Wednesday, January 7, 2015

All About the Zagreb Snow Queen

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Mikaela Shiffrin won the women's Zagreb Snow Queen trophy on Sunday and Marcel Hirscher won the men's trophy on Tuesday. But what does the Snow Queen actually do? Does he or she have any real power or is the title simply ceremonial? We tasked our intrepid research team to find out the answer to this mystery. But they couldn't find anything despite using all of the most modern research methods and tools. So we did the old-fashioned thing and sent one of our intrepid reporters to Croatia. Our lionhearted journalist found a race organizer who was willing to talk about the Snow Queen trophy and everything that it entails. For this article he wanted to be known as Dragan. Let's find out what he has to say. 

BB: Tell us about the Snow Queen.
Dragan: The original Snow Queen was Janica Kostelic. Ever since Janica's time, the winner of the Zagreb slalom race is the Snow Queen.
BB: What about the male winner? Is he also the Snow Queen or can he be the Snow King?
Dragan: Both are the Snow Queen.
BB: Isn't that a bit gay for a man to be the Snow Queen?
Dragan: No. That is the name of the trophy. The men don't seem to have a problem with it. Anyway, they are Snow Queens and not drag queens. 
BB: So all you have to do to become the Snow Queen is to win a ski race?
Dragan: Not just any ski race, the Zagreb slalom race. 
BB: Athletes interested in becoming the Snow Queen don't have to do anything else like try to pull a sword out of a stone?
BB: What if the Lady of the Lake handed one of the ski racers a sword? Could that racer then become the Snow Queen?
Dragan: No. He or she must actually win the race. You don't get to be Snow Queen because a woman in a lake hands you a sword. Anyway, there are a lot of lakes in Croatia. How would the person getting the sword know if it was from the real Lady of the Lake or an imposter?
BB: Good point. Does anyone interested in being the Snow Queen have to answer a series of questions? For example, do the athletes have to state their quest or answer if they like movies about gladiators?
Dragan: No. The Snow Queen will answer some questions from reporters after the race, but that is after he or she already wins the trophy. There are no pre-qualification questions. 
BB: I see. After a racer becomes the Snow Queen, what does he or she get?
Dragan: A crystal crown and a special robe. On the podium the Snow Queen also gets to sit on a throne. 
BB: Does he or she get to keep the throne?
Dragan: No. We keep it in a special place and bring it out for the post-race podium ceremony. 
BB: You make the Snow Queen sit on a recycled throne? Are the crown and robe recycled too?
Dragan: No, the Snow Queen gets to keep the crown and robe. New ones are made every year. The crown is worth a lot because it is made of crystal.
BB: Well, that's something. What other things does the Snow Queen get besides the crown, robe, and prize money? For example, does he or she get a scepter?
Dragan: No scepter. But winner gets the title of Snow Queen. It's a big honor.
BB:  Does he or she get a castle or palace too?
Dragan: No. But if he or she saves his or her money, I suppose the Snow Queen could buy one. 
BB: But a queen is supposed to have a castle or palace. If the Snow Queen doesn't have a castle, can he or she at least have some knights to fight for him or her and serfs to work the land?
Dragan: We don't have knights and serfs in Croatia! It is a modern country!
BB: Does the Snow Queen get land even if it doesn't come with knights and serfs?
Dragan: The only land that the Snow Queen rules over is the slalom course at Sljeme.
BB: What a about a royal seal? Every queen is supposed to have a royal seal.
Dragan: No royal seal. The Snow Queen has to sign autographs with a pen, just like the other racers.
BB: Let's athlete wins a race and becomes the Snow Queen. But the Snow Queen doesn't get a scepter, castle, knights, serfs, land, or a royal seal. Is the Snow Queen at least the head of the Church of Croatia?
Dragan: There is no Church of Croatia. We are a Catholic country.
BB: Does the Snow Queen get to preside over the opening of the Croatian parliament?
Dragan: No.
BB: Is the Snow Queen the commander-in-chief of the Croatian armed forces?
Dragan: No.
BB: Can the Snow Queen issue royal proclamations?
Dragan: No.
BB: If the current Snow Queens Mikaela and Marcel have children, will they be princes or princesses?
Dragan: No. The only way for their children to become a Snow Queen is to win the race.
BB: What about going to hospitals or visiting schools? Is the Snow Queen supposed to have a special cause?
Dragan: If the Snow Queen wants to visit a school or a hospital, that would be a nice thing. But it is not a requirement to have a special cause.
BB: So what exactly does the Snow Queen do if he or she isn't the head of the Croatian armed forces or doesn't get to preside over the parliament or issue proclamations?
Dragan: I hate to tell you this, but the Snow Queen isn't a real queen. It is a ceremonial title for the winner of the Zagreb slalom races.
BB: So who's going to break the news to Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher that they are not real queens? Mikaela has won that title twice and Marcel three times. That must count for something.
Dragan: It does. They are both consistently better than everyone else on our course. Mikaela reminds me of our original Snow Queen, Janica Kostelic.
BB: Don't you think that Mikaela and Marcel should become real queens since they have won this race multiple times? If they win this race next year, they should at least get a scepter or the chance to issue a proclamation or two.
Dragan: That's not up to me to decide. I'll bring it up with the other race organizers.
BB: You should. It's a real disgrace that Mikaela and Marcel did everything possible to become the Snow Queen and all they got for it were: a crown, a robe, some money, and sitting on a recycled throne.  Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for this interview. I hope that if Mikaela and Marcel become the Snow Queens again next year, they can get some proper royal powers. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

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