”The same procedure as every year” was the motto for the eighth edition of The Alpina Cup. Once again, the giant slalom on the Wasserngrat was about best times and the hockey match between the Le Rosey and HC Gstaad-Saanenland was about goals.
The combination of giant slalom and ice hockey match is a tradition by now and seems to guarantee excellent weather conditions. The sun provided moderate temperatures, which made both watching at the side of the slope and waiting before the start bearable. The many spectators at the ice hockey match also stayed until the last minute, which was made easier with warm punch and tasty waffles offered by The Alpina Gstaad.
Watch out for gate seven
The giant slalom had been prepared by race director Patrick Zürcher, who works as a teacher at the Institut Le Rosey. Information about icy passages quickly circulated among the participants. “Watch out at gate seven, it’s icy there. And the terrain drops off, it takes you out quickly”, could occasionally be overheard as a well-meant advice at the start.
The instructions about the key points in the giant slalom were given in all kinds of languages to everyone who wore a number. While three young girls on the chairlift analysed their ride in English, pupils from both schools puzzled over who would finish the course with the best time in the finish area. The answer to this question is Livio Herrmann from the Gymnasium Gstaad, who won with over a second lead to the runner-up. Nadja Bircher, also from the Gymnasium Gstaad, was first in the girls’ competition.
The students of the Gymnasium Gstaad eventually took the lead in all categories and thus secured the coveted bell for the team victory.
Ambition despite friendship
“It’s not about points or anything like that,” revealed one of the players for the Le Rosey ice hockey team briefly before the match. There is no doubt he did not mean it. However, right from the start you could feel the will to win in both teams.
The players of Le Rosey hockey club found their way into the game faster and soon took the lead with two goals. In the second period, HC Gstaad-Saanenland, who were on the ice with a mixed team of young and senior players, managed to catch up. In the final period, the hockey players from Saanenland found their rhythm and took the lead with two more goals after having drawn level. The final result was 4:2 for HC Gstaad-Saanenland.
Despite heated emotions and an unbroken will to win, the focus was on fair play all the time. In the end, both teams were happy about a balanced match and beamed into the camera for the group photo. The lucky outcome of the game for HC Gstaad-Saanenland was awarded with the second bell of the event.
Finale at The Alpina Gstaad
The successful ski and hockey day came to a successful conclusion with the prize giving ceremony and the gala dinner at The Alpina Gstaad. Students, teachers, hockey players and guests reviewed the day and conversed multilingually. Bonds between local and Le Rosey students were formed that will continue beyond this event.
Tim Weiland, general manager The Alpina Gstaad, Nachson Mimran, chairman The Alpina Gstaad, and Kim Kovacevic, head of school Le Rosey, welcomed the 100 invited guests to the gala dinner.
In his address, Mimran stressed that the students of Le Rosey and the Gstaad Gymnasium are the “future change makers”. It is important, he pointed out, that they keep an eye on social and environmental responsibility.
Kovacevic for his part stated that we must look back so that we know where we come from in order to shape the future. Traditions from the past are important and should be continued. This includes in particular The Alpina Cup. “The Alpina Cup is very important for the school and the connection between Le Rosey and Gstaad and has a firm place in the agenda of Le Rosey,” he concluded.
Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi