History

53rd Golden Fox 2017

(07. 01. - 08. 01. 2017)


As soon as Tina took off her skis, three other Slovenian skiers made in into top 10. Twenty thousand spectators and equal conditions for all competitors! Ilka Štuhec ranked 10th in slalom, 14th in giant slalom and 5th in Pohorje Cup combination! This is a milestone not only for Slovenian alpine skiing, but also on a global scale. These are the highlights of 53rd Golden Fox, which became one of the most glorious races in the long history of this event.

 

Tessa Worley placed first in giant slalom and Mikaela Shiffrin won both, slalom and Pohorje cup combination. Slovenian skiers were excellent as well, even though no one made it to the podium this time. Ana Drev ranked 8th in giant slalom and Ana Bucik seventh in slalom. Ilka Štuhec, the fastest skier of the season in downhill and giant slalom, brought an enormous enthusiasm among 20.000 spectators and ranked 14th in giant slalom and 10th in slalom. At the same time, the biggest Slovenian champion Tina Maze was saying goodbye.

 

Victorious step across the finish line

 

The weather was on our side. Severe, long lasting cold and 58 snow cannons enabled Mitja Dragšić’s team to provide 80 cm thick layer of snow as early as in December, which was enough to continue with course preparation in January with no water infusion needed.

53rd Golden Fox provided one of the best racecourses not only in the world cup, but also in the long history of the event and organizers did their job excellently.

 

Ana Drev described an amazing racecourse and atmosphere: “Ladies said they haven’t seen Maribor like this yet. Fair conditions, the racecourse, weather and atmosphere...everything we can only wish for. I’m happy to be a part of this spectacle.”

 

Tina’s farewell moved us to tears. In front of 15.000 fans with bib number 34, at age 33 and after 18 years of career in the white circus (with her first performance right here, at the Golden Fox event on 2. January 1999 when she ranked 32nd in giant slalom). In 401 runs in the world cup Tina achieved 26 victories, 81 podium placements, 1 big Crystal Globe and 2 small Crystal Globes on top of 4 Olympic medals (of which 2 are golden) and 9 medals from world championships events with 4 being golden. This was her 16th performance at Golden fox event and she had won on 3 events. Tina started her performance like she wants to win for the very last time, but she stopped halfway at her coach and partner Andrea Massi, hugged him and continued skiing towards the finish line. Right before crossing the red line she took off her skies and walked through the finish line victoriously with skis in her hands. During loud home crowd cheers, Slovenian president Borut Pahor and Premier Miro Cerar payed their tribute to Tina Maze. After her last performance, Tina presented her memoirs “Jaz.Tina.”, a diary she had been keeping for past 18 years with Vito Divac, a reporter who accompanied her as a reporter all those years. “Tina is a champion and champions are always a bit devilish” commented Andrea Massi as Tina simply stated she is happy with achievements.

 

Champion Ilka Štuhec

Ilka Štuhec, regarding whom newspaper Večer reported that “after Katja Koren we got a champion who can see her home from the start gates” arrived to Maribor as a winner of 4 world cup races and was holding 3rd overall place. After Maribor’s event, she won another three world cup races and ranked second in the overall, right after Mikaela Shiffrin. In St. Moritz she won the downhill race. No wonder she was literally flying on her home racecourse! This was only eight performance in world cup slalom events for a former junior world cup champion in slalom and she took 10th place. “When it flies, it flies. Good runs and results in fast disciplines give me more self-confidence in slalom”.

 

Profits to support younger generations of Branik

Organizers upgraded the prize money funds for 10 %. From 221.000 EUR of total prize money fund Mikaela Shiffrin took home 48.195 EUR, Ilka Štuhec  2900 EUR, Ana Bucik 2750 EUR and Ana Drev 2200 EUR. Home club ASK Branik was left with 65.000 EUR of funds for continuing activities and supporting younger generations of skiers.

 

Patrick Lang, son of World Cup founder Serge Lang, complimented the organizers and provided some advice especially in terms of increasing promotions and attracting more visitors. “More people and sponsors should be attracted to the Golden Fox event so it can be recognized as a business opportunity where guests are well taken care of”.

 

Stormy times due to bankruptcy of Športni center Pohorje and later followed by bankruptcy of SK Branik kept arising many questions regarding future of ASK Branik. “We have gone through troubles and achieved a state which is better than it was in previous years,” answered General Secretary Srečko Vilar.

 

Reporters and the rest of us who keep questioning ourselves every season if “The Fox” is going to happen are more curious about fate of the event from FIS’ point of view. Golden Fox event is confirmed in FIS calendar up to year 2021. Until then a contract deal regarding TV rights and marketing with Infront remains valid. It provides 70% of the race budget, which means around 1 million EUR. Srečko Vilar about the remaining 30%: “ We cover that with sponsorship deals, but these funds are unfortunately decreasing every year. However, we are happy to be a part of a strong economy link in Maribor. Local sponsors, who also take an important role on a national level, provide us with long-term sponsorship deals. Unfortunately we don’t have much support from other parts of Slovenia”.

