Cortina 2021 alpine ski world championships - Top things to know

Mikaela Shiffrin is chasing her fifth consecutive FIS World slalom title as the top skiers test themselves from 7-21 February in the Italian resort ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

By Alessandro Poggi
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

The 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships will be held in Cortina d’Ampezzo from 7 to 21 February 2021.

With one year to go until the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Cortina 2021 represents an important test for the world's best skiers.

Will Mikaela Shiffrin get back to her old form and add a fifth consecutive slalom title? Can Alexis Pinturault win a medal for the fourth back-to-back championships? What nation is going to win the last Team event title ahead of the 2022 Games?

Find out more, including who to watch, and venue and schedule information below.

The Women's Slalom event during the Winter Olympics at Cortina d'Ampezzo, 31st March 1956.
Picture by 2005 Getty Images
Lindsey Vonn has a record of 12 wins at the Italian resort.
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

Cortina 2021 Alpine Ski World Championships - Venue and Event Information

The 'Queen of the Dolomites', Cortina will host the event for the third time in its history.

After staging the second-ever edition of the ski worlds in 1932, the Italian resort held the 1956 Winter Olympics, which also doubled up as world championships.

Cortina will also be featuring at the 2026 Winter Olympics, with the epic Olympia delle Tofane slope - a regular stop in the women's World Cup tour - being the venue for the alpine events.

Italy has hosted the alpine worlds in six previous occasions, the last in Bormio in 2005.

A total of 13 titles (6 for men, 6 for women, 1 mixed event) will be assigned during the 46th edition of the competition, which will draw over 600 athletes from 70 countries, according to the local organising committee.

For the first time, individual parallel slalom events were added in the world ski championships' programme, as decided by the International Ski Federation (FIS) council in 2019.

In the previous ski world championships in Are, Sweden, three countries topped the medal table: Norway, Switzerland and USA, each with four medals, including two golds.

The 2023 world championships will take place in Courchevel-Meribel, France, with Saalbach, Austria, hosting the 2025 edition.

Mikaela Shiffrin in action in Cortina in January 2019, when she won a Super G race
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

Cortina 2021 Alpine Ski World Championships - Women - Ones to watch

Two years ago Mikaela Shiffrin came away from Are with two gold medals (Super G and slalom) and one bronze (Giant slalom).

In Cortina, the double Olympic champion will compete in four events, including the super G, trying to add to her tally of seven world medals, including five golds.

"When you ski at a big event, you go for a medal, you go for gold. That's the only tactic," she said ahead of the event.

Shiffrin is chasing Austria's Annemarie Moser-Proell (nine medals) and Switzerland's Erika Hess (seven medals, six gold), respectively fifth and fourth in the all-time list of the women's skiers with most victories at the World Champs.

The Italians have been dominating the women's tour this year (eight wins and 16 podiums) and they are under pressure to deliver on home snow, despite the absence of fans at the venue.

On the Olympia delle Tofane course, Sofia Goggia has reached three podiums, including a downhill win just before taking gold at PyeongChang 2018. But the skier from Bergamo suffered a knee injury in Garmisch and will miss the home event.

Following her four victories in six races, Marta Bassino will be the favourite in the giant slalom, with overall Crystal globe holder Federica Brignone chasing her first win this season after four podiums on the World Cup circuit.

With three victories so far, Petra Vlhova is likely to be the woman to beat in the slalom event, although she hasn't topped the podium since 3 January. The Slovakian, reigning world champion in GS, has also won two of the last three parallel events and is a candidate to take the first-ever individual gold in the discipline.

Along with Vlhova, Switzerland's Michelle Gisin has been the most consistent skier this season (five podiums) and looks competitive in the combined, slalom, and GS events.

Another one to watch is Gisin's teammate and five-time world medallist Lara Gut-Behrami, who's recovered some of her old form and is leading the Super G standings thanks to four consecutive wins.

Tessa Worley admitted Cortina could be her last World Championships, but she's looking to end on a high note, perhaps adding a third GS title to her trophy cabinet.

The 31-year-old returned to winning ways in Kronplatz, Italy, ending a two-year drought, and had previously stepped on the podium twice this season.

