Levi, Finland is the location for this weekend’s World Cup slalom races for both the men and ladies. More than 20 thousand spectators will be on hand to watch the world’s best technical skiers. Levi is 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and to get you prepped, our Professor of the Pitch, Mr. Shin to Win, has this set of Levi educational ice-breakers.
Ice in her veins
Levi was the site of Lindsey Vonn’s first slalom win. Vonn’s second run featured a virtual hockey stop in the middle of her run (not good in ski racing), yet she still came out on top. It was an otherworldly performance for the defending three-time overall World Cup champ.
Icing of the course (injecting) took over 2,500,000 liters of water. The icing of the upper part of the race course and the finish area took eight hours from 30 men, and the steep part five hours.
Where’s the ice machine?
Levi’s Snow Village is a village made of.. well, snow. Spend the night in the SnowHotel. An experience that has to be seen to be truly be felt. brrrr.
Ice Ice Baby
The preferred mode of transportation in Levi is not Vanilla’s 5-point-oh, but sleighs pulled by reindeer. By 2014 all reindeer must reduce their carbon emissions by 25%.
Like Las Vegas, you’re not going to see much of the sun in Levi. The sun does make an occasional showing around lunch time, but that’s it. The ski hill is lit up all day, but unlike Vegas, there is no extra oxygen pumped into the venue.
Ice on the wing
Jet lag can be a serious issue for U.S. Ski Team racers. It’s a 21-hour flight from Denver to Helsinki. After departing that bottom-ruining flight, there’s still another hour-and-a-half from Helsinki to Kittila. I’ve never tried Ambien, but I’d eat a fistful to get through that travel nightmare.
More ice cream please
Munich, Germany had one of the first ice cream parlors, established back in 1879. The women of the German alpine ski team finished first and second in Soelden, the first stop on the World Cup. And that did not even include Maria Riesch, Lindsey Vonn’s main rival. Will Levi be more vanilla for the Germans or will early season success turn into rocky-road? (yar yar)
Levi photos by Jkpromo Oy/ Patrick Forsblom