OUT OF THE GATE FORERUNNER 9 // WAXROOM 12 // GALLERY 14
RAISE NEARLY $100,000 FOR HAITI
WITH BIB AUCTION BY HANK MCKEE
World Cup Racers
In ski racing, numbers and bibs matter — and now, more than ever, thanks to an effort in which
World Cup ski racers signed their race bibs from Kitzbuehel (men) and Cortina (women) and auctioned them off, raising in the neighborhood of $100,000 for Haiti relief.
As reports from the devastation in Haiti spread around the world last month, ski racer Aksel Lund
Svindal hatched an idea: auction off autographed race bibs and use the funds to support the Red
Cross in its effort’s on behalf of the island country.
“We want to help,” said Norway’s Svindal after presenting the idea to a very receptive audience at the
team captains’ meeting at Kitzbuehel. The idea was met with enthusiasm not only from the racers i,
but also the organizers, who instantly agreed to administrate the entire operation at no cost.
“We are glad that this auction has met with great interest,” said Kitzbuehel Ski Club President Michael Huber. “It is great that the athletes have acted for a good cause, using their popularity to help
the earthquake victims.”
Huber and his club took it a few steps further. “We will take full responsibility for all administrative
costs,” said Huber. “Furthermore, the minimum price per start number will be 200 euros. We can
guarantee this sum today.”
“It is a great cause,” said Svindal, “the best cause out there. It’s going to be good. It’s a small drop
compared to the challenges in Haiti, but it takes steady drops to make an ocean.”
Within hours of the men taking action, the women followed suit in Cortina.
With an effort spearheaded by U.S. skier Julia Mancuso, an area was set up at the Cortina finish
where athletes could sign and donate their race bibs.
The Kitzbuehel Ski Club set up the men’s auction on three European eBay sites while the women’s
bibs were offered through the U.S. eBay site.
The men’s bib auction brought in $78,479 from 59 bibs from the 70th annual Hahnenkamm downhill. The bib from Didier Cuche, the race winner, brought in more than $16,000 while former World
Cup overall champions Bode Miller and Aksel Lund Svindal also drove high-priced bids, Miller at
$2,500 and Svindal approaching $3,000. American Ted Ligety topped a grand at $1,075 while bibs
At Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy,
Lindsey Vonn signs a bib
that will be auctioned on
eBay to raise money for Haiti
earthquake relief effort.
signed by European stars Michael Walchhofer,
Benjamin Raich, Julien Lizeroux, Ivica Kostelic, Carlo Janka and Werner Heel all brought in
The overall figure for the women’s auction was
about what Cuche’s bib brought in by itself, but
a late surge drove Cortina super G race winner
Lindsey Vonn’s number to $8,600, doubling in
each of the last two days of bidding.
Mancuso reported that roughly 50 percent of
the bidding on the women’s bibs came from the
U.S. with the remainder coming from Austria,
Italy, Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland. With no minimum bid guaranteed, some
of the bibs remained were going for less than
$20 for a couple of days, but bidding picked
up as the countdown to the gavel continued.
Mancuso, Maria Riesch, Leanne Smith, Fabienne Suter, Anja Paerson and Emily Brydon all
The racers will be polling one another to determine exactly which branch of the international
Red Cross the money will be donated to, but
Kitzbuehel Ski Club President Michael Huber
said the entire amount would be sent — without
any deduction — for the relief of the residents of
Haiti, reeling after a series of devastating earthquakes.
Mancuso said bids were sometimes accompanied by notes from well wishers. One example
she shared: “I am so excited that I was able to
both purchase a reminder of an exciting 2010
World Cup season while making a contribution to those desperately in need in Haiti. My
wife and I plan to frame the bib and hang it
over our fireplace at our Vermont weekend
Bode Miller signs his Kitzbuehel race bib for the “Downhillers for Haiti” auction.
Vonn’s signed bib.