The FIS has dabbled with a few different locations to kick off the start of it's season, Las Lenas in Argentina got the nod
a few times in the 1980's, and they even tried Australia as well. However, the problem with a location in the southern hemisphere
is that it meant racing in August, and you then had a long gap until the next race. So in recent years the FIS has settled on Solden
as the venue for it's traditional curtain raiser. And why not ! Since hosting the event back in 1993, the Rettenbach Glacier above Solden
has been in a decent enough state to host the women's and men's giant slaloms. Ok, there have been a few years when fog or high wind has led
to one of the races being cancelled but you get that at some point with every venue on the circuit anyway. You only need to look at the list
of names who have won the event to see how seriously the skiers take it - nearly all of the winners have been the big names in the sport over
the last 20 years. The venue is now well established and proved a real success so let;s hope that the FIS continue to kick off
it's season at Solden.
The race is also the traditional venue for
the AIJS (International Association of Ski Journalists)
to name the winner of their
Skieur d'Or Award
The list of winners of the season-opening Solden Giant Slalom since the event started back in 1993 is as follows:
| Year || Winner || Nationality || Notes |
| 2015 || Ted Ligety || USA || |
| 2014 || Marcel Hirscher || Austria || |
| 2013 || Ted Ligety || USA || |
| 2012 || Ted Ligety || USA || |
| 2011 || Ted Ligety || USA || |
| 2010 || || || Race Cancelled - poor weather |
| 2009 || Didier Cuche || Switzerland || |
| 2008 || Daniel Albrecht || Switzerland || |
| 2007 || Aksel Lund Svindal || Norway || |
| 2006 || || || Race Cancelled - poor weather |
| 2005 || Hermann Maier || Austria || |
| 2004 || Bode Miller || USA || |
| 2003 || Bode Miller || USA || |
| 2002 || Stefan Eberharter || Austria || |
| 2001 || Frederic Covili || France || |
| 2000 || Hermann Maier || Austria || |
| 1999 || || || Solden not selected as opener |
| 1998 || Hermann Maier || Austria || |
| 1997 || || || Solden not selected as opener |
| 1996 || Steve Locher || Switzerland || |
| 1995 || || || Solden not selected as opener |
| 1994 || || || Solden not selected as opener |
| 1993 || Franck Piccard || France || |
2012 Solden - Giant Slalom Race
Ted Ligety produced an incredible second run, in tricky conditions, to win the opening race of the FIS World Cup
season on the glacier at Solden for the 2nd year running.
Manfred Moelgg had led after the first run of the Giant Slalom, with Ligety second, but the American skied
a phenomenal 2nd leg to claim victory by 2.75 seconds over Moelgg and 3.12 ahead of local hero Marcel Hirscher,
a winning margin that is almost unheard of at the top level of alpine ski racing.
With race organisers having to spend the previous 24 hours shifting heavy snow from the course, and with
a blanket of fog descending, it was an achievement in itself to actually get the race underway and completed.
2011 Solden - Giant Slalom Race
Nearly 15,000 fans turned up for the 2011-12 FIS season curtain-raiser in fantastic race conditions up on the Rettenbach Glacier.
Two near-perfect runs saw Ted Ligety start off where he finished last season - on the top of the podium. And with Lindsey Vonn taking the women's race on the day before it was a great start to the season for the American team.
With Solden's notoriously steep section providing lots of problems with it's ice and bumps it made for an interesting race and
French youngster Alexis Pinturault provided the shock of the day when he claimed 2nd place, just 0.29 behind the American.
The noisy locals were given something to shout about as Austrian Philipp Schoerghofe took the final spot on the podium, just over half
a second behind 'Ted the Shred'.
Last season's overall champion Ivica Kostelic had a poor first run that left him in 18th place but stormed back with the fastest 2nd run to hurtle up the leaderboard into 5th place. All in all a great start to the season at Solden and great to see the legendary Benni Raich back, albeit down in 19th place.