Emotions in winter sports
During the Ski World Championship in St. Moritz, PRINOTH invited a renowned panel of experts to the TirolBerg venue to discuss the interplay between emotions and high-tech in winter sports.
The distinguished panel invited to TirolBerg included Snowboard-Cross Olympic Champion Tanja Frieden, PRINOTH President Werner Amort, experienced Free Ride Pro Flo Orley, Ropeway Operator Industry representatives Franz Hörl (Austria) and Silvio Schmid (Switzerland), in addition to Economics Professor Kurt Matzler of the University of Bolzano.
During a lively round of discussions, relevant contemporary topics were discussed. They included the frequently debated tension concerning the effects of technical improvement and the fact that within the Alpine region less than 1% of the available land is capable of generating added value for millions of people. In an emotional exchange, Olympic Champion Tanja Frieden also drew attention to the future prospects of winter sports. Through her snow-sports foundation, the former world-class snowboarder has been able to make experiencing winter sports possible for 10,000 children and teenagers. “Our snow-sports foundation GoSnow provides teachers with a platform to organize an amazing week of skiing for students with little effort. This eliminates the excuses. Because after all, children belong in the snow,” said Tanja Frieden with conviction.
Economic Sciences Professor Kurt Matzler offered a look back at the last 500 years: “Considering that improving and cultivating natural resources has long since been inextricably linked to life in the Alps, criticism levied against ropeways, winter sports, and groomed slopes can be viewed in a relative context. It is all a part of our socio-cultural system and without the economic benefits the economy in many regions of the Alps would be less favorable.”
World-class Free Ride Pro Flo Orley also underscored the symbiosis between emotions and technical improvement: “If we want to provide people with an emotional experience, then technical improvement plays a significant role in bringing children - the winter-sports athletes of the future - into the mountains in a pleasant way,” said Orley.
Franz Hörl, a spokesman from the Austrian Ropeway Operator Industry, emphasized that providing as many people as possible with a positive experience in nature and in the mountains is indispensable: “It is for this reason that initiatives like those from Tanja Frieden must be supported. Speaking about the technical aspects alone is not enough. We need to highlight the emotion aspects made possible by the ropeway operator industry, ropeway and snow groomer manufacturers, and our many thousands of highly motivated employees on a daily basis for millions of guests.”
Technology plays a vital role in ensuring that winter sports industry also operates with economic efficiency. Efficiency is key when it comes to slope grooming as well. “We endeavor along with our clients to drive development and to offer optimal snow grooming solutions. When it comes to our snow groomers, efficiency plays a decisive role. By employing innovative technologies such as digital snow depth measurement we enable efficient and therefore sustainable interactions with the valuable resource snow,” explained Werner Amort.