30 Jul

Crans-Montana/Valais 2025, main partner of the mobile chalet «House of Switzerland»

Since 1997, Swiss-Ski has been successfully running the « House of Switzerland » during each FIS World Ski Championships. This traditional international meeting point for sponsors and partners, athletes and their entourage, media representatives and ski fans is much appreciated, and it’s inconceivable to think of these important meets without it. The top ski nations also all have their own version of it.

A highly valuable international presence for the 2025 Candidature and the classic Women’s World Championships

The role of the « House of Switzerland » is even more important when bidding for the organisation of the World Championships in your own country. Just like the extremely positive partnership between Swiss-Ski and St. Moritz for the bid phase, as well as the 2003 and 2017 World Championships, which were held in this resort in the Grisons.

This honour now passes to Crans-Montana and its 2025 bid. The first part, before the 2020 votes, will take place during the next World Championships in 2019 (4-17.02.) in Åre, Sweden. There is no doubt that this presence on an international scale will also benefit the annual classic Women’s World Cup in Crans-Montana.

Irrespective of the results of the FIS board vote at its congress in June 2020, the Crans-Montana/Valais bid being the main partner of the « House of Switzerland » offers an excellent and unique opportunity on an international level. This partnership with Swiss-Ski allows Crans-Montana and Valais to, amongst other things, include their local produce in the gastronomic selection of this sought-after venue.

A worthwhile partnership

Besides the Crans-Montana/Valais Bid Committee’s main partnership with the « House of Switzerland », Swiss-Ski has secured the support of a main sponsor, four sponsors, two media partners and also a number of service providers for the project. As no existing restaurant in Åre was suitable to be transformed into the 12th « House of Switzerland », Swiss-Ski decided to build a « mobile » chalet, like the Austrian Ski Federation, to include a restaurant (80 places), a large bar with a stage, and also a kitchen. The approximate area of the building, which will be located on rented land in an excellent area in the centre of Åre, 500 m from the finish stadium, is 25 x 15 metres (see plans below). The three adjacent SRF, RTS and RSI TV studios, where athlete interviews will take place, are a real bonus for the « House of Switzerland ».

According to comments from the Organisation Committee for the St.Moritz World Championships, this partnership with Swiss-Ski is most definitely worth it.

28 Jul

Marius, Bella Lui and the departure point for the Men’s Downhill Worlds

As part of the festivities for the 125th anniversary of Crans-Montana, every ten days until October, twelve giant letters that make up the name of the resort will be unveiled in as many unique locations within the boundaries of the commune, highlighting twelve walks, and twelve themes closely linked to the development of the Haut-Plateau region, and narrated by … twelve emblematic figures from the area. Here’s the link explaining the concept : https://www.crans-montana.ch/en/125_ans/

That brings us to the letter M. The honour goes to Marius Robyr, the dynamic president of the FIS World Cup races in Crans-Montana, and executive director of the Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 bid for organisation of the Alpine Ski World Championships. It’s impossible to choose a better location than that chosen for « his » M. It is in fact fixed at an altitude of 2,543 metres, on the terrace of the Bella Lui restaurant, with awe-inspiring views. And…? It is located  only a few metres from the departure point of the Men’s Downhill at the fabulous 1987 World Championships, which were held on the legendary Nationale piste. Unforgettable : a Swiss victory which was celebrated times four, thanks to Peter Müller (1st), Pirmin Zurbriggen (2nd), Karl Alpiger (3rd) and Franz Heinzer (4th) !

As for the pistes for the current Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 bid, it is once again Bella Lui that will witness the departure of the Men’s Downhill. Below, Marius Robyr recounts the history of those great skiing events that have been, and still are, so important for Crans-Montana. (NB: this sequence was registred before the Olympic Games Sion 2026 votations.)


DEPREZphotos SA, Crans-Montana

17 May

Good news for the World Cup races in Crans-Montana !

