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Monday, 7 January 2013

CNN Puts Zagreb On The Most Important Audi FIS Ski World Cup Venues Map

It never hurts to have CNN help promote your sporting event I say. The recent FIS Ski World Cup “Vip Snow Queen Trophy” event that was held in Zagreb has caught the eye of quite possibly the worlds most well known news network. The FIS Ski World Cup event is now both a women's and men's event and is named in honour of Croatian ski legend, Janica Kostelić, (She had to retire from the sport way too early at the age of just 24  because of too many knee and back operations and problems)

The Snow Queen (Croatian: Snježna kraljica) trophy is a World Cup alpine ski race in Croatia. The men's and women's slalom races take place on the Crveni Spust (Red Slope) Medvednica mountaintop at the Sljeme-Medvenica Ski Resort just north of Zagreb, every year in early January. The women's Snow Queen alpine race debuted in 2005 and the men's event was added three years later in 2008, with the winner being crowned the Snow King. Besides the city events in Moscow and Munich, it is the only major regularly scheduled World Cup calendar event held in the vicinity of a large metropolitan area. (all pre-race activities take place in Zagreb which is just a 1/2 hour trip to Medvednica mountain)

Its current prize fund of €120,000 is one of the largest prize funds on the World Cup circuit and the races have been known to attract up to 25,000 spectators, making it one of the largest and the most visited races on the World Cup calendar. The trophy is a crystal crown with past winners' names imprinted on it. At the award ceremony, the winner is presented with a cloak and sits on a throne like a queen, and a king. The race was originally called "Golden Bear" (Croatian: Zlatni Medvjed), but from the 2006 event the name was changed in honor of Janica Kostelić, whose victories in the sport helped popularize skiing in Croatia and also paved the way for the World Cup race to be included as a premier competition for alpine skiing.

To the local residents of Zagreb it's much more than just a ski race, but a 3 day festival almost that involves the whole city, lots of extracurricular events and festivities that go on throughout the city before and during the event. Much more images, information and video footage from my previous posts below, or just check out the SQT youtube channel for more video footage. (There's talking bears, rabbits, owls and foxes even). The official website of the Zagreb "Vip Snow Queen Trophy" is