 

Regarding cooperation with FIS and continuation of world cup races in Maribor after 2021 Srečko Vilar remains optimistic: “Golden Fox is a member of Club 5, which brings together world best and most magnificent skiing events around the world. FIS values us as experienced and capable organizers who proved themselves on many levels during past 52 years. Our advantage is a finish line at 330 m a.s.l., which makes our venue easily accessible to visitors. We are on a borderline between a city and mountain race. I believe FIS will determine some changes in world cup races and we are ready to participate in any dialogue. If the changes will indicate a turn to more special and show races, parallel or city races, we can adapt. Besides, full spectators’ tribunes prove to be are another positive argument for keeping the only Slovenian race in female world cup series. We remain in the top half among highest attended races.”

Chronicle

 

1964 – Golden Fox was born- three fathers: Dušan Senčar, Marjan Kožuh and Franci Čop.

1965 – Stand for spectators was built under Bellevue slalom course.

1966 – Giant Slalom cancelled due to lack of snow, heavy snowfall occurred before slalom event causing almost too much of snow.

1967 – Road to Pohorje was constructed.

1968 - Last place in slalom was held by Rosie Mittermaier, future threefold Olympic winner.

1969 – Plans for tourist development of Pohorje.

1970 – First World Cup event.

1971 – First Eurovision transmission from Pohorje.

1972 – Giant slalom event occurs in two runs for the first time in alpine skiing history.

1973 – Only 14 skiers qualified in slalom, technical delegate canceled the giant slalom event.

1974 – First venue change: to Badgastein.

1975 – Second venue change: to Sarajevo and Jahorina.

1976 – Third change of venue: to Kranjska Gora.

1977 – The Fox returns to Maribor den.

1978 – Race in a valley, world’s lowest finish area is located at 325 m.a.s.l.

1979 - First World Cup points for Slovenian skiers.

1980 – Course walked over more than a thousand times in only a week.

1981 - First tongue of snow on the clearing and a first strike of slalom skiers.

1982 – Move to an upper course on New Year’s.

1983 – For the last time on the upper course beneath Bellevue?

1984 - First great success of Slovenian skiers.

1985 – Male competitors join Maribor event, yet they dislike the slalom course and oppose to participate.

1986 - First Fox concert.

1987 - Bulldozed snow stadium.

1988 – Fourth change of venue: to Kranjska Gora,  Mateja Svet celebrated a double victory .

1989 - Second tongue of snow and a grand world presentation of the snow stadium in Maribor.

1990 - Mateja Svet celebrated a win in front of 20 000 spectators.

1991 – Fifth move: to Kranjska Gora, victory of Nataša Bokal.

1992 - Successful Slalom, Giant Slalom cancelled.

1993 - Outstanding 30th Golden Fox anniversary.

1994 - Urška Hrovat and Maribor as Kitzbuehel.

1995 – Slalom event split into 2 days due to rainfall, outstanding Slovenians .

1996 - 40 thousand spectators in three days; waiting for Samaranch in vein.

1997 – New hotel Arena located in the finish area, Juan Antonio Samaranch among the spectators and Golden Fox Trophy for Urška Hrovat .

1998 - First cancellation in 35 years! Unhappy 35th anniversary.

1999 – Successful second attempt of 35th anniversary; first time super G event and skiers New Year’s Eve celebration in a tent right next to racecourse.

2000 – Winter idyll at Pohorje foothills: first Norwegian Slalom victory over Špela Pretnar, best slalom racer of the season.

2001 - One race (GS) was won despite high temperatures, other race (slalom) was lost.

2002 – Dušan Senčar, father of the Golden Fox , withdrawed as Organization Committee Chairman.

2003 – At 2 AM on race morning temperatures reached +8°C, yet race was evaluated as flawless!

2004 – Jubilee without both Golden Fox’s “fathers”, Dušan Senčar and Franci Čop, designer and builder of Pohorje slopes.

2005 – Two times the fastest one, Tina Maze! Second Slovenian victory at Pohorje foothills, first one in Giant Slalom!

2006 - Snežni stadion covered in snow, but thaw prevented Giant Slalom event.

2007 – Sixth change of venue.  ’Best race course of the season,’’ was a united appraisal given by competitors and their coaches. Styrian-Upper Carniolan celebration in Kranjska Gora.

2008 – Three members of organization injured: a dislocated shoulder, dislocated knee and one torn tendon.  Skiers however, did not experience any difficulties in rain and ice.

2009 – Everything was just perfect: two days of sunshine, two Presidents in the grandstand, new hotel Arena located in the finish arena, new hotel Videc on Pohorje, new six-seater lift on  Pisker slope and Tina Maze the fastest one on the course! 15 000 spectators on site and another 200 million watching the broadcast!

2010 – Pohorje won! 52-year old gondola's supporting pillar collapsed. Only 157 days later a new 8-seated gondola lift system starts operating with capacity 2400 passengers per hour.

2011 –  +16°C for twelve days in a row! Race started on 13th warm day, but without results. Giant Slalom had to be stopped and Slalom event had to be cancelled.