The 51st  FIS International Ski Congress has just taken place in Costa Navarino, Greece from 13 to 19 May 2018. It takes place every two years, bringing together some 1,100 delegates from 80 nations. The Crans-Montana World Cup Races Organisation Committee was represented by the president, Marius Robyr, and the two vice-presidents, Markus Murmann and Hugo Steinegger (photo).

From 2021 onwards, the annual World Cup races will take place in January

In regards to Alpine Skiing, the FIS revealed the new World Cup calendar for the next four years, 2018/19 - 2021/22. Crans-Montana is delighted. As of the 2020/21 season, the Valais resort will see see its events take place in the third week of January, as it had hoped (and not anymore in February/March, after the World Championships or Winter Olympics).

Crans-Montana, a key site for speed events

The FIS appreciates the demands and attractiveness of the famous Mont Lachaux piste, and wants to focus now on speed events. Therefore Crans-Montana is very much becoming a « Ladies Classic », which bodes well for the future World Championships.

The Ladies World Cup calendar in Crans-Montana, from 2018/19 until 2021/22:

23/24 February 2019      Downhill and Alpine Combined (Downhill/Slalom)
22/23 February 2020      Downhill and Super-G
23/24 January 2021        Downhill and Super-G
22/23 January 2022        Downhill and Super-G

Crans-Montana continues the important backing of the next generation, in particular in the domain of women’s speed events, by organising the European Cup races just a few days before the World Cup. In 2019 : two downhill events are on the programme (16/17 February).

There was great interest during the Congress in the election by the FIS Council of the host site for the 2023 FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships. Two candidates were in the running. Courchevel-Méribel/France (9 votes) won, ahead of Saalbach-Hinterglemm/Austria (6 votes). The next Alpine Ski World Championships will therefore take place in: Åre/SWE (5-17.02.2019), Cortina d’Ampezzo/ITA (9-21.02.2021) and Courchevel-Méribel (6-19 February 2023).

Photo: Zoom Agency


21 Apr

Congratulations to Marius Robyr and his sons!

The  Crans-Montana Alpine Skiing World Cup Organisation Committee congratulates their president Marius Robyr for his splendid success, accompanied by his sons Stéphane and Alexandre, in the Patrouille des Glaciers (Arolla-Verbier) 2018.

For the ex-commandant of the PdG (1990-2008), his biggest dream has finally come true: after four unsuccessful attempts in the race, the brigadier crossed the finish line of this legendary race for the first time today. 

Well done the Robyr threesome!

Le Matin Dimanche (22.04.2018) has published a very touching article about Marius Robyr and his sons. The Patrouille des Glaciers is a mission accomplished this time !

8 9


22 Mar

Cheers to our president and to the 2019 World Cup races !

In what has become a tradition, the transition from the 2018 to the 2019 FIS World Cup races (23 and 24 February 2019) took place in the enchanting setting of the Domaine de Balavaud in Vétroz, home territory of our dynamic and generous « Wine » sponsor, Jean-René Germanier (seen in the photo with Marius Robyr at the beginning of this section on the home page). On Wednesday 21 March, Jean-René Germanier extended an invitation to the Organisation Committee alongside several guests, that included Martial Kamerzin, President of the Crans-Montana Association des Communes, Grégoire Jirillo, head of the canton of Valais Service des Sports, and also Bruno Huggler, Director of Crans-Montana Tourism.

The evening began with a visit to the impressive cellars, with stops for wine tasting, and was followed by a delicious raclette served in the beautiful two century-old vaulted cellar in which the very first grape harvest was vinified in 1896 ! This year, the evening was particularly special. After thanking those present for the huge amount of work they’d done for the successful 2018 races, and after presenting a birthday gift to Sophie Genoud, the precious Organisation Committee secretary, it was time for a surprise. A few hours ahead of time, guests celebrated the 70th birthday of our highly respected committee president, Marius Robyr ! Happy Birthday and cheers, Mr President ! https://youtu.be/iH3oOVKt0WI?t=1

Are you looking for THE best place to stock your wine cellar ? You’ve found it. We highly recommend the wine from Jean-René Germanier du Domaine de Balavaud.

