FIS World Ski Champs kick off

5th February 2013, by Abi Butcher

Fireworks and Arnold Schwarzenegger featured in last night's opening ceremony

Fireworks and Arnold Schwarzenegger featured in last night's opening ceremony

The 42nd FIS World Skiing Championships kicks off in earnest today in Schladming, Austria, with the women’s super G.

Last night, organisers staged a dramatic firework display as part of the opening ceremony which also featured Austria-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, and champion skier Hermann Maier.

It is the second time Schladming has hosted the event — the first time was back in 1982 — for which the small Austrian ski resort is expecting around 350,000 visitors between now and the closing ceremony on 17 February.

Some 33 medals will be contested over the next two weeks, with the key events — men’s and women’s downhill — this Saturday and Sunday. The giant slalom starts on Thursday 14 February.

A surprise “side event” of the World Ski Championships is a live concert by Hollywood star Kevin Costner and his band Modern West, after the men’s downhill on Saturday (9 February), as well as a performance on Friday (8 February) by Scottish band Nazareth, which has produced the Austrian ski team’s official song “Go for the Mountain”.

For more information about the World Ski Championships, including the full programme and to buy tickets, visit schladming2013.at



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