On the other hand, the FIS snow control on November 10 confirmed that the women’s Levi slalom races will be held on November 19 and 20, 2022. As a result of warm weather and a lack of snow in Central Europe, the World Cup was forced to cancel races for a third consecutive weekend.
The opening race of the women’s World Cup season will be held in Levi for just the second time in the competition’s entire history. The most recent occurrence of this phenomenon was in 2006.
FIS competitions to the World Cup
The Finnish alpine ski team started building what would become its most successful team in history during the 1990s. It all started when skier Martti Uusitalo, a member of Finland’s national team, decided to hang up his skis and become a coach.
Tanja Poutiainen of Rovaniemi, who is the Junior World Champion, and Kalle Palander of Tornio, who is from Finland, both began showing promising results on the international stage at the same time.
Additionally, during the Levi’s FIS races in 1996, the ski area manager, Tapio Kokko, and his colleagues came up with a plan to upgrade the competition. To advertise their resort internationally, they chose to host prestigious alpine races. Events were to be held on a new, steep course connected to the existing facilities by a new gondola on the southwest side of the hill, about three miles from the town.
The first European Cup races were held on the brand-new Levi Black slope in November 2000 thanks to the support of Uusitalo, who had now been appointed the FIS Alpine Coordinator and an alpine team that was on its way to the top levels of the sport. Levi held two GS races and two men’s slaloms for the Europa Cup during that season.
In one of the slaloms, Finnish skier Kalle Palander, the 1999 SL World Champion and 2003 Slalom World Cup champion, came in fourth, while teammate Sami Uotila, a future medalist at the Winter Olympics, won both giant slaloms.
The first Levi women’s European Cup races were then run a year later in 2001 by Finnish racer Tanja Poutiainen. She won all of the contests.
Poutiainen won her first World Cup at the inaugural Levi World Cup on February 28, 2004, giving the Finns a fairytale victory.
In the end, Poutiainen took home three World Cup event medals and an Olympic silver.
Levi quickly established himself as a Classic on the white circus by moving the events to November and taking advantage of the growing interest in alpine skiing in Finland.
Starting in 2006, men’s and women’s World Cup slalom skiers competed there every year, except a few cancellations. However, the most recent Levi competition for both sexes took place in November 2019.
The only races held in Lapland this year are for women only. The FIS decided to only host the women in order to prevent contact between the men’s and women’s World Cup circuits during the pandemic.
The top women’s slalom skiers will be welcomed by Santa and his reindeer
Since 2013, the race’s organizers have given the winners a special extra prize—a baby reindeer. All attendees now look forward to this tradition. At a nearby farm where they live, the winners get to name and then see their pets. Of course, it serves as a fun and original marketing strategy for the occasion.
Levi is regarded as the Santa Claus race as well. Every year, Santa Claus visits the official ceremonies and spectator area with his reindeer. He poses with both the audience and the winners. Prior to his Christmas rush, Santa travels the short distance to Levi. From his Rovaniemi home, Levi can be reached in just a few hours! The original Santa Claus village is located in Rovaniemi, which hosts a large number of tourists every year from all over the world.
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