You can go behind-the-scenes with Worley and the rest of the French team during this season in the Olympic Channel original series Cirque Blanc, available to watch and stream now without a subscription, here.

Cortina 2021 Alpine Ski World Championships - Men - Ones to watch

Alexis Pinturault headlines the men's field in Cortina.

The three-time Olympic medallist has been one of the best all-rounders for years and this season is in the form of his life: the 29-year-old Savoie native has proven to be the man to beat in giant slalom, winning three races in two of the most traditional and challenging courses like Alta Badia and Adelboden.

With Aleksander Aamodt Kilde out for the season after a knee ligament injury, the Frenchman is on course to win his first overall World Cup title and has a good chance of adding more world medals to his collection of five (four individual, one team event) also in the combined and parallel event.

Pinturault's main rival in GS is expected to be the 23-year-old Swiss sensation Marco Odermatt (four podiums, one win), while in the slalom Austria's Marco Schwarz leads the discipline rankings with two wins and seven podiums in nine races.

The three-time world medallist's potential contenders include his compatriot Manuel Feller, Switzerland's Ramon Zenhaeursern, and Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen and Sebastian Foss-Solevaag.

In the speed events, Kitzbuehel hero Beat Feuz of Switzerland is among the favourites in the downhill, with double Olympic champion Matthias Mayer, who could also challenge for the Super G title along with Austrian teammate Vincent Kriechmayr.

Alexis Pinturault showing his five world medals during the 2019 FIS World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra.
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

Cortina 2021 Alpine Ski World Championships - Race Schedule

The event begins with the Opening Ceremony on Sunday 7 February. Competition takes place from Monday 8 February to Sunday 21 February.

Schedule updated as of 9 February. Medal events in bold. All times are local (CET).

Mon 8 Feb

  • Events cancelled

Tue 9 Feb

  • Events cancelled

Wed 10 Feb

  • No races scheduled

Thu 11 Feb

  • Women's Downhill training 1 (TBC) Course: Olympia delle Tofane
  • Women's Super G (10:45) Course: Olympia delle Tofane
  • Men's Super G (13:00) Course: Vertigine

Fri 12 Feb

  • Men's Downhill training 1 (10:30) Course: Vertigine
  • Women's Downhill training 2 (13:00) Course: Olympia delle Tofane

Sat 13 Feb

  • Women's Downhill (11:00) Course: Olympia delle Tofane
  • Men's Downhill training 2 (13:00) Course: Vertigine

Sun 14 Feb

  • Men's Downhill (11:00) Course: Vertigine
An image during the women's World Cup downhill race in 2018. Credit: Pentaphoto
The Olympia delle Tofane course. Credit: Cortina 2021/Bandion
Picture by

Mon 15 Feb

  • Women's Alpine combined (Super G: TBC, Slalom: TBC) Course: Olympia delle Tofane
  • Men's Alpine combined (Super G: TBC, Slalom: TBC) Course: Vertigine

Tue 16 Feb

  • Women's Parallel Giant Slalom (Qualification: 9:00, Finals: 14:00 ) Course: Lino Lacedelli/Rumerlo
  • Men's Parallel Giant Slalom (Qualification: 9:00, Finals: 14:00 ) Course: Lino Lacedelli/Rumerlo

Wed 17 Feb

  • Alpine Team Parallel (12:15) Course: Rumerlo

Thu 18 Feb

  • Men's Giant Slalom (Qualification:10:00) Course: Lacedelli
  • Women's Giant Slalom (Run 1: 10:00, Run 2: 13:00) Course: Olympia delle Tofane

Fri 19 Feb

  • Women's Slalom (Qualification:10:00) Course: Lacedelli
  • Men's Giant Slalom (Run 1: 10:00, Run 2: 13:30) Course: Labirinti

Sat 20 Feb

  • Men's Slalom (Qualification:10:00) Course: Lacedelli
  • Women's Slalom (Run 1: 10:00, Run 2: 13:30) Course: Druscie A

Sun 21 Feb

  • Men's Slalom (Run 1: 10:00, Run 2: 13:30) Course: Druscie A