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50 years of world cup

"The Crystal Globe, as the trophy is called, is by many considered even more glorious than Olympic and World Cup gold medals.“
Jean Claude Killy

Jean Claude Killy

was the first one to win the World Cup Overall. Foto NTB/Scanpix

The very first alpine World Cup race was arranged 5th of January 1967. Little did the initiators know at the time what a great success this would be.

This year the circus celebrates its 50th anniversary, and the development has been astounding. Kvitfjell is the Norwegian organizer arranging the highest number of races throughout these years (57 so far).

By Stein B. Olsen

Many of the well-known winter sport resorts have organized races for more than 50 years, but the first World Cup race was arranged in Berchtesgaden in Germany. The World Cup was founded six months earlier by the sports journalist Serge Lang and the national team coaches Honoré Bonet (FRA) and Bob Beattie (USA), in addition to lawyer and chief of the Austrian national team, Sepp Sulzberger. August 11th the four of them founded the World Cup in Portillo, Chile, during the alpine World Championship, which was arranged during the summer at this point.

To NRK, Håkon Mjøen from Oppdal uttered that he doesn’t really remember that much from the first World Cup race, other than the bad weather and severely challenging conditions.

- There wasn’t really that much focus on the World Cup in the early years, but the attention escalated quickly, says Mjøen, who was the best Norwegian alpine skier in the late 60’s. The winner of the slalom race was Austrian Hansi Messner. This would be Hansi’s only victory in the World Cup. Swedish Bengt Erik Grahn was in the lead after the first run in this race, but he fell a few meters from the finish line in the second run. 15,000 had shown up to take part in this historic event. Little did they know of how significant the World Cup would eventually be for international ski sports.
Alpine skiing led the way, and later all the other skiing sports have followed. Today the World Cup is the foundation of all the different skiing disciplines. The glory of winning the World Cup total is bigger than ever. Not least for the active athletes. The Crystal Globe, as the trophy is called, is by many considered even more glorious than Olympic and World Cup gold medals. The struggle for the organizers is also real, both to get through the needle’s eye and become an organizer, and not least, holding on to the position.

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KLEMMA - THE CLAMP

(elevation 270 m)
This is a local name based on the form of the landscape. For the racers this is a very narrow passage with strong compression.

BØYGEN - THE BOYG

(elevation 440-390 m)
After Peer Gynt has escaped the Mountain King and the Young Trolls he meets the Boyg (Snag):
“Peer Gynt: Backwards or forwards it’s just as far, out or in, it’s just as narrow. He’s here, he’s there, he’s all about me! When I’m sure that I’m out, then I’m back in the middle! What’s your name? Let me see you! What sort og thing are you! The Voice: The Boyg.” (Excerpt from Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”)

GAUPEREKSLA - THE LYNX PATH

(elevation 1020-900 m)
The distance from the starting point down to the first right turn is called the Lynx Path. The name indicates the passage of wild animal across the course.

LØFTET - THE LIFT

(elevation 310 m)
Describes the edge above the steep in the final part of the course. Løftet - The Lift - is a name used by local people for generations. Often horse carts with hayloads etc. got stuck here.

MYRLIHALSEN - THE MYRLI THROAT

(elevation 640 m)
The transition from the plain below the Russi Jump into the steep forest area is called Myrlihalsen - The Myrli Throat - by local people, and forms a narrow entrance to the Elk Traverse.

SLETTEN - THE PLAIN

(elevation 870-700 m)
This is the only part of the course where the racers have a few seconds of rest. This stretch lies between the very demanding Wintherhogget (Winther’s Cut) and the no less exacting Russi Jump. Popularly this area is called “The Final Rest”. The area also derives its name from the person who first suggested that Kvitfjell should be used for men’s downhill, Mr. Arild Sletten.

BUKKERITTET - THE BUCKRIDE

(elevation 500-440 m)
The Buckride is an uneven traversing that gives the racer the feeling of riding a wild buck, as described by Ibsen in Peer Gynt: “Either side, if you look downwards, over glacier, scar, and hillside, you can see, across the ash-grey scree, deep into brooding waters dark as if asleep - and more than thirteen hundres yards below! All the ridge’s length, we two cut our way against the wind. Such a colt I never rode! There in mid-air straight before us seemed to hang the blazing sun. Halfway down towards the waters tawny backs of eagles hovered through the wild and dizzy void, till they swung like specks behind us.” (Excerpt from the “Buckride” of Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”)

WINTHERHOGGET - WINTHER’S CUT

(elevation 870-810 m)
More than anybody else the former Mayor of Ringebu, Mr. Erik S. Winther, has become identified with Kvitfjell. In the autumn of 1990 the Royal Ministry of Culture imposed a halt on the Kvitfjell development project. Mr. Winther and the Municipal Council of Ringebu defied this decision and continued deforestation. This became front-page news in the national media, who called the Mayor the “Chopper from Ringebu”. Winther’s Cut was a reality. This part of the course is also very difficult and demanding, with a decline of 64%.

ELGTRAVERSEN - THE ELK TRAVERSE

(elevation 640-580 m)
This area is abounding in elk and other fauna. An elk-track is passing here.

ORRESVINGEN - THE BLACK GROUSE

(elevation 900 m)
During the work on the course black grouses were observed on several occasions in the slope near the start of the womens downhill.

S-SVINGEN - THE S-TURN

(elevation 580-500 m)
From old times a footpath of this shape has run through this area, and therefore we have chosen to keep the original name.

