How will the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships St. Moritz 2017 go down in history? As one that nearly could have ended in disaster, as a military display plane for once did fly too low, as one that saw our neighbors from Team Austria flying high? Let’s say it was a big party that brought together people from across the world in a peaceful manner and everybody got away with a slap on the wrist.
The medals are awarded in a sea of red and white, as Austria and Switzerland seem to ski in a league of their own. For most of the other 75 nations it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts. They can showcase themselves instead in shops and restaurants all over the village thanks to a local initiative called the Nations-Walk – colorful encounters between locals and guests only steps away from the dichromatic main stage.
After Austria dominated on the slopes, the Romansh were called for to save the day for Switzerland on the central stage in Kulm Park. Rock music and hip-hop: two solid acts by Prefix and Liricas Analas stood up successfully to adversities of various kinds such as, again, canned Austrian après-ski sound.
As the championships are drawing to a close, one question gains more and more urgency: what will become of Edy the giant, the wooden skier who has been guarding so stoically the whole event? Jon the blogger suggests: turn him into a museum of local winter sports history. Imagine the top-of-the-world view from out of one of his eyes!
Actors Annina Sedlá?ek and Lorenzo Polin offered a special introduction to local history and to Puter, the Romansh variety spoken in and around St. Moritz. With only a few props they told the story of hardship, emigration and longing for home. Passersby were involved and got their fair share of paper snowballs with some words in Romansh and English – a fun way to start learning the language.
Twenty students from the Academia Engiadina Samedan performed the Marseillaise yesterday to honor the French who won the team event, an anthem in a language they might be quite familiar with. It would no doubt be much harder to intone the Hungarian anthem the right way, although this happening seems very unlikely. Best case scenario: more Swiss victories – neither words nor notes required.
So much to do and see in St. Moritz over the weekend. Hockey, horse racing on the frozen lake and two downhill runs, the top events of the championships, both on the same day. About 30'000 people found their way to Salastrains to cheer for their favourite skiers. When was the last time such a huge crowd met for lunch?