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08 February1941
The forgotten FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
Costantino Roggero
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

The calendar takes us to 8 February 1941. We are in Cortina and the Alpine Skiing World Championships are taking place. A World War is also in progress. In contrast to the 1940 Olympics, the 1941 Ski World Championships are not cancelled. On the contrary, the Axis powers, Nazi Germany together with Fascist Italy and Japan are at work to build a 'new world sporting order' as international sporting events are used to celebrate military successes, legitimise new conquests, but above all to reassure the population. The 1941 World Ski Championships are therefore not a mere sporting event, precisely because they are expressly part of this strategy. World Championships that will be cancelled in 1946 and soon forgotten because of the context in which they took place: war and Nazi and fascist propaganda. 

Costantino Roggero's amateur film - of which we watch some excerpts - shows, from an original point of view and in 16mm 'natural colour' AGFA film, the exciting phases of some of the races, but also the opening ceremony with the authorities, the award ceremonies with the winners making the Roman salute, the moments of leisure before and after, the surrounding environment, the Cortina already 'queen of the snows'. In the background the signs of the times: the hooked crosses, a blow-up of the Duce's face in profile with the helmet, as well as the Olympic rings. Roggero's camera captures close-up moments of the races and the faces of the protagonists happy with their victories. Some of those skiers will soon later die in the war. Two gold medals go to Italy, one of them for the women's slalom won by the young Italian champion Celina Seghi (1920-2022), to whom several sequences are dedicated and whom we recognise at the moment of the award ceremony. Ironically, that is the only Gold between Olympic and World Championships won by Seghi and it will be taken away from her.