(I decided to add here this amusing personal ski related story of mine, that may be of interest to people contemplating skiing for the very first time. (Plus it's my blog so I can write whatever I want)...I recently came back from Calgary AB from a 3 year work/school thing. Anyway, one of the first things I wanted to do while out there was to ski for the 1st time. (I've always enjoyed watching it as a kid, and started especially following it after Janica Kostelic's Olympic and World Cup successes and then her brother's Ivica as well, and decided someday I'm gonna go for it). The first major snowfall out there and I immediately took off to the nearby Canada Olympic Park, paid the 65 bucks, (which included a full day pass, a basic half hour lesson on how to not fall down, or more correctly, how to fall down correctly, and of course includes the skis & poles rental, the rest of the stuff you have to bring your own). Long story short, within an hour and a half of putting skis on for the very first time in my life and I was skiing down the medium hill like it was nothing, swooshing here and zipping there. (It ain't no bunny slope either btw, you'll easily wipe out if you don't know what you're doing). I'm really talking whoosh, (yep whoosh...the wind and skis on snow actually make that sound in your ears as you're flying down the hill), coordinated precise quick turns with proper pole action, knees bent, tucked in, hairpin turns around some other skiers and just flying down the hill, actually skiing like a pro. It was pretty cool. I wanted to hear cowbells and cheering on my next run, and see myself on the big screen at the bottom. (cowbells would have made it really cool and authentic, inspiring me to get that faster time). I went down a couple more times, fell once or twice when I was really going for it only near the bottom and momentarily forgot it was skis and not skates I was wearing, (skates and skis are apples and oranges and only help with balance, but I fell down correctly though which is very, very important to know because there's a technique for that too, otherwise you could easily tear something or break a leg or worse)...but it was fun and exhilarating. The no team, no goalie, no time-outs, no yelling coach or manager, no-power play, no 3-2 pitch, no rebounds, no ball, puck or anything to distract me, just you, the snow and the mountain. My hockey/skating background maybe helped with the balance.....maybe, but the rest was all natural instinct. The last run was completely error free and perfect and I was then an official skier, at the finish I looked up again to see my time and the slow-mo replay on the large screen but there was no large screen there again. I can only imagine how many FIS Alpine World Cup races and Crystal Globes I could have won if someone had only introduced me to skiing as a kid. I'd be a skiing legend and living 1/2 the year in Monte Carlo and Munich by now probably, (and without a doubt doing commercials for ski equipment, luggage, Hugo Boss suits, jeans and shoes, for various airlines and of course Citizen, Omega, Bulova and Red Bull Casio watches too probably, you couldn't open a ski magazine without me in a bunch of articles or on the cover, heck I'd probably be on huge billboards at ski resorts practically everywhere holding hamburgers, toothpaste, hair products and Cokes and seen all along the highways from Val-d'Isère to Kitzbühel, and from Oslo to Zagreb and everywhere in between and elsewhere, (at Garmisch they would without a doubt name a sausage after me, the ones topped with sauerkraut and hot peppers because that's the way I roll), probably even interviewed on 60 Minutes, the Conan O'Brien show and NBC Sports too telling my inside personal skiing stories and witty skiing anecdotes, (wowing Conan and the audience about that time I went to a private art show party at the H.R. Giger Museum with Ana Jelušić and Alexandra Meissnitzer and we had too much wine, champagne and beers and then bumped into Nastassja Kinski and how then things got very interesting which explained an ankle injury that season, boy did I get ripped off in life what a jip). Amusingly and amazingly however, nobody actually skis in Calgary believe it or not. After asking numerous co-workers, acquaintances, people here and there over a 3 year span, it seems nobody in Calgary actually skis. It seems it's almost all tourists, Americans, some Europeans, people out of province, and plenty of people outside of Calgary. (Sort of like how some Europeans think Canada is full of red coated mounties riding horses everywhere, everyone plays hockey and curling, nobody locks their cars or doors, 10 month winters, half the people wear lumber jackets year-round, everyone has neighbors who look and act like William Shatner or Shania Twayne and who always go around saying "eh" all the time because it's an ethnic Canadian word, "Eh, good morning eh, we're going to Alberta next week to do some skiing, drink beers and buy some cowboy hats eh, here's the keys to the house and try our new beef jerky casserole that's in the fridge eh, help yourself to the Kraft Dinner too, there's good hooch on the 2nd shelf and  ..etc etc and eh.). Weird huh? but true. Just like there actually being no cowboys/cowgirls out there either, it's just a week long summer show when lots of brand spanking new spotless cowboy hats are sold. Many people don't even know that Calgary is the homegrown terrorism capital of Canada, really cowboyish eh? Anyway, it's cool to actually say "yes" now if someone ever asks me "Hey, Do you ski?...are you a skier?" Anyway that's my personal ski related story addition to this piece).

Previous related posts: zagreb-snow-queen-trophy-at-sljeme-2011










The World’s most famous news TV station, CNN International, is this year bringing the alpine racing atmosphere witnessed yesterday during the Audi FIS Ski World Cup “Vip Snow Queen Trophy” Men’s slalom race to their worldwide TV audience.

CNN International cameras and crew, that arrived on Sunday to the city of Zagreb, are filming a feature for their Alpine Edge report series, a report series dedicated to world’s most famous Audi FIS Ski World Cup venues. Zagreb-Sljeme joins in the series of famous ski resorts and Audi FIS Ski World Cup host-venues such as Val d’Isere (FRA), Wengen, Lenzerheide (SUI) and Schladming, Kitzbühel (AUT).

CNN has already filmed Zagreb-Sljeme’s fan atmosphere and ski legends race just as organizatory background of the event. And the most important part of the feature is filming an interview with Janica and Ivica Kostelić about their alpine racing beginnings and early training days, that is happening today on Sljeme.

Snow Queen Trophy - Zagreb 2012 Ladies' Slalom - Behind the Scenes

CNN International TV programme is available in almost all countries worldwide, so the story of Zagreb-Sljeme as one of the most important Audi FIS Ski World Cup venues is expected to reach more than 250 million households around the world. According to International Ski Federation’s (FIS) analysis Zagreb-Sljeme’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup “Vip Snow Queen Trophy” slalom races are among races with highest TV ratings of all the Audi FIS Ski World Cup races. Live pictures from Friday’s Ladies’ slalom race were broadcast live in 20 countries of Europe, North America and Asia. And reports, news and some special features from the race were available in additional 50 countries worldwide. Men’s slalom race held on Sunday was broadcast live by TV stations in 25 countries worldwide and by Eurosport Europe, Eurosport Asia and ESPN Latin and South America.

Vip Snow Queen Trophy 2012 highlights.

VIP SNOW QUEEN TROPHY 2011 - Aerial TV footage

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