Lahti, St Moritz to host 2017 World Championships
No big surprises in either case, St Moritz will host the 2017 alpine World Championships and Lahti the Nordic championships.
They will be the fifth championships for St Moritz, Switzerland, and the seventh for Lahti, Finland.
St Moritz also hosted the 1948 Winter Olympics (also scored as World Championship), in which Gretchen Fraser earned the first US gold medal in skiing. Other world championships were hosted in 1934, 1974 and 2003. The latter was a particularly pleasing event for U.S. race fans with Kirsten Clark and Jonna Mendes picking up silver and bronze in super G, Erik Schlopy a bronze in GS and Bode Miller collecting three medals, silver in super G and gold in combined and GS.
Lahti’s history as World Championship host strings back to 1926 and includes 1938, ’58, ’78 and ’89 as well as 2001. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence and organizers expect to make the event the greenest in history, attract a million visitors including “at least 425,000” to the stadiums.
“We want to bring the Nordic World Ski Championships into the heart of our centennial celebrations,” said Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen. “Our aim is to offer national and international Nordic skiing fans a truly unforgettable sports event that promotes the values of true friendship and gives praise for the best of the best in skiing.”
St Moritz was selected from among three finalists including Cortina, Italy and Are, Sweden. Lahti faced three other bidding organizations including Zakopane, Poland; Plancia, Slovenia and Obersdorf, Germany.
The Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships will be held in Sierra Nevada, Spain as the resort was the sole bidder for the 2017 games.