KILLINGTON – Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard resort in Eastern North America and part of POWDR – an adventure lifestyle company – hosted the women’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup for the sixth time over Thanksgiving Weekend with a record turnout. Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami won the giant slalom under sunny skies on Saturday and in a shocking finale Sunday, Anna Swenn-Larsson (SWE) and Wendy Holdener (SUI) tied for the slalom win. Though she logged the fastest time in run one, five-time Killington Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin finished the slalom in fifth.
After a slow start to the Audi FIS Ski World Cup season, marred with cancellations in Europe, Killington Resort pulled off the impossible by taking the racecourse from grass to FIS snow control approval in a matter of days. Because of the prolonged warm weather in November, the Heroic Killington Cup presented by Stifel was the first race of the year for many athletes, who shared their enthusiasm for being back in Vermont.
“I always have a lot of fun at Killington,” said U.S. Alpine Team athlete and University of Vermont student Paula Moltzan. “I’m excited to hear the crowd in the gate. I think we know as a team that Killington has the best fans. As an adopted Vermonter, it’s always nice to see a couple familiar faces at the finish line.”
The record-breaking crowds totaling 37,000 over the weekend began arriving on Friday for the return of the athlete bib presentation and fireworks display, and once again roared on both Saturday and Sunday as the fastest female alpine ski racers in the world descended Superstar.
“This crowd is quite special,” said local favorite and five-time champion Mikaela Shiffrin. “Especially in the slalom, I can hear the crowd from the start. It’s this deep rumbling that soaks into your bones and gives you some extra energy to try and get to the finish faster. Some places everyone has a favorite they’re rooting for. Being my hometown, I think some people are going to be cheering for me, but I think if anyone on this stage comes down with a really strong run, it’s deafening. The crowd isn’t only cheering for one person, it’s just looking for an amazing show. I think that’s what makes it special, even if I’m not winning the race.”
The 2022 Heroic Killington Cup presented by Stifel also launched “Heroic” a new women’s initiative by the U.S Ski & Snowboard Team, designed to empower and create opportunities for females in the ski industry
“This event builds so much groundswell and has lifted up the resort and changed its reputation, among women especially,” said POWDR SVP of Marketing Services Megan Fearnow. “I think it has done wonders for employee culture and our community. Having this enormous event that is all about women has been an invaluable addition to the culture here and enables women to continue to thrive at Killington.”
“It is such an honor to host 20 different nations, 90 of the world’s best female athletes and the thousands of fans who cheer for every country here at Killington Resort,” said Director of Brand Marketing, Events and Special Projects Amy Laramie. “I’ve been helping coordinate this event since year one and I still get butterflies of excitement. To all the athletes, thank you for giving it your all and inspiring the next generation of skiers and female athletes all over the world.”