25/02/2021DEWALT, Technical Partner of Cortina 2021
A day of guitar strums at the Cortina 2021 World Championships, presented by Telepass, and the perfect word to sum up everything that happened today in the merciless gut of the Vertigine track is ROCK & ROLL
On the night of August 15, 1969, in the full explosion of the season of love, which is fitting to remember given that today is Valentine’s Day, the African-American guitarist Richie Havens inaugurated the most famous rock festival in the history of music, the Bethel.
However, nobody remembers the Bethel because that unprecedented concert went down in history as the Woodstock Festival, an unrivalled summit of communion between the purest rock & roll spirit and its nascent audience.
Old Richie Havens, he is old today, while back then in the bloom of his youth, was asked so insistently for an encore by the crowds hanging out among the stands, meadows and tents, that the guitarist, having exhausted his repertoire, limited himself to improvising an infinite solo, and running out of ideas, he simply repeated the word freedom over the notes of the guitar over and over again.
Today that song, invented on the spot, is recorded and downloadable, like everything else these days, and like everything that has ever been touched by the Woodstock festival, it has turned to gold.
A skier cannot improvise, and if anyone wished to do an encore today, it was Italy’s Dominik Paris, who was only half successful in hypnotising the vertigine track, which like a snake lying on the mountain, did not skimp on improvised tail lashes.
“The last shall be the first”.
It is written in history, it is written in the Bible, it is written a little everywhere and we all use it to motivate us in difficult moments.
But “last” does not feature anywhere in Domme’s career, except perhaps in the name of the valley from which he comes, the Val d’Ultimo (“Valley of the Last”); instead, he has made a habit out of first places, with the purity of his rock’n’roll spirit.
His favourite band, and he is actually a band member of a heavy metal group, is Pantera (Panther), they produce the sort of stuff that makes the walls shake and the cats run away.
Of all the Pantera tunes that come to mind, my favourite perhaps is “Hole in the sky”, a cover of Black Sabbath, prehistory of rock, in which the singer scratches and scrapes the bottom of his throat, talking about a hole in the sky that will take him to paradise.
Paris’ race today recalled that song: high volume, adoring crowd that knows the words by heart and him straight down, swooping towards Rumerlo as if being launched from a gate in the clouds, in constant search of the steepest line.
Only fourth at the end, and even though that fourth is no small feat, we still say “only” fourth, because we are certain that, if he could, he would gladly return to the stage to give an encore.
Rapper Frankie hi-nrg never believed in the saying “the last shall be the first”. In 1997, in one of the most famous songs in the recent history of Italian music, he said that “the last will be the last, if the first are unreachable”.
And he was right, because today the first remained first, from start to finish, nice and orderly, with the only real threat presented for a brief moment by number 2.
The Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr has a real rock star face.
A bit “Starboy” by The Weeknd, as everything he touches turns to gold, and a bit “Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen, so let’s go with the Boss, given that we’re talking about rock & roll.
Bruce wasn’t at Woodstock, too young, but he still remains “rock” forever and like him Vince succeeded in keeping the notes of his chords high from start to finish, without losing track of the score in any of the different pieces the Vertigine required him to play.
Forte at the top, adagio in the middle, and fortissimo at the bottom, for a final stretch of pure smoothness in which the Austrian fought long and hard from being eclipsed by the speed caliphs.
Bib number one, position number one, on the number one step of the podium, and medal number two for Kriechmayr. World Championships double, Super-G and downhill, in just over 72 hours, for a post-concert hangover to tell the grandchildren about.
Few have achieved this feat before him, only two signatures to be exact: Bode Miller, from Easton, and Hermann Mayer, known as “Herminator”, two dinosaurs of Rock, the ancient testament of the discipline, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones of our beloved snow.
Second, both his start number and final position, is the German Andreas Sander, who had never previously won a World Championships medal, and whose performance today ominously recalls the notes of Baumann, surprisingly second in the Super-G on Thursday, and that of Weidle, surprisingly second in yesterday’s Women’s Downhill.
In short, all of a sudden German rock is back in fashion, which we did not expect and so we are a little surprised to find them at the top of all the rankings.
Sander takes the microphone and, like a new Klaus Meine, singer of the Scorpions, Wind of Change, shoots his version of “Rock you like a hurricane” in our ears, a masterpiece of the Hanoverian band, which Andreas today dedicated to his new love, the Vertigine, a Cortina beauty.
In the end, only a hundredth behind Kriechmayr.
A single lousy hundredth, which is so little that I don’t even know how to come up with a decent metaphor to try to describe it.
The podium is completed by the stainless, immortal, indestructible, the-more-you-have-the-more-you-give Beat Feuz, who reminds me a little of Jim Belushi in “The Blues Brothers”, but who owns the stage from the start when on skis.
A reckless life, his, a downhill full of bubbles, and just like his alter ego Vasco Rossi, almost seems to tell you with a sly smile: yeah, I’m still here.
Third, 18 hundredths from the top, for an interpreter that surpasses the others, but that nobody manages to pull off the stage, sorry podium.
Honourable mentions in the great concert of the Vertigine, also for Marco Odermatt, Swiss and born in 1997, fourth on a par with Paris, who as soon as he crossed the finish line sent out a scream almost worthy of Axl Rose; and for our Christof Innerhofer who, after the wrong note on Thursday, delivered a high note, the umpteenth of his career, hopefully not the last.
Thus ended the first week of the World Championships in Cortina, and today was all Rock & Roll, each performer donning his own style, each with his own unique way of singing.
First Vincent Kriechmayr, Austrian, second Andreas Sander, German, third Beat Feuz, Swiss.
Marco Odermatt and Dominik Paris forth
My name is Jacopo Pozzi and this is the World Championships diary, today is Valentine’s Day, and we recall with pleasure the season of love, of Woodstock, of Rock.