Giovanni Kasslatter: "a huge success from the first edition"
GIOVANNI KASSLATTER: Race Director since the first edition
What led you to appoint Giovanni Kasslatter as Race Director of Gardenissima in 1997?
I was approached by the initiator Rudolf Mussner to join the organising committee. Being a great fan of ski racing, I volunteered to take on the role of race director.
How did you take the news of being appointed race director of an event, a race yet to be discovered?
Indeed, it was. We did not know what we were getting into and there was no medium- to long-term planning, let alone a guarantee of success. So, it was a great challenge, which required an extraordinary commitment, but it stimulated and motivated the ambition to organise an event that was more unique than rare. That is why I was happy and proud to be involved in this project.
What were the greatest difficulties in the early years of Gardenissima?
I remember well that 1997 was a year with a lack of snow, the artificial snow systems, of course, were not like those we know today, so until the last moment it was in doubt whether the race, in which over 400 competitors had registered, would take place. Somehow, the first edition was completed without any particular accidents and no injuries. It is curious to note that the second edition was the one with the lowest number of participants, which cast some doubt on the interest of the event itself, a doubt that was soon dispelled from the third edition onwards with a steady increase in the number of participants.