Anticipation, thrills and excitement – when the highly trained athletes at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Kitzbühel rocket down one of the world’s most spectacular slopes, the spectators hold their breath. But what makes the Hahnenkamm race the absolute highlight of the winter sport season is its one-of-a-kind combination of people: fans, athletes and celebrities from all over the world create an unforgettable atmosphere in and around Kitzbühel. The event was kicked off for the eighth time with Audi Night on Friday evening at the Hotel zur Tenne.
Among the 400 invited guests, actors like Christine Neubauer, Ralf Möller and Thomas Heinze mingled with TV host Kai Pflaume, singers Sarah Connor and Ronan Keating met sporting greats like FC Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luca Toni, Massimo Oddo and club president Franz Beckenbauer, along with DTM champions Timo Scheider (2008) and Mattias Ekström (2007).
Following a cocktail reception, the guests were welcomed by cabaret artist Django Asül, who guided the event though the evening in his usual entertaining way. Attendees included hosts Rupert Stadler (Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG) and Peter Schwarzenbauer (Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG) and other prominent figures from industry like Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG) and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn (Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG).
But there was one star that no one had yet met. The brand new Audi A5 Cabriolet was presented for the first time during the reception at Hotel zur Tenne – but on a black carpet. The unusual color scheme resulted from the progressive design of the tent construction, which was oriented on the architecture of Audi terminals – the visual appearance of Audi showrooms all over the world. The guests were shuttled with Audi Q5, Audi Q7 and Audi A8L to the event.
A very hearty welcome awaited this year’s skiers, Felix Neureuther (Germany), Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway), Jens Byggmark (Sweden), Didier Defago (Switzerland), Marco Büchel (Liechtenstein) and Benni Raich (Austria), who were introduced to an enthusiastic audience at the hotel. The performance by singer Sarah Connor – the highlight of the evening – was greeted just as euphorically. And while all this was happening, chef Christian Gottwald served delicacies such as pike with Champagne court bouillon and red beets, light potato soup with a hint of Perigord truffle, and layers of white nougat and chocolate with mandarin sorbet.