94th Int. Lauberhorn Races January 12 - 14, 2024


Did you Know...


 that shortly after the war there was also a ladies’ race in Wengen? In 1945 and 1946 the only participants were Swiss ladies and the race started lower down the mountain by the Wengernalpbahn. In 1947 foreigners also participated and the start took place just below the Hundschopf. From there the race led to the railway underpass down a recently cleared break in the forest.

Lina Mittner was a downhill specialist and won the Lauberhorn Downhill in 1947. She knew no fear and hence even the Hanneggschuss did not bother her. Her great lead over the others was due to her Inglin skis that had a particularly fast surface. As a result of her victory her trainer, Arnold Glatthard, put her on top of the list of candidates for the Tour of America, for which only 3 women and men were selected. However, Louis Guisan, son of the General, and President of the association at the time, would not hear of it. Those wishing to take part had to be unmarried, and she had been married for many years and was already a mother.

Upon ending her career Lina Mittner, who had already won an important downhill race in Megève, became technical director and judge for the FIS for many years.

At this time the ladies SDS (Swiss Ladies Ski Club) Race was held in Grindelwald. The Swiss Ladies Ski Club was said to be rather an elitist association, but also showed a lot of initiative. The driving forces were Marc Hodler’s mother and Elsa Roth who both had an office with Werner Grob, the Tourism Director in Grindelwald. A special occasion was therefore necessary for them to be able to participate in the Lauberhorn Race. In 1947, it was the qualification for the two and a half month journey to America for which three men and women were chosen; in 1950 it was the participation at the World Championships in Aspen. Rosmarie Bleuer was not particularly good in 1947, but still managed to qualify.

Rosmarie Bleuer won the Lauberhorn Slalom in 1950 with a lead of 5 seconds. Though the fact that no foreigners participated in the race puts the importance of the victory into relation. The Downhill race was cancelled as the organizers felt it unreasonable to send the 15 ladies down the rather icy run. Despite this, as winner of the Slalom race she received the Lauberhorn pewter jug otherwise reserved for the winner of the Combination. It is not as large as that of the men, but nevertheless. She never trained much, compared to those from Wengen with whom Hedy Schlunegger often trained. Neither was she particularly ambitious, otherwise her success might have been greater. Or, at the Olympic Games in St. Moritz, she would have noticed that she had skis that didn’t work at all.

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