This is one of the images of this decidedly eventful Alpine weekend. The slalom in Gurgl, Austria, which kicked off the men's Alpine Skiing World Cup season after two cancellations and was won by Manuel Feller, was momentarily interrupted by the appearance of environmental activists in the finish area.
The intruders, who came to spread an orange powder on the Austrian snow after also unfurling banners in German ("Pay attention to the climate"), were booed by the public and evacuated by the event's security service, provoking the ire of Norwegian skier Henrik Kristoffersen.
Already quite recovered after a poorly controlled race (7th), the winner of four big globes completely lost his pin. He came very close to coming to blows with one of the protesters, who was stopped just before he could catch him. After shouting at the activist, the fiery Norwegian returned to his zone.
Henrik Kristoffersen was very upset and attacked demonstrators who had taken over the finish area of the Gurgl slalom! #ChaletClub pic.twitter.com/4G9CWPSFFe
— Eurosport France (@Eurosport_FR) November 18, 2023
Kristoffersen: "I would have hit him again if I had the chance"
"They're damn idiots. They spoil the course for others who are still at the top. I have no respect for things and people like that," Kristoffersen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. We shouldn't have people like that in the world, they have to disappear. I would have hit him again if I had the chance. I'm not afraid of punishment. »
🦺⛷️ EILT: WELTCUP IN GURGL UNTERBROCHEN - KLIMARAT JETZT!
Heute tragen wir unseren Protest auf die Weltcup-Piste. Bürger:innen haben bereits bewiesen, dass sie gemeinsam sinnvolle Lösungen, wie den Stopp fossiler Subventionen, erarbeiten können.#a22network #LetzteGeneration pic.twitter.com/sHpVJ1hv3s
— Letzte Generation Österreich (@letztegenAT) November 18, 2023
The protesters are part of the climate activist collective Letzte Generation ("Last Generation"), which had already made a name for itself on the sidelines of the first stage of the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Sölden. The resumption of the season has been marked by many debates about the future of skiing in the context of climate change, while several races have been cancelled due to bad weather conditions.