MÆHLUMSGEILEN - THE MÆHLUM DROVE WAY

(elevation 230-184 m)
“Geile” is the local word indicating a road with fences on both sides. Mæhlum is the name of the nearest farm, owned by Mr. Gunnar Fretheim.

MÅLHOPPET - THE FINISH JUMP

(elevation 190 m)
Describes the crossing over the railway line and the final steep before the finish.

RUSSISPRANGET - THE RUSSI JUMP

(elevation 700-645 m)
The Russi Jump is the steep just below the second measurement point for intermadiate time, where jumps of 70-80 metres are not unusual. Based on the natural terrain Mr. Bernhard Russi has designed a world-class course and consented to lend his name to it.

KVITFJELLEGGEN - THE KVITFJELL EDGE

(elevation 1027 m)
This is the starting point of the course (DHM). The elevation of the start-house is 1020 m. The mountain in front of the starting-point has the form of a knife edge.

TUNNELHOPPET - THE TUNNEL JUMP

(elevation 230 m)
Jump after transition from the public road.
  • KLEMMA - THE CLAMP

    (elevation 270 m)
    This is a local name based on the form of the landscape. For the racers this is a very narrow passage with strong compression.
  • BØYGEN - THE BOYG

    (elevation 440-390 m)
    After Peer Gynt has escaped the Mountain King and the Young Trolls he meets the Boyg (Snag):
    “Peer Gynt: Backwards or forwards it’s just as far, out or in, it’s just as narrow. He’s here, he’s there, he’s all about me! When I’m sure that I’m out, then I’m back in the middle! What’s your name? Let me see you! What sort og thing are you! The Voice: The Boyg.” (Excerpt from Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”)
  • GAUPEREKSLA - THE LYNX PATH

    (elevation 1020-900 m)
    The distance from the starting point down to the first right turn is called the Lynx Path. The name indicates the passage of wild animal across the course.
  • LØFTET - THE LIFT

    (elevation 310 m)
    Describes the edge above the steep in the final part of the course. Løftet - The Lift - is a name used by local people for generations. Often horse carts with hayloads etc. got stuck here.
  • MYRLIHALSEN - THE MYRLI THROAT

    (elevation 640 m)
    The transition from the plain below the Russi Jump into the steep forest area is called Myrlihalsen - The Myrli Throat - by local people, and forms a narrow entrance to the Elk Traverse.
  • SLETTEN - THE PLAIN

    (elevation 870-700 m)
    This is the only part of the course where the racers have a few seconds of rest. This stretch lies between the very demanding Wintherhogget (Winther’s Cut) and the no less exacting Russi Jump. Popularly this area is called “The Final Rest”. The area also derives its name from the person who first suggested that Kvitfjell should be used for men’s downhill, Mr. Arild Sletten.
  • BUKKERITTET - THE BUCKRIDE

    (elevation 500-440 m)
    The Buckride is an uneven traversing that gives the racer the feeling of riding a wild buck, as described by Ibsen in Peer Gynt: “Either side, if you look downwards, over glacier, scar, and hillside, you can see, across the ash-grey scree, deep into brooding waters dark as if asleep - and more than thirteen hundres yards below! All the ridge’s length, we two cut our way against the wind. Such a colt I never rode! There in mid-air straight before us seemed to hang the blazing sun. Halfway down towards the waters tawny backs of eagles hovered through the wild and dizzy void, till they swung like specks behind us.” (Excerpt from the “Buckride” of Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”)
  • WINTHERHOGGET - WINTHER’S CUT

    (elevation 870-810 m)
    More than anybody else the former Mayor of Ringebu, Mr. Erik S. Winther, has become identified with Kvitfjell. In the autumn of 1990 the Royal Ministry of Culture imposed a halt on the Kvitfjell development project. Mr. Winther and the Municipal Council of Ringebu defied this decision and continued deforestation. This became front-page news in the national media, who called the Mayor the “Chopper from Ringebu”. Winther’s Cut was a reality. This part of the course is also very difficult and demanding, with a decline of 64%.
  • ELGTRAVERSEN - THE ELK TRAVERSE

    (elevation 640-580 m)
    This area is abounding in elk and other fauna. An elk-track is passing here.
  • ORRESVINGEN - THE BLACK GROUSE

    (elevation 900 m)
    During the work on the course black grouses were observed on several occasions in the slope near the start of the womens downhill.
  • S-SVINGEN - THE S-TURN

    (elevation 580-500 m)
    From old times a footpath of this shape has run through this area, and therefore we have chosen to keep the original name.
  • MÆHLUMSGEILEN - THE MÆHLUM DROVE WAY

    (elevation 230-184 m)
    “Geile” is the local word indicating a road with fences on both sides. Mæhlum is the name of the nearest farm, owned by Mr. Gunnar Fretheim.
  • MÅLHOPPET - THE FINISH JUMP

    (elevation 190 m)
    Describes the crossing over the railway line and the final steep before the finish.
  • RUSSISPRANGET - THE RUSSI JUMP

    (elevation 700-645 m)
    The Russi Jump is the steep just below the second measurement point for intermadiate time, where jumps of 70-80 metres are not unusual. Based on the natural terrain Mr. Bernhard Russi has designed a world-class course and consented to lend his name to it.
  • KVITFJELLEGGEN - THE KVITFJELL EDGE

    (elevation 1027 m)
    This is the starting point of the course (DHM). The elevation of the start-house is 1020 m. The mountain in front of the starting-point has the form of a knife edge.
  • TUNNELHOPPET - THE TUNNEL JUMP

    (elevation 230 m)
    Jump after transition from the public road.