Through the week of the FIS Freestyle finals in Sierra Nevada, a total of eight small, discipline Crystal Globes (with two small Globes having been handed out already, at the aerials finals in Bukovel, UKR) and two big, freestyle overall Globes will be awarded to the best skiers of the 2012/2013 season.
Some of the winners have already been locked in, with Mentao Xu (CHN) and Zongyang Jia (CHN) taking the ladies' and men's aerials globes and Alex Fiva wrapping up the men's ski cross Globe this past weekened in Are, Sweden. Further, Xu was able to claim the ladies' overall title for the second year in a row.
The first World Cup Globe was produced in 1987 and the prestigious trophies have ever since been manufactured solely for the International Ski Federation based on the detailed design specifications provided by FIS. These specifications are followed precisely to this day in the production and detailed finishing of the trophies. Approximately 64 World Cup trophies are awarded yearly to the discipline and overall winners at the various FIS disciplines World Cup finals world-wide.
The FIS World Cup trophy is a product exclusively manufactured and reserved for a single purpose - honoring the best athletes in the FIS World Cup disciplines. Over the years, over 1700 World Cup trophies have been produced by the JOSKA crystal company in Bodemais, Germany. Though identical in design, the small and big trophies differ in weight (3.2 kg small trophy, 7.4 kg large trophy) and value (CHF 2'500 small trophy and CHF 5'000 large trophy).
The production time of each World Cup trophy spans two days, with each Globe being formed out of a 1200° mass of glowing, molten glass, which is then shaped by expert glass blowers into the raw form of what will become the beautiful trophy. After a ten-hour cooling period, the trophy is brought to the glasscutter who uses diamond disks to cut the unmistakable design of the snow crystals into the trophies. The FIS logos, the discipline names, and the names of the sponsors are also then engraved into the glass with the special, unique technique kept strictly secret by the JOSKA company.
When finished, the Globes are then protected in specially designed shipping cases and are moved from JOSKA company headquarters in Bodenmais to whichever corner of the planet the best skiers in the world are waiting to accept their FIS Crystal Globe trophy and take their place in history.