Now that we are about halfway through the World Cup alpine season, let’s take a look at who is bringing in the most money.
Naturally, those leading the Cup standings – Ivica Kostelic and Lindsey Vonn – are the ones making the most cash in prize money, although some venues have different payouts than others.
Prize money-wise, the richest athlete on the World Cup at the moment is Kostelic, who has, following his five wins and three podiums, made 275,139 Swiss Francs so far this season. Vonn is right behind him, having earned 256,324 CHF so far for six wins and one other podium. Second-ranked Marcel Hirscher has brought in 247,878 CHF and on the ladies side, third-ranked Marlies Schild has earned 206,680 so far. The third-ranked skier in the overall standings on the men’s side, Beat Feuz has earned 167,000 CHF while Tina Maze, the second-ranked skier on the ladies side, has brought in 134,616.
Fourth in the overall standings, Elisabeth Goergl is the only other woman who has made more than 100,000 so far this season (109,000), but a few others have brought in more on the men’s side, including seventh-ranked Didier Cuche, who hit the jackpot again at Kitzbuhel (the downhill there pays 70,000 to the winner), bringing his total earnings to 143,300 to date. With his big first victory, Cristian Deville (as a slalom specialist, he is ninth overall) also made 70,000 at the Kitzbuhel slalom, bringing his season total so far to 138,307 and Ted Ligety, fourth in the overall standings, has earned 117,251.
Here’s how it works:
All venues divide their prize money among the top 10 finishers for each race, but the division varies. The majority of World Cup venues have a total prize purse of 100,000 CHF per race - the minimum set by the FIS Council about 18 months before the current season - and dole out 35,000 to the winner, 23,000 to the second-place finisher, 15,000 to third, 10,000 to fourth, 6,000 to fifth, 4,000 to sixth, 2,500 to seventh, 2,000 to eighth, 1,500 to ninth and 1,000 to 10th.As mentioned above, Kitzbuhel is the jackpot for prize money – especially for the winner – with a total of 175,000 for both the downhill and slalom, 70,000 going to the man on the top step of the podium, 33,000 to second place and 16,000 to third. The super G there (canceled this year due to adverse weather) has 130,000 total with 50,000 doled out to the winner, 23,000 to second place and 11,000 to third and less down the line to 1,800 given for the 10th-place finisher. The combined race at Kitzbuhel pays 84,000 total, but it is all divided among only the top three, 50,000 to first, 23,000 to second and 11,000 to third.
Zagreb is the venue with the next largest payout, offering 120,000 for each the men’s and ladies slalom race, 42,000 going to the winner, 21,000 to second and 10,500 to third. They reward the top 30 of each Snow Queen or King Trophy.
Anyone wanting to keep tabs on who is making what throughout the season can go to the Prize Money Ranking tab at fis-ski.com.