DEPREZphotos SA, Crans-Montana

6 Mar

A thousand thanks!

(Text in french only advertising published in Le Nouvelliste of 7 March 2018)

4 Mar

A second Globe for Wendy Holdener

Wendy Holdener didn’t falter as the sunshine returned to Crans-Montana on Sunday. The headliner of the weekend from Schwyz picked up the crystal globe for the Alpine Combined, finishing 4th in a race that was won by Federica Brignone, who edged in front of Michelle Gisin. A little Globe which surely has to lead to dreams of a bigger one…   

"I’ve always said in the past that I wanted to become an all-round skier. That’s still the case. But you shouldn’t underestimate the difficulties of competing in one race after another throughout the season. I’m taking it one step at a time", said a cautious Wendy Holdener during her interview.

"It’s too early to think about the big globe. I’m going to finish the season first of all, as I still have objectives: I can still end up on the final podium for the Slalom final, and I want to defend my second place on the general leaderboard", she added. "Then we can put a new preparation programme in place for the summer. But I really don’t want to neglect the Slalom and the Giant. And Mikaela Shiffrin will be difficult to beat in the general standing ", she pointed out.

Close to 1000 points

Nonethless, Wendy Holdener has clearly reached a milestone this season. Currently 4th in the World Cup Slalom, and 8th in the Giant – a discipline which she’s made huge progress in this season – she landed her first podium in a speed discipline almost naturally on Saturday on the Mont-Lachaux piste (3rd in the Super-G), surfing the wave of her Olympic exploits.

The triple medal winner in the Pyeongchang games (Gold in the Team Event, silver in the Slalom, bronze in the Combined) is in any case a solid runner-up to the extra-terrestrial Mikaela Shiffrin on the General leaderboard. With 952 points to her name now this season, she has already beaten her record, which dated back to the 2015/2016 season (817 points, and 6th place overall on the General leaderboard). And she has plenty of room for progression, notably in the Downhill.

A second Globe after 2016

This is the second time that Wendy Holdener has been awarded the little globe for the Combined, after her success in 2016. Even if this trophy, awarded after just two heats this winter, is not quite as dazzling as a globe for a "real" discipline (Downhill, Super-G, Slalom, Giant), it genuinely rewards the versatility of the 2017 Combined World Champion, who’ll be celebrating her 25th birthday on 12 May.

Inevitably glowing after her award, Wendy Holdener explained however that she’d had a difficult day. "I was nervous, even before the start of the Super-G. Of course I’m happy that I’ve won this Globe, but I didn’t really enjoy skiing because of this", she confided. "On Saturday, the wonderful atmosphere, thanks to the crowd,  gave me wings. But today it put me under pressure."

Gisin is also dreaming of the General  

The celebrations for the fervent Valais crowd weren’t quite complete on Sunday, as Federica Brignone pulled out all the stops to make her mark and take first place in the discipline for the second year in a row in Crans-Montana. In only 17th place in the Super-G heat, Michelle Gisin’s performance improved drastically. But the Obwald skier (also 24 years old) was 0.03 seconds behind the Italian. "This 2nd place validates the Olympic title I won in the discipline. I’m delighted, even if I just missed my first success in the World Cup", explained Michelle Gisin.

Michelle Gisin is also brimming with ambition: "Everyone dreams of the big crystal globe. I’ve done some incredible things this season, namely winning this gold medal. I’m also very happy and very proud to have take part in this many races whilst managing to remain competitive when it mattered the most. This season was a test, with an accumulation of races, and I managed it", she said, delighted."And I’ve passed an important milestone, as I’ve earned over 500 points. This will enable me to leave armed with the no. 31 bib for the first Giants next winter. I’ll be trying to get closer to the very best in the discipline in Sölden", confided the skier from Obwald, whose ambitions are as justified as Wendy Holdener’s.

