Going down the mountain with the wind behind them
When the Lauberhorn race takes place in January, thousands of ski enthusiasts turn the areas along the route into one long party. The FIS ski race has been held in Wengen every year since 1930. It is one of the classic races of the Alpine Skiing World Cup and is considered the most difficult downhill course in the world. There are many exciting stories about the event ...
A specially prepared World Cup alpine ski run is not suitable for any level of skier. This is because this downhill track is made of ice, not snow. Anyone who loses their edge grip here ends up in the safety nets very quickly. This run even tests the nerves of professional skiers. No wonder they hold their breath until the finish line.
This slope was also the backdrop for the amusing story of "Moli", one of the great names in Swiss skiing. The son of a shoemaker and owner of a sports store was born in 1920 in Wengen. After attracting attention at the age of 13 with his participation in the "Jungfrau-Sprunglauf" (ski jumping), in 1939 he won the Lauberhorn Race, the most difficult downhill race in the world. And that with a nine second lead over his competitors! His record earned him national attention and prompted the question, "How did he do it?"
In addition to other successes, Molitor went on to win five more Lauberhorn titles in the years 1940, 42, 43, 45 and 47. With his six victories in total, he became the undisputed record holder. But the enigma of his first victory followed Moli into his old age. The public suspected that he might have taken a shortcut, but there was no evidence to support this idea. The champion finally revealed the secret in an interview with a magazine: the evening before, his village teacher and his pupils had traced a shortcut between two doors at the Staubbachbänkli. This is how the athlete got to the unofficial private track ... which turned out to be much too narrow: the width of this track being only one ski length, there was hardly any room to brake. He accelerated to the point where he crashed with a bang once he got back to the official run, 150 meters below. But luck was with him: when he got up, his skis were facing the finish line. That's how he managed to cross the finish line with a few strokes of the stick and a nine second lead over his competitors.
Later, after his successful career was over, Moli returned to his father's profession by taking over his father's business. He was also president of the ski club from 1952 and the race director of the Lauberhorn for 35 years. In 2014, the sports legend left us at the age of 94 in Grindelwald.
In Wengen, our guests are also big fans of the annual event! In the hotel restaurant, for example, there are three areas named after sections of the slope and there are plenty of photos and autographs of famous skiers.