50 YEARS OF THE FIS WORLD CUP
The Alpine skiing FIS World Cup will celebrate throughout the season 2016/17 its 50 years of existence. And Crans-Montana is going to celebrate them too.
AN ORIGINAL IDEA FROM SERGE LANG
The idea of a World Cup was developed over five decades ago by one of the best-known journalists at the time, the Frenchman Serge Lang. Inspired by what was being done notably in cycling, he created a circuit of several races, which would designate the best male and female skiers that winter. Who can imagine what competition Alpine Skiing would have become without Serge Lang’s idea, although he sadly died of a heart attack in 1999. His project, developed by French and American team leaders (Honoré Bonnet and Bob Beattie)and then later by the Austrian Sepp Sulzberger, has in any case become one of the most successful in the history of sport. Presented at the 1966 Worlds in Portillo, Chile, the World Cup was at first organised independently by Serge Lang and his partners, before the FIS became involved at their congress in May 1967.
The World Cup experienced a few snags at the beginning, in particular concerning overlapping races, and the many changes to the rules. The women’s circuit was not really considered at the time, the ladies often had to race in the week, whilst the men lined up to race at the weekends. Much has changed since then, and the FIS World Cup has become a very well structured product. Crans-Montana has of course enjoyed this, and the Valais resort can today take great pride in hosting a classic on the ladies’ circuit. Races have already been programmed until 2020 : from 2 to 4 March 2018 ( Alpine Combined, Downhill and Super-G), from 23 to 24 February 2019 (Downhill and Alpine Combined), from 22 to 23 February 2020 (Downhill and Super-G).