The Haut Plateau World Cup Races Organisation Committee briefly mentioned the candidature for the organisation of the 2025 Crans-Montana/Valais FIS World Championships and the Sion 2026 Olympic Games. After the races, 26 young people from all over the canton had the privilige of skiing down the World Cup piste guided by ex-champions Erika Hess, Roland Colombin and Dominique Gisin.

A very positive final result

Marius Robyr, President of the Organisation Committee, has every reason to be proud of the work carried out, and can record a positive final result at the end of the Super-G and Alpine Combined races this weekend. The athletes gave brilliant performances, and the different groups of the organisation committee, with unwavering support from the cable car company, as well as from military and civil protection members, met all the demands that were placed on them. This was also the case for the four heats of the Ladies European Cup which took place a few days before the main event. Another pleasing result to add to the final report was the huge public attendance once again : 16,700 spectators graced the World Cup with their presence this weekend, as well as some 5,500 fans who enjoyed the entertainment and ceremonies at the Ycoor Ice Rink, and not forgetting the 1,000 folk music fans who attended the Oesch’s die Dritten concert on Saturday night at Le Régent tennis hall, and which was sold out.

Goodbye, and we’ll see you on 23 and 24 February 2019 for a Downhill (Saturday) and an Alpine Combined (Sunday).  

DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana


3 Mar

The «White Circus » welcomes the «Jodelcircus»!

The Oesch’s die Dritten concert which took place on Saturday evening at Le Régent Congress Centre tennis hall, and which completely sold out a long time in advance, was a huge success. The most popular folk group in Switzerland won over an enthusiastic crowd of some 1000 spectators. Their style is a unique combination of the traditional, charming and virtuoso, accompanied by the crystalline voice of Mélanie, a true yodel virtuoso. Oesch’s die Dritten combine tradition and modernity in a way that few other groups can, and it’s impossible to imagine the national and international folk music scene without the Oesch’s. Without Dad Hansueli, Mum Annemarie, and their three children, Mélanie, Kevin and Mike, and their accordion player, Urs Meier. The Haut-Valais trio Kohlbrenner’s mission was to "warm up" the venue. Job done, very well done, and in fact, it was great, and better than anyone could have imagined. Hugo Steinegger, Vice-President of the World Cup Races committee and organizer of the two concerts, at the ice rink and the tennis hall in Crans-Montana, has already promised a follow-up to these events, which have proved to be an additional attraction to the World Cup races. Oesch’s die Dritten have opened the proceedings. Which internationally renowned music group could follow them in the 2019 World Cup races (23 and 24 February)? Surprise…but book the dates already! 

Photos: Luciano Miglionico





3 Mar

A lovely tribute to Michelle, Wendy and Denise

The highlights followed on from one another on Saturday evening at the Ycoor Ice Rink in Crans-Montana. A variety of entertainment kicked off the festivities, followed by an exciting concert by the well-known Swiss folk group, Oesch’s die Dritten.  An emotional moment followed, as Marius Robyr, President of the World Cup Races Organisation Committee, awarded a magnificent personalised leather cowbell to each of the fantastic Swiss Olympic medallists, namely Michelle Gisin, Wendy Holdener and Denise Feierabend. A huge crowd greeted the champions,  and congratulated them with thunderous applause. The same warm atmosphere reigned during the prizegiving for the Super-G that followed. Ice Cross riders played their part in « bib delivery», hurtling down their famous ice piste, as they’d done on Friday, something never seen before at a World Cup. Fireworks and an Ice Disco ended the celebrations as usual. Compliments to the organisers and the entertainers!

