Today’s champions, yesterday’s myth: a record-breaking atmosphere envelops the Christmas slalom, which tomorrow evening promises a sense of timeless excitement at Madonna di Campiglio - now covered in snow
This is a night for people who are used to win, the one that tomorrow evening - on Friday, 22nd December - marks the 64th edition of 3Tre and Christmas slalom. One of the most precious appointment of the Alpine Ski World Cup comes back to an extraordinary panorama: the “pearl of Dolomites” is fully cloaked in deep snow - a stunning visual impact. The “Canalone Miramonti” is ready to host a huge crowd of festive fans: there is a record-breaking atmosphere, the audience in the last two editions (16.000 viewers) is expected to be exceeded.
It’ll be a way to experience again the magic moments of Alberto Tomba - and not by chance he’s arrived today - to whom this year’s 3Tre is devoted in memory of the first victory out of his three at Campiglio, year of grace 1987. Thirty full years have elapsed so far, for the sake of reminding us that such champions are rare. In fact, from Tomba and afterwards, 3Tre World Cup editions had been won just by another Italian athlete, in 2005: Giorgio Rocca, today’s former and celebrity endorsement of Campiglio and forerunner. He would be very happy to pave the way to another Italian on the top step of the podium.
Stefano Gross will ostensibly try, last year’s three-prize, and maybe Manfred Moelgg who in 2016 lost the podium due to a trifle - 10 hundredths of a second. After twelve years with no clues - it’d be now the right time to finally attend a 3Tre race tinged with light blue (the Italian team colour), yet it is very challenging because current winners look relentless and not keen on giving up. Henrik Kristoffersen, World Cup’s leader, and Marcel Hirscher (winner of Val d’Isère slalom two weeks ago) convey the impression of a total supremacy compared to the other competing athletes. As Felix Neureuther (winner of 3Tre edition 2014 and the first seasonal slalom in Levi) is injured, the forecasts seem to be referred to two names.
Norvegian Kristoffersen, dominating the last two editions, is having at his fingertips an unprecedented enterprise: to win the 3Tre race three times in a row, even the great Ingemar Stenmark didn’t manage despite his total five victories. As far as Hirscher is concerned - already winner in 2012 - the Austrian’s ambition of doing something special along “Canalone Miramonti” is reasonable. The place where his mishap with a crashing drone occurred - those pictures were all around the world in 2015.
The Campiglio slalom outsiders’ group is numerous anyway. From the Swedish Hargin and Myhrer to the German Dopfer and the team mates Hirscher, Matt and Schwarz. Should not underestimated the Norwegian Solevaag, the Russian Khoroshilov, the British Ryding, the French experts Grange and Lizeroux and the Swiss team made out of interesting athletes like Yule, Aerni and Meillard.
Apart from Gross and Moelgg, the Italian team lead by Stefano Costazza could count on Giuliano Razzoli - fourth awarded in 2015 and traditionally at ease during the Olympic seasons - Riccardo Tonetti and the experts Patrick Thaler and Cristian Deville. Furthermore, the young Tommaso Sala, Federico Liberatore and Fabian Bacher will try to grasp the occasion to come to light in a great World Cup rank.
Between then and now, alpine ski is getting ready to face an unforgettable night. Perhaps the fascination of today’s perfect champions will prevail, or might the memories of a unique phenomenon who brought the atmosphere of a stadium on slalom ski slopes raise excitement. Two eras when Madonna di Campiglio, with its tradition and glamour, has been representing it in a perfect ensemble.
According to tradition, 3Tre race will be a show further enriched by a Canalone Miramonti in perfect shape. Thanks to the staff’s commitment lead by Ski Area Manager Adriano Alimonta, the tracers will have the possibility to design both matches on the line of maximum slope at the entrance of the final wall - the finish phase will me more challenging from a technical point of view.
The collateral events’ schedule of 3Tre 2017 is starting this afternoon at Sissi Square with 3Tre Legend - with Alberto Tomba and those brands which linked many moments of their path to the World Cup skiers and their entourages like Colmar, Martini and Barilla - and the traditional Public Draw at 7.00PM. Afterwards, 3Tre world will move to the prestigious “Salone Hofer” where at 8.00PM the classical talk-show “Scivolando” is taking place. Its main focus is going to be victory and Tomba will tell and be told from a sport and socio-cultural point of view.
Tomorrow evening, on Friday 22nd December, the schedule expects the first run at 5.45PM and the second one at 8.45PM, the “3Tre Hour” during the break between the two manches at Sissi Square, the second appointment with 3Tre Legend and “Gazzetta Moment” when Gianni Valenti, deputy director of “La Gazzetta dello Sport”, interviews Alberto Tomba. At the end of the second run, entertainment and music will liven up Sissi Square during “3Tre Party Night”.