FILE UNDER -- Alpine

FIS officials eyeing 1992 Olympic course for resurrection

FIS officials eyeing 1992 Olympic course for resurrection{mosimage}Val d’Isere was the host of the men’s downhill at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games, but Saturday’s race was not held on the 1992 Olympic track.

That course was on a completely different part of the mountain: the ‘Face de Bellevarde.’ It dove through a picturesque chute of rocks, and became memorable after even the best skiers barely pinched through it without squeezing up against the padded wall. It hasn’t been used since.

Saturday’s race was held on the ‘Oreiller-Killy’ course, which starts near the same place but drops down the opposite face of the summit, weaving around the back side of the mountain. The ‘O.K.’ course drops 915 meters in elevation.

At the urging of Jean-Claude Killy (who is helping to lead the 2009 World Championships organizing committee), the FIS is exploring the feasibility of running the 2009 downhill down the Face de Bellevarde. Organizers would like racers to pass through that gap again, but for now it is not open to racing too narrow for FIS course safety standards.

Over the past summer, during routine World Cup prerace inspections, representatives from the FIS visited the hill again to consider its dimensions. If the 1992 course is to be resurrected in 2009, organizers have to host test events there World Cups, or even Europa Cups before that.

What do you think?


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