3 Mar

Olympic medallists on cloud nine : Tina Weirather, Anna Veith and Wendy Holdener

Surprise for Holdener, disappointment for Gut. The contrast was striking in the Swiss camp after the Crans-Montana Super-G. Wendy Holdener (3rd) and Michelle Gisin (4th) were radiating happiness, whilst Lara Gut (7th) couldn’t disguise her justified disappointment, after relinquishing her first place in the World Cup to the day’s winner, Tina Weirather. After setting off with bib number 31, and no doubt helped by the better light conditions, Wendy Holdener generated immense surprise. The skier from Schwyz, who has never placed higher than 19th in Super-G until today, said herself "What just happened is crazy. I can’t think of anything else to say except ‘wow’.  I could never have imagined placing so well in this Super-G" she explained, after claiming her first podium place in a speed discipline.

Full of confidence

The skier from Unteriberg was tired prior to the Crans-Montana races twelve months earlier, but her face is completely different when she has her sights – like last year – on the crystal globe for the Combined. "Last year, we experienced our first big event," (at the Worlds in St. Moritz). "That took so much energy, all the more so as the Worlds were at home", recalled the Olympic Slalom silver medallist.

"This time, I was able to rest after the Olympics, and I’m on the attack", she continued. Is it the Olympic energy ? "In fact, I think that I found new energy for the final sprint", she replied, boosted in confidence prior to Sunday’s Combined race. "I hope I’ll be able to manage as good a race in the Super-G", added Wendy Holdener, who won the only other Combined this winter at Lenzerheide at the end of January.

Gisin 4th on the Super-G leaderboard

Although she was forced off the podium by just 13 hundredths of a second, Michelle Gisin really didn’t hold any grudges. "It’s great for Wendy. She skied very, very, very well. She took all the necessary risks, and she deserves her place on the podium", added the glowing Olympic Combined champion.  

"This 4th place is great, I’ve got no issues there. It would have been cool to be on the podium", a feat that she has only managed once in a World Cup up until now (2nd in St-Moritz in December),  "but this 4th place is very important for the Super-G standing", she pointed out : the skier from Obwald is  now in 4th position in the 2017/2018 World Cup Super-G standing.

Michelle Gisin appears to be Wendy Holdener’s main rival in Sunday’s Combined.  "She managed a perfect run today (ed: Saturday), but I didn’t", laughed Dominique’s little sister, before returning to serious matters. "If Wendy is as fast in the Super-G, she’ll be difficult to beat. She could win the Globe, whilst I haven’t got another chance. If she skies like she did today, she’s going to do it", she concluded.

Gut 46 points behind Weirather

Lara Gut, who was 18 points ahead of Tina Weirather before the race, missed an opportunity on Saturday.   With the Liechtenstein skier now 46 points ahead, fate is no longer in her hands, just before the last Super-G of the season in Are. In order to collect a third globe in the discipline, after her wins in 2014 and 2016, she will really have to pull out the stops in Sweden, and hope that Tina Weirather places no higher than 4th.  

"I’m still 2nd in the standings for the discipline", said Lara Gut, trying to remain positive. "I have nothing to lose in Are. A race is a race. But if you can manage to win something, then you’ve succeeded in getting it. If that doesn’t happen, then that’s where it ends, and you start working on it again", add the skier from Ticino, who is hoping to find her second wind.

"The season is starting to feel long. At the beginning of winter, I managed to stick to the positive side of things in order to move forward. But now, I realise that I’m lacking a bit of energy. I’m lacking the training days that I missed last summer (ed : following a serious injury to her left knee)", she added.

"In previous years,  it was much easier to find the extra energy. Now, I have to do a little more every race, and I also need more energy to recover", laments Lara Gut. "I feel good on skis. But on a physical level, I don’t have the solid foundation that I had in previous seasons", she repeated.

Weirather is not over-excited

On the other hand, Tina Weirather was of course ecstatic after her double result on the Mont-Lachaux piste. "The pressure always drops after the Games", in which she was awarded bronze in the Super-G, beating Lara Gut by a hundredth of a second. "That can be dangerous, and I’m really pleased I was able to maintain my concentration", explained the Liechtenstein skier, who feels that nothing is decided yet. "I’ll have to ski really well in Are. A 5th place might not be enough. "