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rising ski stars
Launched at the 2012/2013 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, the Longines Rising Ski Stars prize recognises the athletes who have shone as best female under-21 skier and best male under-23 skier respectively over the course of the entire FIS World Cup season. The award highlights the extraordinary performance of the youngest competitors and brings them to the forefront of the skiing scene. Alongside the 2015/2016 FIS Alpine World Cup Finals at St.Moritz, the prize was presented to two well-known recipients, the Longines Ambassador of Elegance Mikaela Shiffrin from the United States, who won the award for the fourth season running, and the Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, who had already been recognised last year – an excellent end to the season for the two skilled athletes. After winning the first two slaloms of the winter, Mikaela Shiffrin suffered a knee injury that kept her off the slopes for several months. Her triumphant return was followed by three new victories in the same discipline in Crans Montana, Jasna, and then St.Moritz. Henrik Kristoffersen also had an exceptional season as he emerged victorious in no fewer than six races, also in slalom, which earned him the crystal globe for the specialist discipline. Both talented athletes were awarded a Longines watch, a trophy, and a cheque for 20'000 Swiss francs. The Longines Rising Ski Stars Award falls within Longines' involvement in supporting young athletes in the different sporting disciplines in which the brand is involved.
The Longines Rising Ski Stars prize honoured once again Mikaela Shiffrin and Henrik Kristoffersen, who stood out as the two best young athletes participating in the 2015/2016 FIS World Cup.
longines future ski champions
In March 2016, ­Longines presented the third edition of the ­Longines Future Ski Champions, held for the very first time in the Swiss alpine resort of St. Moritz, alongside the FIS Alpine World Cup Finals. This competition enables young hopefuls to pit themselves against the world's best athletes in their age category in conditions similar to those of the official World Cup races.
Since 2013, ­Longines has given the best young international skiers under the age of 16 the chance to participate in an international-level competition on the official FIS World Cup slopes. After two consecutive years at Val d’Isère, the third edition of the ­Longines Future Ski Champions took place at St. Moritz alongside the finals of the FIS Ski World Cup on 14 and 15 March 2016. The competition, backed by the FIS, showcased the world’s most talented male skiers, who battled it out in conditions similar to those of the professional circuit. The young athletes, selected by their respective national federations, represented Austria, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The young skiers benefited from the support and sound advice of experienced athlete Mikaela Shiffrin, ­Longines Ambassador of Elegance and patron of the 2016 edition. She spoke of the fabulous opportunity that the event represents for these up-and-coming talents: “It’s awesome that ­Longines is so committed to helping the generations of the future and creating an environment where they are able to experiment their limits and go as hard as they can. It’s one thing to race against all the kids you always race against, but another thing to race against other people. They speak different languages, they look different. It creates a different atmosphere and it’s something important to practice.” After a day dedicated to training and the number drawing ceremony, the young athletes went head to head in a two-stage giant slalom, which was won by the Austrian Joshua Sturm in 1:36.81, followed by the American Benjamin Ritchie (+ 0.17) and ­Augustin ­Bianchini from France (+ 0.70). Following this stunning victory, the winner was awarded a ­Longines watch, as well as a trophy. His national federation also received a cheque intended to help promote the discipline amongst young people. On the strength of its privileged links with the sports in which it is involved, ­Longines is looking to the future by organising competitions that aim to promote sporting activities amongst young people and the values that sport embodies, such as fair play, respect, integrity and fun. In addition to its involvement with young skiers, the Swiss watch brand organises a tennis tournament for young hopefuls during Roland-Garros, the ­Longines Future Tennis Aces, and a race for young jockeys, the Prix ­Longines Future Racing Stars, which takes place alongside the Prix de Diane ­Longines in Chantilly.
future ski

interview with joshua sturm, longines future ski champions
What is your skiing history?
I started skiing when I was 19 months old and I loved it right away. I went to Pitztaler Gletscher and Riffelsee ski resorts with my parents. These resorts are still my favourites in autumn and spring because of their high altitude (3440 m) which allows me to ski from September to June. I was excited about the World Cup athletes going down the steep and challenging hill at Wildspitzbahn, while we did our casual freeride turns right beside the training lines. I did my first race at the age of 2 and a half. After that my “career” began to take off. At the age of 6, I started competing in some local races and some international children’s races, too, where I did really well. When I was 13, I had an injury and missed an entire season. During the season following my accident, I had some very successful results in national and international competitions. Because I did very well in the Austrian Junior Championships, I qualified for the ­Longines Future Ski Champions.
What are the opportunities that a competition such as the longines future ski champions offers you as a young skier?
I think races such as the ­Longines Future Ski Champions are a great opportunity for young athletes like me to meet other people, and compete against the best athletes from all around the world in an unbelievably professional surrounding. It was incredible to take part in such a race in my age group.
How did you win the longines future ski champions? how has your career developed since?
An important aspect to success is to be as well prepared as possible. I usually train with the Race ­Center Benni Raich at the Hochzeiger ski resort in Pitztal, because there is a permanent racetrack with consistently great conditions. The day following the race was really interesting since I had the chance to meet a lot of famous and important people. Also, after the race, some companies contacted me to offer their support. I was very surprised by the media response on the internet as well as in the local news. That was an important point in my career because I hadn’t really paid attention to such things, nor had my parents.
Such an experience is undoubtedly extremely enriching in human and sporting terms. Is there an anecdote or a particular moment you would like to share?
The event as a whole was very enriching for me. The most emotional moment was when I looked at the results and saw that I was leading.
Mikaela Shiffrin, patron of the longines future ski champions 2016, lent her support and provided valuable advice during this competition. How do you see the career of this skier? Is she a source of inspiration for you?
Mikaela, in my opinion, is one of the best alpine skiers ever. Her achievements are absolutely incredible. To be World Champion at the age of 18 and an Olympic winner at the age of 19 is unbelievable. She definitely inspires me to work harder and never give up on my dreams. Also, she is a very kind and funny person.
Is there a fis ski world cup race in particular you would like to take part in?
It would be great if I could participate in all of them (as an athlete).
What are your objectives as a skier?
In my opinion, everybody dreams of an Olympic or World Championship medal in their specific sport/discipline. But I know the road to get there is long and difficult. I will work hard and do everything I can to make my dreams come true.
How do you see your future?
What I can say for sure is that my main objectives are to stay healthy and push my limits in the sport I love.
future ski