The FIS World Cup circuit is an annual prestigious skiing competition that some consider to be more important for skiers than the Olympics or the World Championships. The circuit began on October 28, and starting November 24, 11 competitions will be held in the US. There are many different disciplines, events, and categories within The FIS World Cup. There is an Alpine World Cup, a Cross Country World Cup, a Freestyle World Cup, and more. The scoring for each World Cup works as such: each event won earns a point, and then the competitor with the most points at the end of the season wins. There are also smaller prizes within different disciplines. For example, in the FIS Alpine World Cup, the sub-categories are slalom, giant slalom, super G, downhill, and a combination of slalom and downhill.

The US often hosts at least a few World Cup events (last year there were four), which are very beneficial to the host city and mountain. The FIS says in their Event Bid Information packet, “The World Championships strengthen the pride of the local and national community helping to achieve a sustained increase in sport participation and interest.” Although this quote refers specifically to the World Championships, the same benefits apply to the communities on the World Cup circuit.

A local newspaper close to Killington said that after 2016, the first time the mountain had hosted a World Cup, “The success of the events has reinvigorated the region and, hopefully, re-injected confidence in the New England ski and snowboard industry.” The World Cup not only excites the residents in a given ski town but also boosts the local economy.

The most highly anticipated World Cup is the Alpine World Cup. There are 90 alpine events across four different disciplines (slalom, giant slalom, super-G, and downhill). This World Cup is the most popular because it is the oldest and the most classic picture of skiing. This year, the defending champions, Mikaela Shiffrin and Marco Odermatt, are the most likely candidates for victory in this circuit. Mikaela Shiffrin is an American skier born in Vail, Colorado in 1995. Last season, she surpassed Lindsey Vonn and Ingemar Stenmark to gain the title of the most World Cup wins in alpine skiing history. Marco Odermatt is a Swiss alpine skier from Nidwalden, Switzerland. He won the Men’s Overall FIS World Cup in both 2022 and 2023, as well as the Giant Slalom event in 2022 and both the Giant Slalom and Super-G events in 2023.

One can now watch the World Cup on NBC Sports and Peacock. The competitions have already started, and the first US event is on November 24, 2023. Over Thanksgiving break, one should consider driving to Killington to see Mikaela Shiffrin, arguably the best alpine skier in history, compete. She has won five Killington Cups so far, and about 40,000 people are in attendance to marvel at her skills. Will she and Marco Odermatt be able to defend their titles, or will a rising star emerge victorious?