The Interview :
Inside the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow
Can you describe why the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow might be considered the "ultimate" polo event?
The atmosphere on the frozen lake during the tournament is simply unique. Most polo tournaments are played on grass and in warm weather conditions. Compared to that, we are certainly quite exotic with temperatures well below freezing point and a tournament taking place on ice and snow. Snow polo was actually invented in St. Moritz, and I think our guests are very much aware of the fact that the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow is the tournament where it all began.
Of course the other important reason for our success is the quality of the games. We are the only high goal tournament on snow. We have had some of the world’s best players in St. Moritz. This year, Pablo MacDonough (handicap 10) will play for Team Julius Baer. It is this combination of highly skilled sportsmen and alpine charm that accounts for the popularity of our tournament.
Can you recount a few anecdotes from past tournaments (memorable points, memorable victories, memorable quotations from the winners)?
Last year’s tournament was definitely a milestone. We celebrated the 25th edition of the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow and the 50th anniversary of St. Moritz Polo Club. Anniversaries are celebrated because they give us an opportunity to remember where we come from, how we had to overcome initial difficulties, and where we stand today. I can only say that the whole team of St. Moritz Polo AG is very proud of what we have achieved in all these years.
Can you tell us some of your hopes and expectations for this year’s event?
We made the first steps to a sustainable event by reducing energy consumption and introducing solar energy to provide the electricity on the lake. The decision to make our tournament more environmentally friendly was crucial for the repositioning of St. Moritz Polo AG. But there is much left to accomplish, and we hope other organizations who use the frozen lake for their events will follow our example.
Then of course we all hope to see attractive games. The teams have very similar, in most cases even identical handicaps, which seems very promising.
How is this year’s event more environmentally friendly?
"We managed to diminish energy consumption by 30% just by reducing the heated tent areas and lowering temperature levels. One cannot just think about new ways of generating heat – it is important to consider possible reductions as well. What consumption of energy an event of the dimension of ours inevitably requires should be provided by solar energy wherever it is feasible. This is why we installed the solar panels on the lake. After the event, we are going to install them on the roof of St. Moritz Polo AG’s building at Plazza dal Mulin, so they feed directly into the municipal grid of St. Moritz.
Ultimately, our vision is a carbon neutral St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow. We are not quite there yet – but it is a goal well worth the effort."
Interview of M. Urs E. Schwarzenbach, Chairman of the Boards of Directors of St. Moritz Polo AG.
Polo : St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow
NESPRESSO and the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow
All sport See