Cecilia Folz: “Dream it, live it, share it”
Even as skiers carve around the final slalom gates, preparation is under way across the Atlantic for the 43rd FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Interview with Cecilia Folz, President of the Organizing Committee for the 2015 World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
Cecilia Folz: “We’ve already chosen our motto: ‘Dream it, live it, share it’. At our World Championships, children will be even more in the spotlight – it’s about dreams and dreaming. ‘Live it’ is not just about the athletes, but also about all of us. We should all face up to new challenges every day. ‘Share it’ represents two things: on one side obviously for Facebook, Twitter and all these new technologies and on the other side obviously for the sport.”
Just what can the athletes and spectators look forward to, what ideas do you have?
Cecilia Folz: “The World Championships will be typically American; we’ll celebrate the American way of life. All the events surrounding the race will be staged more like a football match instead of a classic ski race. Obviously, we are also responding to our American public, this is usual and is expected. There will be a huge amount of things for free. Starting with the races: all grandstand seats are free. We’ll have plenty of well-known artists there, we’ll also not be charging admission for many concerts. Every spectator that comes to Vail and Beaver Creek will have a bare minimum of extra costs to fully enjoy the Ski World Championships.”
Just how high has the bar been raised here in Europe by Schladming and Garmisch-Partenkirchen two years ago?
Cecilia Folz: “We’ve learnt something from both of them. In Garmisch-Partenkirchen a lot was new, how the hospitality facilities were done and how fabulously well the guests were treated. In Schladming, we are well impressed by the giant stadium. We’ll fly home with a lot in our heads and notebooks.”
The opening ceremony is held in exactly 716 days, on February 2, 2015. What are you currently working on?
Cecilia Folz: “So soon? Phew, that’s a little scary. No, seriously though we already have about 500 volunteers who are helping with the planning. At the moment we are very busy with the so-called ‘side events’, which means everything away from the sporting events. We’ll have an air show, obviously the many concerts, and in addition American ski legends will be very much in focus. We have plenty of them, and they will be integrated into the World Championship and celebrated.”
Will there be spectacular new buildings?
Cecilia Folz: “The Women’s Downhill course will be completely new – very spectacular and challenging. We laid it out last summer, and everybody who has seen it so far was impressed. It’ll be tested in the near future. No new buildings are planned – mainly because we invested 2 billion Dollars in construction work four years ago.”
Vail will stage the Alpine Ski World Championships for the third time, and for the second time together with Beaver Creek since 1999. Are you proud?
Cecilia Folz: “Absolutely. It says a lot about our ski resort and our organizational skills. Here in Vail and Beaver Creek we love staging big events on a world stage – and the World Championships fit the bill perfectly. That’s why we are delighted and very proud of our third World Championship.”
Here in Europe the talk is always of the USA being ‘the land of opportunity’. What will we see of this?
Cecilia Folz: “Many people from other countries made our area into what it is. They came to America; they left their homes behind to build up everything there. These people from many different countries, including many from Europe, will get due recognition and receive their place during the World Championship.”
Just how important is a partner like Audi for Alpine World Ski Championships?
Cecilia Folz: “Audi is indeed perfect for us. Audi represents high-tech, quality and many more good values. The ski resort Vail/Beaver Creek reflects these qualities. We share the same values. We couldn’t imagine a better partner.”
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