Snow Queen Trophy Begins: Best in World Arrive at Sljeme, 10,000 Spectators Expected!

Daniela Rogulj

Fans patiently await the first slalom race on Sljeme’s Red Slope.

If you’re in Zagreb, you’re probably preparing for the ski spectacle of the year at Medvednica mountaintop Sljeme. Precisely, this Wednesday and Thursday, Sljeme is booked for the Ski World Cup, known more commonly as the ‘Snow Queen Trophy’. 

Today, the first women’s slalom race is scheduled for 13:00, while the start of the second run is at 16:30. Around 10,000 spectators are expected at the mountaintop this afternoon. 

The honor to open the 12th edition of the Snow Queen Trophy was awarded to Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, reports on January 3, 2018. 

Tomorrow on the Red Slope, points will be hunted by the best male skiers in the world for the ninth time. The first male slalom run will begin at 12:45 while the second starts at 16:30. The Croatian mountain rescue service has issued safety guidelines for all spectators planning to visit Sljeme on Wednesday and Thursday.

It is important to note that the race organizers put forth a great effort to keep the race in control this year. Luck was on their side with the weather, and the trail survived the recent southern winds. While the competition in our neighbor Maribor has been canceled, Sljeme’s track should be able to hold up these next two days.

The title defender at Sljeme, Slovakia’s Veronika Velez-Zuzul, will not defend the crown this year due to an injury, but the leading skier in the overall World Cup standings, as well as the best slalom player this season, is American Mikaela Shiffrin who will start with the number 4.

“It’s a pleasure to be here, and the audience in Zagreb is great. I am happy to be here because Sljeme is one of my favorite races,” said the American who won twice in Zagreb and did not finish the race twice.

Two Croatian skiers – Leona Popović (20) and Ida Štimac (17) – will also take on Sljeme’s Red Slope. Leona will start with number 64, while Ida will wear the number 66. A total of 67 female skiers will participate in the competition today. This is Leona’s third race at Sljeme, though she did not finish her last two appearances, and this will be Ida’s debut, not only in the Snow Queen but also in the World Cup.

“I hope for a third chance and that this year will be better,” Leona Popović said, adding: “I am better at the fast disciplines, but I hope for a good performance at Sljeme. The atmosphere of the race is always great, and the fans are amazing.”

This will be Ida Štimac’s premiere in the World Cup.

“I am very excited, and I am shaking a bit because it will be my first race in the World Cup,” said Ida.

“Sljeme’s slalom is long and demanding, and I do not know how much this experience will help me with tomorrow’s performance, but that’s a different story. It’s hard to talk about the result, but I’m going to try to get the best I know, and we will see if it will be good enough,” Štimac concluded.

Austrian female skier Marlies Schild is a record player this year with four wins under her belt, while American Mikaela Shiffrin and Finland’s Tanja Poutiainen have each celebrated wins twice. Italian Manfred Molgg celebrated in the men’s race last year, and Austria’s Marcel Hirscher has won three victories. One thing we know for sure is that there will never be a dull moment this year. 

Interestingly, in the 12 women’s and nine men’s races, none of the Croatian skiers has celebrated a victory at Sljeme. While Ivica Kostelić placed second (2008, 2009, 2011) and third (2012), Ana Jelušić placed second (2007) and Janica Kostelić third (2006).

Translated from 


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment