February 1989

Three events were held for the men in 1989 — downhill, super G, giant slalom — but no events for the women. To date, this was the only World Cup in Aspen held in February.

Karl Alpiger of Switzerland won the men’s downhill, squeaking past Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg. Peter Mueller, a defending champion and course record holder, placed 10th. Girardelli, despite a second-place finish, took the overall downhill World Cup title. Former winner Bill Johnson placed 57th.

In the super G, 1988 Olympic super G bronze medalist Lars-Boerge Eriksson won his first-ever World Cup event. Marc Girardelli placed fourth. Girardelli was awarded the Roch Cup for his combined times.

Just prior to the race, Girardelli’s father, Helmut, was refused access to the racecourse because he had arrived late. Helmut became embroiled in a shouting match with a course guard, then took revenge by refusing to allow his son to attend the awards ceremony or press conference. Making matters worse, Helmut’s illegally parked car was towed during the race.

The slalom was also a stage for drama as the competition included top skiers Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden, Alberto Tomba of Italy, Marc Girardelli, and Lars Eriksson of Sweden. Heavy snow fell that morning as Girardelli led by less than two-tenths of a second over Stenmark in the first run. Tomba sat in a distant 15th place. On the second run, Tomba skied a near perfect run, ending in sixth.

When Stenmark ran the course, the crowd knew he had excelled in this, his 86th career win. Girardelli was one of the first to give Stenmark a bear hug of congratulations. On his way to the victory podium, Stenmark was serenaded by a chorus of Swedes bearing the Swedish flag. “This man is truly one of the greatest racers of all times,” announced Andy Mill to a cheering crowd.