For almost thirty years now, Alberta and some of its finest ski resorts such as Banff, Lake Louise, Sunshine, Panorama and Nakiska, where the memorable 1988 Olympic Winter Games took place, have been part of the 'White Circus'.
Lake Louise is situated in one of the most picturesque spots of the entire Alpine calendar, deep in the Canadian Rockies submerged in a nature reserve on the edge of a pristine Lake that is surrounded by the local glaciers. Views are spectacular both in winter, when the Lake freezes over and in summer, when the local nature blossoms.
Most of the races which have been held there became remarkable moments in the Legend of the World Cup. Lake Louise represents a classical stage of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, having hosted some 70 races since the beginning of the 80's. In March 1980, the first ever men's World Cup downhill in Canada was organized at Lake Louise with strong financial support from 'Molson Brewery', one of the most generous and understanding sponsors in the history of ski racing and Italy's downhiller Herbert Plank was the first winner. Swiss star Michela Figini doubled the opening female meet in 1989, by winning two consecutive downhills.
For a long time, Lake Louise was exempt from FIS World Cup racing until the return of the ladies. In 1995, Picabo Street opened the list of her great victories as she dominated the downhill here. Germany's Katja Seizinger too was a great figure on the Canadian slope, triumphing six times, with three wins in a row (two downhills and a Super-G) from 4th to 6th December 1997. Austria's Renate Goetschl claimed five wins in the stint between 1998-2006. Isolde Kostner of Italy and Carole Montillet of France each won 4 races. On December 3rd, 2004 American Lindsey Kildow (now Vonn) broke the European dominance which had lasted since 1995, by winning the DH.
As for the men's roll of honor, Lake Louise was excluded from the World Cup schedule from 1984 and 1990 and came back in 1991, when Norway's Atle Skaardal starred to win the speed event. Austria's Hermann Maier and Stefan Eberharter each won three times and US ace Bode Miller claimed back-to-back victories in November 2004. 2007 & 2009 World Cup champ Aksel Lund Svindal triumphed in the DH staged in the Alberta Region in November 2007. He rejoiced there also in November 2007 before injuring himself a week later at Beaver Creek.
Canada's athletes delighted the home fans in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons, winning a downhill thanks to the performance of John Kucera and Czech-born Jan Hudec.