For the last report of this season’s “Gravity” the scene shifts to St. Moritz in Switzerland.
Only one World Cup Crystal Globe remained up for grabs, for the Womens’ Giant Slalom. It was Austria’s Eva-Maria Brem who ended up with it in her hands.
An entire season boiled down to just four tenths of a second as Eva-Marie Brem stole the Women’s Giant Slalom Crystal Globe from under the nose of Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg to take the title.
Already the quickest after her first run the Austrian still had it all to ski for, and knew she could not afford to finish lower than fourth if she wanted to lift the trophy.
She managed just that, by the aforementioned slim margin, edging Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon into fifth.
Rebensburg, down in seventh after her first run, then took a full second off everyone else with a storming second to win on the day, but it was not enough. Losing the title by a mere two points must have been a bitter blow.
The overall World Cup Winner, by more than 300 points from the injured early season pacesetter Lindsey Vonn, Switzerland’s Laura Gut, finished third. Rebensburg finished third overall.
There was a surprise in the Mens’ Slalom. Everyone had expected a duel between Henrik Kristoffersen and Marcel Hirscher, but it was André Myhrer who stole their thunder.
Norway’s Henrik Kristofferson may have won the men’s Slalom Crystal Globe by 31 points from Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, but it was Sweden’s André Myhrer
who ended the season in fourth place who sneaked past for his first win of the season to stun the year’s two outstanding racers.
Hirscher has already entered the record books by winning five back-to-back Overall titles, the first man to do so, but had to settle for second best on the day behind the startling Swede.
For a flu-struck Kristofferson it was a day to forget, as he could only finish 19th, but he still had the satisfaction of lifting his Slalom Crystal Globe to the crowd at the end of the day.
Aksel Lund Svindal and Lindsey Vonn were both ahead in the World Cup standings before injuring themselves in January and February. According to former Olympic champion Franck Piccard, who has been our advisor all season it is not going to be easy for the Norwegian and the American to recover their speed crowns.
“After an injury the most difficult thing to do is undoubtably getting your confidence back, trusting your feet, and rediscovering the discipline. If coming back in the slalom or giant it’s relatively easy because it’s technical gestures that count, and that’s all, but in the Super G or Downhill you have to regain your reflexes and a certain instinct without having necessarily forgotten the mistake that injured you. That’s the big worry, getting your confidence back.”
The end of the alpine skiing season is also the end for the ski jumpers, and the year’s final event was at the monstrous Planica jump in Slovenia. With nothing left to win or lose Peter Prevc was determined to shine in front of the home fans, all 50,000 of them.
The new champion sailed to his 15th win of the season, a season during which he has won absolutely everything worth winning and one Prevc says himself he will have trouble repeating.
In the process he has become a Slovenian superstar, and the victory is all the sweeter having been denied the title last year on the final jump of the season.
In a marriage of speed, lift, length and style he crushed the opposition and added a perfect telemark landing to boot, getting perfect 20s from the judges.
The Slovenian public really got behind their entire team, which took the runner’s up spot in the Nations Cup ahead of defending champions Germany, and ensured a cup final atmosphere with huge crowds cheering them on.
To end the 2015-16 season “Gravity” has put together some of the best pictures from the St. Moritz meeting. We will be back in the winter for the new season to give you all the news, and the best of the action.