The quintessential adrenalin kick
Plenty of action out in the bitter cold along with a glass of champagne – what better way to experience St Moritz. And thus also the launch of the bob, outfitted by Rhaetian Railway completely in the style of the Glacier Express and made available to the Bob Club Svizzera Italiana for training young talent.
‘I can only hope I’m not ill’, says Fabio Capol, laughing. He is one of three winners to enjoy a taxi ride on the new bob. Oliver Steffen assures us that he has always wanted to ride a bob and Jeanette Walser is also optimistic: ‘I’m feeling good’, she says. ‘How can I not be in this amazing sunshine?’ she adds, while making a sweeping motion across the landscape. The bobs skitter down the only natural-ice bob run in the world; the spectators pull out their shades and watch the action from the terrace of the Gunter Sachs Lodge: bobbers from all over the world populate the track from St Moritz to Celerina to take part in the IBSF Para World Cup – paraplegic pilots in monobobs, leg amputee athletes on skeleton sleds.
A four-man bob for young talent
A little way away from the action lies a big red parcel. Hidden beneath the cloth bound by a white ribbon is the hot sled in the cool Glacier Express design for the Bob Club Svizzera Italiana. The four-man bob is the Pontresina club’s second training bob after a monobob. Club boss Moreno Beti is also RhB’s head engine driver in Engadin. Following a taxi ride in a bob, one of his colleagues came up with the idea of RhB sponsoring a bob for the club. Less than a year after Moreno Beti contacted his colleagues in the Marketing department, the bob is standing in the starting area of the Olympic Bob Run in St Moritz.
The winners and their companions plus RhB representatives and Bob Club Svizzera Italiana gather round the red parcel. Marina Schrepfer and Luisa Costa from the RhB Marketing department cut the ribbon and lift off the red cloth. And there it is: ice-blue, featuring the Glacier Express logo. Corks pop, glasses clink, everyone feels on top of the world. Then it begins: the taxi drivers don their helmets. Former World Cup and Olympic contender, pilot Martin Galliker gives last-minute instructions. For once, Moreno Beti is not in the driving seat, instead acting as brakeman. The para-athletes clear the way, leaving the track free for the taxi drivers.
Brilliant and incredible
‘Encore!’ is the first thing Pascale Nguyen shouts at the end. Oliver Steffen’s companion is absolutely thrilled by her first bob run. Fabio Capol, from the north of Graubünden, sounds much the same: ‘Amazing, I want to do it again!’ Luckily, he wasn’t ill, but he did get butterflies in his stomach ‘when picking up speed’. Even his colleague Matthias Bachmann from Maladers is grinning from ear to ear when he declares the ride ‘brilliant and incredible’. Jeanette Walser and her friend Sandra Wild even go so far as to say: ‘It’s addictive!’ Which means Sandra Dattilo, product manager for the Glacier and Bernina Express at RhB, was totally right about what she said at the launch: ‘Both the Glacier Express and the Olympic Bob Run in St Moritz are the quintessential adrenalin kicks.’