Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era)GermanyGermany  34 35 45 114
5 United StatesUnited States United States 28 25th 34 87
6th NorwayNorway Norway 23 20th 16 59
7th Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)/ ItalyItalyItaly  21st 24 26th 71
8th SwedenSweden Sweden 17th 10 21st 48
9 CanadaCanada Canada 14th 8th 7th 29
10 SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia 6th 6th 2 14th
11 CroatiaCroatia Croatia 6th 1 2 9
12 LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Liechtenstein 5 9 7th 21st
13 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Great Britain 4th 4th 3 11
LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg 4th 4th 3 11
15th Yugoslavia Socialist Federal RepublicYugoslavia Yugoslavia 1 3 5 9
16 FinlandFinland Finland 1 2 2 5
17th SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia 1 2 1 4th
18th Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic 1 1 2 4th
19th AustraliaAustralia Australia 1 - 1 2
SpainSpain Spain 1 - 1 2
21st JapanJapan Japan - 1 1 2
PolandPoland Poland - 1 1 2
23 Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union - - 2 2
total 375 379 372 1126
Canceled World Cup of 1941
rank country Gold medals Silver medals Bronze medals total
1 German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era) Germany 5 2 4th 11
2 Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Italy 2 3 2 7th

According to the APA report of January 29, 2013, research by the ORF revealed that the FIS has now included the 1931 men's slalom, which was held in only one run, in the official medal ranking, giving the Austrians a silver medal (Toni Seelos). These unofficially managed medals are already included in the majority of the medal statistics.

See also

Web links

Commons : FIS Alpine World Ski Championships  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Eternal World Cup balance sheet: Austria now has one more medal ( Memento from February 9, 2015 in the Internet Archive )