History

56th Golden Fox 2020

(15. 02. - 16. 02. 2020)

 

Slovak wins in Kranjska Gora, but the New Zealander took the victory in giant slalom and the Swede wins slalom - Great success of Meta Hrovat at her home venue - Last minute move to Kranjska Gora - Organizers protest due to interrupted TV broadcast
 
56th Golden Fox ended with a fall, yet it was a great victory. Anna Swenn-Larsson literally fell head first into the finish arena. Four turns before the finish she had plenty of time advantage and while heading towards her first career victory at age 28, she hit the pole. More than thousand Petra Vlhova’s fans held their breath for a moment. Their hero, who just won the slalom and Golden Fox combination raised the skis high into the ski with mixed feelings.
 
Golden Fox also started with »the fall«.
Eight days before the event, Markus Mayr the FIS snow controller and Race Director World Cup Women Technical Events, decided that due to weather forecast and snow conditions, Maribor cannot host the race. But the Golden Fox is an event that lived through many challenges along its way, so the very next moment all eyes were set on Kranjska Gora as a possible venue. Not only the entire organizational move was done in record 8 days, but they managed to organize the best race of the season according to entire world cup caravan. After two sunny days, with ten thousand viewers, an amazing race course and having winners Petra Vlhova along with Slovene Meta Hrovat sharing her third place with Wendy Holdener, the race was a victory of its own .
 
The rise and TV defeat
Golden Fox was an amazing success in Kranjska Gora, but that did not help Maribor to understand why the move had to be done, again... Many in Maribor were »wondering« about the move, when they could see the white snow on the slopes. But they were not the only ones left wondering. Also the staff, which arrived to Kranjska Gora from Maribor were surprised how icy and hard the race course surface was. After the race, many were wondering why the TV Slovenija broadcast was so short and why they moved to another race, especially as TV staff did an incredibly challenging technical move to Kranjska Gora after the announcement of venue change. And why they failed in terms of program, as TV viewers could see only one Slovenian performance each day, immediately followed by ski jump event which showed ski jumps from the beginning of the start list.
 
Sarah Lewis compliments the organizers
Sarah Lewis, FIS General Secretary was present at 56. Golden Fox in Kranjska Gora.
Races in Podkoren, organizers’ successful change of venue and an excellent race course thrilled her. 
”Race course was prepared in a great way. Congratulations to all competitors, who showed an amazing fight on a top level. There was no world cup races for men this weekend, which makes the Golden Fox incredibly important for women's alpine skiing as it received great publicity and it was broadcasted between jumps in Kulm. This was an important weekend during this winter and you used it really well. Besides that you have shown how two organizers, together with the national ski association can have an amazing collaboration. This kind of cooperation sets a great example for everyone else. Therefore I would like to thank all organizers for their efforts and a job well done. Winter holidays started in Slovenia and this was a great challenge for the organizers regarding accommodation capacities. But you managed it well. At the same time, seeing such a great interest for skiing is a good indicator for popularity of this sport. It is also important that such cooperation is happening here, at the triple border, among 3 countries. Again, congratulations to all!”

Thousand Slovaks at Gorenjska 
Petra Vlhova »had to« win the 56. Golden Fox! Her biggest rival, American Mikaela Shiffrin who she shares with year's giant slalom victory in Maribor, was not present in Kranjska Gora. And Petra also decided to attack the overall world cup victory and started to perform in all disciplines. More than a thousand loud fans from Slovakia came to support Petra Vlhova and only Maribor could attract a thousand more… Regardless, both races had a competitor who was better than the first rival. Alice Robinson from New Zealand made a small mistake in first giant slalom run, but showed no mercy in the second one. She showed an amazing run and won the giant slalom. After two thirds Vlhova was already falling behind and not even the loudest cheering did not help.
The slalom race also came with another rival, who was not scared of loud Slovakian cheering in Podkoren. When the Slovak reached the finish line, she could only watch Anna Swenn-Larsson skiing towards the victory. First day the New Zealander was faster than the Slovak and the second day, the Swede almost took the victory, but fell at the finish area.
Hosting 56. Golden Fox in Kranjska Gora attracted around 5.000 viewers, which created an amazing atmosphere in sunny Podkoren. Organizers also did an amazing job as they moved the race organization in just 8 days and prepared such a great race course it is remembered as the best prepared women's world cup racecourse of the season.
 
Competitors' statements -  slalom
Petra Vlhova
”My first slalom was not the best and I do not really know what happened, why I did not make it. Second slalom was something totally different, conditions were very hard, warm weather did have an effect, but I got help from my amazing fans. They really are incredible to support me in such a massive number. This motivates me and makes me do my best.”
 
Wendy Holdener
”It was a real fight. I made a mistake in the first run and I lost the overall victory because of it. I watched Anna, she skied great and she deserves to win. So I have mixed feelings. But I am proud to have this success on both days and I would like to thank the organizers for doing such a great job. I am looking forward to racing in Maribor next year, as that is the home venue for this event.”
 
Katharina Truppe
”Kranjska Gora is my local ski slope, I live only 20 minutes from here, so all my friends and people I am close with were here today. This made my third place even better. It felt really wonderful when I took the lead and I did not think I will make it to the podium. Congratulations to the organizers for an amazing organization. Slovaks were great too, for a moment I thought the race is there.”
 
