The voestalpine Winter Games brought 120 employees to Spielberg 3 minutes spent reading
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The voestalpine Winter Games brought 120 employees to Spielberg

Christopher Eberl
Christopher Eberl is editorially responsible for the topics on the blog as well as for the apprentice website. With his stories he provides deep insights into the diverse world of the voestalpine Group.

From January 26 to 28, 2018 the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg was transformed into a thrilling winter sports arena. A total of 120 voestalpine employees from 40 nations competed in 30 teams to overcome 5 challenging disciplines. The voestalpine wing and perfect weather conditions provided a stunning backdrop to the event.

The voestalpine Winter Games were a very special and unique event, especially for participants from countries such as Argentina, China, Mexico, South Africa, and India:

"This is the first time in my life I’ve seen snow!"

And yet at the same time they symbolized the global presence of the voestalpine Group with its 500 Group companies on all five continents.

Kick off with Bavarian Curling

After the official greeting the 120 winter athletes eagerly waited in the voestalpine wing to be divided up into teams. But before the athletes headed off for the first discipline, a few words from Olympic Gold medalist and former downhill skier Alexandra Meissnitzer ensured the necessary level of motivation. The 30 teams then set off to the ice rink to face the challenge of the first discipline, Bavarian Curling, which primarily required the 120 participants to demonstrate dexterity and sensitivity.

After the first competition on snow & ice the teams analyzed their performance and prepared to tackle the next 4 disciplines.

Heart-stopping final in the biathlon

The Red Bull Ring was looking its best as the athletes arrived—in sunshine, and with ideal snow conditions, the teams prepared for the following 4 disciplines: luge, ice hockey, alpine skiing, and finally the biathlon. In each discipline the teams were fighting to gain time credits for the biathlon final. The 120 voestalpine employees from 40 nations tried their hardest, supporting their team members and putting in excellent performances. Although there can only ever be one winner, there was praise for each team member’s success.

The last competition was truly the supreme discipline of winter sport—the biathlon. Organized as a relay race, the team members took turns to ski round the cross-country course as quickly as possible, stopping to fire 5 shots at the shooting range. All the points won in the previous disciplines were added to the biathlon results to create an overall ranking for the grand final: in the end the three best teams, and one “lucky loser”, qualified for the final round. It was a truly heart-stopping final, and it was unclear at first who would win. Every missed shot incurred penalties—not points, but penalty circuits of the course. As a result, it was a tense time waiting to discover the results at the Champions Dinner.  In the end the athletes were duly lauded, and Thomas Morgenstern, Austrian ski jumper and winner of several Olympic Gold medals, handed over the bronze, silver, and gold medals at the official awards ceremony.

The winning team #6 demonstrated teamwork and determination in all the disciplines:

The voestalpine Winter Games brought 120 employees to Spielberg

The winning team: Morgen Shaun (USA), Friedl Anita (AUSTRIA), Maimane Obakeng (SOUTH AFRICA) and Schink Marcel (GERMANY)

After the ceremony all the employees & participants at this year’s voestalpine Winter Games came together to celebrate their successes, experiences, and unforgettable moments in Spielberg. After the weekend a total of 120 winners from 40 nations set off home. In the end, we’re all voestalpine!

International networking & teamwork in the foreground

Motivating employees and encouraging international exchanges have long been important to the globally active voestalpine Group. Following the voestalpine Employee World Championships 2013 in Schladming and the voestalpine Grand Prix 2015 in Spielberg, the voestalpine Winter Games 2018 was the third international employee event of its type to be held in Styria.

Christopher Eberl

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