STA, 1 February 2019 - The annual Golden Fox meet will start in Maribor on Friday as part of the Alpine Ski World Cup caravan, with the US superstar Mikaela Shiffrin being the main favourite in the giant slalom and slalom events. The best Slovenian skier, the downhill specialist Ilka Štuhec, will make her appearance in the giant slalom.
Shiffrin, who is in a comfortable lead in the overall World Cup standing for ladies, will be by far the biggest star, having already won eleven races in the current season after winning a total of twelve in the entire last season.
The American will be going for her fourth overall victory at the Golden Fox, which consists of giant slalom and slalom events, after she managed the feat in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
The 55th Golden Fox is back to its traditional venue, the Pohorje Hill above Maribor, after being hosted last year by the Kranjska Gora resort due to the shortage of snow in Maribor. It was there that Shiffrin earned one of her double wins.
The American, who is not even 24 yet, has won a total of 54 World Cup events to currently stand fourth all time, only one win behind the third-placed Vreni Schneider of Switzerland.
Schneider won a record 14 events in a single season (1988-89), the feat Shiffrin could beat this year considering her almost unbeatable form.
Meanwhile, Slovenians will be looking for their first winner after the legendary Tina Maze took the overall win in 2013 as the last Slovenian to do so. Their chances are slim as the main contender, Ana Drev, is out for season due to knee injury.
This is one of the reasons why Štuhec, who is known as specialist for fast disciplines, has decided to appear in Friday's giant slalom, the discipline in which she very rarely competes. The giant slalom will be followed by the slalom on Saturday.
A total of 116 competitors have been registered for the two events, which will be covered by around 250 accredited journalists. The organisers expect at least 20,000 visitors to the two-day skiing festival.
Some high-profile guests are also expected in Maribor, including President Borut Pahor and some government ministers, as well as Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini.
10.00: 1st run Giant slalom, between runs concert,
13.00: 2nd run Giant slalom
10.00: 1st run Slalom, between runs performance,
13.00: 2nd run Slalom
FIS Alpine has a good YouTube channel, and may be showing the event live. If not, there’ll certainly be highlights soon after it ends.