Competitors' statements - giant slalom
Alice Robinson
”I skied really well in the first run, but I made a mistake and it cost me the leading position. In the second run I felt I am skiing on the limit and during such a hard run you never know how it will end, anything can happen. I had my first performance in Kranjska Gora 2 years ago at a world cup race, but I did not make it to the second run. Last year in Maribor I qualified for the second giant slalom for the first time and this year I won here. Because of this, my performances in Slovenia have a special meaning for me and my career!”
 
Petra Vlhova          
”I really like Slovenia, we are not completely the same, but we are very much alike. Because the countries are so close to each other, many of my fans travelled here to support me and they made me feel like at home. It was a wonderful experience. The racecourse in Kranjska Gora is a bit harder than the one in Maribor and it was in excellent condition. Icy and hard in both runs, great for competition. It is hard for me to say which race course I like more, skiing on both is a challenge.”
 
Wendy Holdener 
”Meta skied really well and I knew the final part right before the finish will be crucial. It was really intense to watch her performance and I just closed my eyes. I opened my eyes at the moment when the timing showed 00:00. This and the loud cheering of her fans made this day special.”
 
Meta Hrovat
”Usually I am not very proud of myself, but this time I think I can be at least a bit proud... I am really happy! It also helps that everyone on the team is very competitive and we get along very well. We motivate each other and this paid off today. I don't mind being tied on third place, luck was on my side and it makes me even happier.”
 

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.

 

2017

Tina Maze took off her skies, walked through the finish line and into a legend, while three other Slovenian skiers finished inside the top 10 in front of 20.000 spectators! 53rd Golden Fox was one of the best races and most glorious edition in its long history. In the giant slalom Tessa Worley took the gold, while Mikaela Shiffrin who won the slalom event, was crowned as the overall winner of the 53rd Golden Fox. The best Slovenian skiers were Ana Drev and Ana Bucik, but the reason for the biggest excitement was local Ilka Štuhec, who won FIS points in both events. 

 

2018

Front page of Slovenian mainstream journal says it all:

“Organizers of 54th Golden Fox joined forces with Kranjska Gora Organizing team  and created an amazing weekend on a demanding racecourse in Podkoren, Kranjska Gora where Michaela Shiffrin reigned the race”. There may be only one crowned Golden Fox winner but it felt like everyone involved in this spectacle won. 

Organizers from Maribor moved to the Podkoren venue in a record time for the 7th time and thus succeeded in keeping the race in Slovenia. On behalf of well pleased racers, Swiss Wendy Holdener thanked the organizers: “We love to race in Slovenia, because we know that the organizers will successfully move the race to Kranjska Gora if weather Maribor isn’t favorable.”

 

2020

Snow at Pohorje slopes was ready, but  warm weather softened the surface and the Golden Fox made its eighth move to Kranjska Gora one week before the race. Everything ended well, it was the best race of the season and Meta Hrovat won third place in giant slalom. 
The winner, Petra Vlhova brought one  thousand Slovak fans to Podkoren, yet each day another competitor was faster than her. New Zealand's Alice Robinson won giant slalom and  Swede Anna Swenn-Larsson in slalom had four turns before finish plenty of time advantage, but hit the pole and Vlhova won slalom and Golden Fox Trophy.
 

Superlatives

 

Most victories:

  • Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI): 8 (6 x SL, 2 x GSL),
  • Anja PAERSON (SWE) 7 (5 x SL, 2 x GSL),
  • Mikaela SHIFFRIN (USA) 6 (4 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,
  • Mikaela SHIFFRIN (USA) 6

Most slalom victorises:

  • Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI) 6,
  • Anja PAERSON (SWE) 5,
  • Mikaela SHIFFRIN (USA) 4,
  • Erika HESS (SUI) 3

Most places among the first three competitors in slalom:

  • Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI) 9

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),
  • Mikaela SHIFFRIN (USA): 2

Most places among the first three competitors in giant slalom:

  • Vreni SCHNEIDER (SUI): 6

The biggest time difference at a giant slalom race:

  • Marie-France JEANGEORGES (FRA): 2,39 s (1967)

Tied victory at a giant slalom race:

  • Petra VLHOVA (SVK) + Mikaela SHIFFRIN (USA) 2019

Slovenians on Golden Fox:

  • Tina MAZE - SL: 1 x 1, 1 x 2, GSL: 2 x 1, 2 x 2, pokal: 1 x 1, 1 x 3
  • Mateja SVET – SL: 1 x 1, GSL: 2 x 1, pokal: 2 x 1
  • Urška HROVAT – SL: 1 x 1, 1 x 2 1 x 3, pokal: 1 x 1
  • Nataša BOKAL – SL: 1 x 1, GSL: 1 x 2
  • Špela PRETNAR – SL: 1 x 2, GSL: 1 x 2
  • Katja KOREN – SL: 1 x 2
  • Ana DREV – GSL: 1 x 2
  • Veronika ŠAREC – SL: 1 x 3
  • Meta HROVAT - GSL: 1 x 3