“Always something special to congratulate the athletes”
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper (69) talks about his impressions of the World Ski Championships in Schladming, the significance of Audi as Presenting Sponsor and his night-time experiences with quattro on snowy mountain passes. In addition, the Swiss takes a view at the competitions in Vail/Beaver Creek (USA) in two years.
Gian Franco Kasper: “It’s running exceptionally well so far. Obviously, there has been years of preparation and the FIS was also heavily involved. However, I must say that since the weather has been on our side, things have been running pretty much as we expected.”
You present the medals to the winning athletes every evening – is this now a normal habit for you or still a special moment on each occasion for you?
“A certain element of it is familiar, but it is always something special to be able to congratulate the athletes and to share their joy.”
How important is a partner like Audi for the Alpine World Ski Championships?
“I would say that Audi and skiing now complement each other exceptionally well, especially with the quattro system. I believe we are real partners and this from the ground up. For us, it’s important to have a large Germany company on board for the Alpine World Cup and at the Ski World Championships. Especially as our biggest market is clearly Germany. With this in mind, Audi is the ideal representative.”
Schladming becomes the “Home of quattro” for two weeks. Have you already had the opportunity to participate in the Audi driving experience?
“I haven’t had a go at it up to now. I’ve driven an Audi for as long as I can remember. I also have a certain amount of experience on mountain passes at midnight with snowstorms and other things. To do such a driving experience wouldn’t be a bad idea, but perhaps it is not absolutely necessary for me.”
The athletes meet in North America in two years following two World Championships in adjacent neighborhoods. Could you gives us a brief idea of what fans and athletes can expect in Vail/Beaver Creek?
“We’ve already had the Alpine World Championships twice in Vail. The public are obviously completely different, a different atmosphere and another mentality. What here is knee slapping will be whip cracking over there. However, the World Championships are more or less at the same level everywhere these days.”
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