Snow Queen Trophy Returns to Zagreb’s Sljeme Next Week – Here’s What We Can Expect

Daniela Rogulj

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Snow Queen Trophy Facebook

The highly anticipated ‘Snow Queen Trophy’, the World Cup alpine ski race in Croatia, will be held next week at Zagreb’s Sljeme.

On January 3 and 4, 2018, the Red Slope at Sljeme will host the Snow Queen Trophy competition for the best male and female slalom skiers of the world, reports on December 28, 2017. By the end of this week, this Medvednica mountaintop will be fully prepared for the upcoming edition of the competition. 

“I’m delighted that the ski resort was open to the public last Tuesday, and then, without lying, I said that evening that nowhere in the Dolomites was there such quality skiing as there is at Sljeme,” said the director of the organizing committee of the race and of the Croatian Alpine Team, Vedran Pavlek. This is the team under the guidance of Igor Žiljka, the leader of the Sljeme ski resort.

“The amount of snow was never in question. This has been achieved thanks to a modernized snow system. I hope that we can continue like this and make another lake because water shortage is a big problem,” Žiljak said.

The ski resort will be closed to the public on Thursday, December 28th, for night skiing. At that time, Reno Fleiss and his team will start with the final works on the slope for the competition. 

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Snow Queen Trophy Facebook

“By the end of this week, the track will be ready. It is supposed to get warmer, but whatever happens, we will have a solution, and we will prepare a solid and stable platform,” said a convinced Fleiss.

This year’s Snow Queen Trophy competition has been compressed into two days. 

On Wednesday, January 3rd, female skiers will compete for the points with a scheduled start of the first run at 13:00 and the other at 16:30. On Thursday, January 4th, the men’s slalom skiers will compete, with their first run at 12:45 and the other at 16:30.

“It will be a new challenge, because on Wednesday, after the female skiers, we will have to draw the starting numbers at the Ledena Park at King Tomislav Square for the race of male skiers. This way we will connect Sljeme and Zagreb again,” said Vedran Pavlek.

The stunning images of Zagreb and Sljeme will once again be shown across all parts of the world. 

“According to the available survey data, the image of the race is seen by some 300 million people. 25 television stations will broadcast the race, and the survey shows that in just 13 European countries, the value of TV advertising is about 6.3 million EUR,” said the President of the Croatian Ski Association and Organizational Committee of the Race, Miho Glavić.

Croatia’s best skier, Filip Zubčić hopes to do much better this year than last where he was unable to finish the first race.

“I feel good enough, and I think that I can ski better in the slalom than I did last year. I hope to get into the top 30, that is my goal,” said Zubčić, who will be preparing in Kranjska Gora while the final works are completed at the Red Slope.

Apart from Filip Zubčić, five more Croatian national team members will compete in the Snow Queen Trophy including Matej Vidović, Istok Rodeš, Natko Zrnčić Dim and the brothers Elias and Samuel Kolega. Leona Popović and Ida Štimac will represent Croatia’s female skiers in the competition.

Ivica Kostelic, the record Sljeme skier with four podium finishes – three second place and one-third place – competed for the last time down the Red Slope, but a new role awaits for him in the competition. 

“Ivica will be a skier in front of both races with a helmet and camera so that viewers at Sljeme will once again be able to greet our snow king,” said Vedran Pavlek.

Croatia’s best female skier and Olympic gold medalist Janica Kostelić is looking forward to the arrival of skiers from around the world to Croatia’s capital city. 

“I believe that all the skiers are always happy with their arrival in Zagreb because Zagreb always gives them something more than all the other ski resorts they visit throughout the year,” said former skier and current State Secretary for Sports Janica Kostelić. If you recall, Janica failed to win the Snow Queen Trophy, though she did finish in third. 

“I regret nothing, even that victory. I did what I wanted and what I planned to do, and that did not come to a victory at Sljeme,” concluded Janica Kostelić, who finished by saying she wanted the Croatian representatives in the competition to be healthy and to achieve positive results. 

You can find the full program for this year’s Snow Queen Trophy on the official website


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