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A Kiss in Cortina Ninety-one-year-old Rolly Marchi is a veritable institution in Italian skiing, having worked as a journalist, an announcer and a race organizer since long be- fore the World Cup was even invented. Ask him about the U.S. Ski Team, and he’ll tell you about Buddy Werner and Pen- ny Pitou. He covered the 1948 Olympic Winter Games in St. Moritz, and he was the finish line announcer at the Cortina d’Ampezzo Games in 1956. Marchi has vivid memories of Toni Sailer sweeping the men’s medals that year, and of Sophia Loren visiting the event in a white dress. Years later, he and his friend Walt Disney invented the Trofeo Topolino, the annual children’s ski race that helped introduce Lindsey Vonn (then Kildow) and Mikaela Shiffrin to international racing. Marchi was in Cortina this year, walking with a cane in the finish area and wearing a red sweater with a big “T” on the front — an original Topolino pullover. Before the Cortina downhill, Marchi struck up a conversation with Daniela Merighetti, the Ital- ian racer who hadn’t been on a World Cup podium since 2003. Marchi predicted that Merighetti would ski fast despite a broken thumb. “If I win today, or podium, I will kiss you,” Merighetti told Marchi.
Merighetti then won the downhill, and made good on her promise to Marchi, who
met her in the finish to collect his kiss.
Late Night, Boys?
The Waxroom spotted this vehicle outside Kitzbuehel’s
legendary pub at 10 a.m. during Hahnenkamm weekend.
Last Man Down
Bulgaria’s Nikola Chongarov had the distinction of being the last man to leave the Hahnenkamm downhill start house and take a trip down what became an even unfriendlier Streif
piste, considering the steady snowfall and deteriorating conditions.
“I wasn’t lonely up there,” said Chongarov, wearing bib No. 63 and joking in the finish area. “I
didn’t care. It was like being the first guy for me. What I really cared about was my run and it
was really weird – the snow and everything else. Nothing like the training runs.”
The 22-year-old Bulgarian finished 62nd. And not to be too harsh, but we should mention that
one racer did not start. Then again, any journey down the vaunted track in Kitzbuehel without
needing to consult your healthcare provider afterward is a victory in itself.