Although on Thursday no World Championship medals were awarded in Schladming, the TirolBerg was once again a hot spot of victory celebrations. The ski stars Tina Maze and Marcel Hirscher were awarded the title „Alpine Ski Personalities of the Year” by the Association of International Sports Press on the occasion of the AIPS night. And, this gala evening also happened to be the venue of a reunion of a very special kind. Schladming’s famous son, the legendary ski trainer Charly Kahr, was reminiscing about the old days with “his lads“, skiing legends, such as Harti Weirather and Hans Enn, with whom he had made skiing history more than 30 years ago.

This Thursday evening in the TirolBerg provided the first victory for Marcel Hirscher within the 2013 Ski World Championships in Schladming. At the AIPS gala night in the TirolBerg, the one who should make Austria’s dream of a gold medal come true, was awarded the title „Alpine Ski Personality of the Year“ by the present International Sports Press. In the women’s competition, the newly crowned Super-G gold medal winner Tina Maze emerged clearly victorious, ahead of the US star Lindsey Vonn. Gianni Merlo, the President of the Association of International Sports Press (AIPS), referred to Maze and Hirscher as worthy winners: „The race between Marcel Hirscher and Aksel Lund Svindal was a tight one, but Marcel finally managed to convince us with his likeable character.“ The star of the Austrian Ski Club (ÖSV), Hirscher, expressed his gratitude about the award in a video message and promised: „Next week, I will hopefully come back to the TirolBerg to celebrate medals.“

Charly Kahr and “his lads“ in the TirolBerg

Within the framework of the AIPS gala evening, a very special reunion took place. Schladming’s “great son”, the legendary ski trainer Charly Kahr, was reminiscing about the old days with “his lads” with whom he had made skiing history more than 30 years ago – among them, famous names, such as Werner Margreiter and Ernst Winkler. Plenty of anecdotes from back then made for a great atmosphere. Anton “Jimmy” Steiner was narrating about Charley’s strict supervision: “In the morning, he used to check the bonnets of our cars. If one was still warm, he knew who was out until late night again.” Hans Enn was talking about nocturnal trips of the ski stars in which they had to go back home via the rain pipe because Charly was still sitting at the bar, keeping the entrance door in view. Harti Weirather, who won the downhill gold medal at the 1982 Ski World Championships in Schladming 31 years ago, was bringing to mind the great hopes that had weighed on the athletes: “The pressure was enormous, the medals for Austria were scarce, and everyone was waiting for a victory in the downhill race, the leading discipline.” The ski stars from the past also paid respect to their successors, stating that today’s Ski Circus cannot be compared any more to the one of the past.

Good outlook for the 2013 Ski World Championships

The skiing legends complimented the hosts of Schladming on the organisation of the World Championships which was then and is now perfect, according to Bartl Gensbichler: “Schladming presented outstanding World Championships in 1982, and so it does today.” The President of Sports Media Austria, Michael Kuhn, who is now experiencing Ski World Championships for the 22nd time, conciliates all doubters: “During the World Championships in 1982, it was raining enormously, all rubber boots in Schladming were sold out. Everybody was complaining, and suddenly the weather changed, and we had perfect Championships.” According to Kuhn, Schladming will again deliver a brilliant performance with Ski World Championships in a class of its own.