Day Number 1

The morning started early with the Qualification Ski Run – all went well and the start lists for tomorrow’s competition are ready.  At 12.00 those at the accuracy target area heard the announcement that the helicopter would arrive in 10 minutes with the first WDI load.  Fifteen minutes later the first team of the day took off.  The Netherlands Team were the first in the air and the picture is of the first competitor landing.  By 15.45 two rounds of accuracy had been jumped and competitors and officials started to make their way down the mountain to ensure they are ready in time for the Opening Ceremony.  It has been a beautiful day with lots of sun, no wind and a few clouds.

Tomorrow it is planned to do both Giant Slalom races and not attempt the accuracy.  So an easier day for the Accuracy Judges.
The pad is set at a steep angle closer to 30 degrees than 25 but not yet 35 as the regulations allow.  It is still possible to score a Dead Centre 0 – as Mike Job of the Germany Team 2 showed, scoring the first of the competition – and being congratulated by his colleagues.

In the evening the formal Opening Ceremony of the 16th World Para-Ski Championships took place in the Town Centre of St Johann and started with the arrival of the FAI Flag – flown very spectacularly into the arena by the HSV Red Bull Austria team.  

The competitors lined up in their Team uniforms behind the young Austrian who carried the name of the country, and the National Flag was carried by a competitor.  We marched through the town to the Centre behind a military band, and a squad of soldiers in authentic dress uniform from a previous era:  they were accompanied by two women in National dress whoes job was to carry the ceremonial snaps to serve to their officers and guests.