2012 – The Golden Fox event had to change its venue again, for a fifth time to Kranjska Gora. Podkoren hosted over 13 000 spectators in two days.

2013 - Record breaking number of spectators at Pohorje foothills! In two days event hosted more than 40 000 visitors. Tina Maze finished second in GS, won Slalom race and became the Golden Fox of Pohorje!

2014

50th jubilee brought everything at once. The Golden Fox event had to change its venue for an eighth time, of which this was a sixth move to Kranjska Gora. Two days prior race, a heavy overnight snowfall covered finish area in Podkoren with 130cm of fresh snow. Night before Giant Slalom event brought freezing rainfall. The course was completely ruined in the morning, Giant Slalom event had to be cancelled. Half of Slovenia experienced a power blackout due to sleet on Sunday, but in Podkoren Golden Fox and Frida Hansdotter celebrated victory!

 

2015

The Golden Fox gained, but Tina Maze lost. Massive 26 000 crowd was left disappointed after a double zero outcome which costed Tina the overall World Cup victory. Yet this why the Golden Fox Won! The race for the Golden Fox Trophy was a complete success as FIS Chief Race director, Atle Skaardal, said: “Very, very well. Excellent job!”

 

2016

The Golden Fox did not lose. On first day, it was one of best and most beautiful races in its long history, though on day two slalom was cancelled. It is like leading by 4:0 and ending in a tie.

Giant Slalom was a complete victory for Golden Fox event. During a winter without snow, Snežni stadion had a 70 cm thick snow surface. A week prior competition Maribor had spring temperatures and during Giant Slalom event there was +17C in finish area, while snow surface remained frozen and concrete solid. Wonderful weather attracted 9000 spectators who supported, cheered and enjoyed watching top performances of world's best female skies. Although Tina Maze this time joined the spectators’ part, there was a Slovenian representative on the podium-Ana Drev, second place! But nature stroke back … Cloudy and warm night changed snow structure. Start was approved and the best ones were leading, but there were no Austrian, Italian and Sweedish competitors among them while holes were getting bigger and bigger. It was manageable only up to bib number 25.
 

Superlatives

 

Most victories: 

- Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI): 8 (6 x SL, 2 x GSL), 

- Anja PAERSON (SWE) 7 (5 x SL, 2 x GSL), 

- Erika HESS (SUI) 3 (SL), 

- Annemarie MOSER (AUT) 3 (1 x SL, 2 x GSL), 

- Hanni WENZEL (LIE) 3 (SL), 

- Lise Marie MOREROD 3 (1 x SL; 2 x GSL), 

- Mateja SVET (SLO) 3 (1 x SL; 2 x GSL), 

- Tina MAZE (SLO) 3 (2 x GSL, 1 x SL)

 

Most places among the first three competitors:

- Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI) 15, 

- Anja PAERSON (SWE) 7, 

- Martina ERTL (GER) 6,

- Sonja NEF (SUI) 6, 

- Tina MAZE (SLO) 6

 

Most places among the first fifteen competitors:

 

-Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI) 20,

 

-Martina ERTL (GER) 17,

 

-Anja PAERSON (SWE) 16,

 

-Sonja NEF (SUI) 16,

 

-Erika Hess (SUI) 12

 

Most slalom victorises:

- Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI) 6, 

- Anja PAERSON (SWE) 5, 

- Erika HESS (SUI) 3

 

Most places among the first three competitors in slalom:
- Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI) 9
 

Most places among the first fifteen competitors in slalom:
-Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI): 12
 

The biggest time difference at a slalom race:
- Marielle GOITSCHEL (FRA): 4,2 s (1964)
 

The smallest time difference at a slalom race:
- Rosie FORTNA (USA): 0,01 s (1969)
 

Most giant slalom victories:

- Francoise  MACCHI (FRA), 

- Annemarie MOSER PROELL (AUT), 

- Lise-Marie MORERORD (SUI), 

- Mateja SVET (SLO), 

- Martina ERTL (GER), 

- Sonja NEF (SUI), 

- Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI), 

- Tina MAZE (SLO): 2

 

Most places among the first three competitors in giant slalom:
- Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI): 6
 

Most places among the first fifteen competitors in giant slalom:
-Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI): 8
 

The biggest time difference at a giant slalom race:
- Marie-France JEANGEORGES (FRA): 2,39 s (1967)
 

The smallest time difference at a giant slalom race:
- Annemarie MOSER PROELL (AUT): 0,05 s (1970)

 

Slovenian on Golden fox: 

- Tina MAZE - SL: 1x1, 1x2, GSL: 2x1, 2x2, pokal: 1x1, 1x3

- Mateja SVET – SL: 1x1, GSL: 2x1, pokal: 2x1

- Urška HROVAT – SL: 1x1, 1x2 1x3, pokal: 1x1

- Nataša BOKAL – SL: 1x1, GSL: 1x2

- Špela PRETNAR – SL: 1x2, GSL: 1x2

- Katja KOREN – SL: 1x2 Ana DREV – GSL: 1x2

- Veronika ŠAREC – SL: 1x3