The race is called Snow Queen after Croatia’s skiing champion Janica Kostelic, who was nicknamed “Snow Queen” by her fans, in honour of her victories. Kostelic was the World Cup Champion in 2001, 2003 and 2006, and is considered to be one of the best female alpine skiers ever. It is thanks to her achievements that the Ski World Cup could be brought to Croatia. The decision positively influenced the reputation of the organising committee, the Croatian Ski Association and Zagreb city authorities. Zagreb got the permission to organise the race at mount Sljeme, located only twenty minutes from the city centre. Today, the Vip Snow Queen Trophy is an event that has the attention of alpine skiing fans worldwide.
Originally, the event only consisted of the ladies' slalom. The men's race followed in 2008. In 2009, the organising committee of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Vip Snow Queen Trophy Zagreb-Sljeme was included into the organisation of the next 4-year-agenda of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup. The foreseen events will take place annually, in the first week of January.
This exceptional skiing competition attracts between 15.000 and 20.000 spectators every year, and a million viewers follow the race on TV. In fact, the Sljeme competition ranks third among the most popular World Cup races on television, right after Kitzbühl and Adelboden. This year's event was broadcast by 22 TV stations in 19 countries.
In 2009, the ladies' slalom, which featured prize money of €165.000, was a daylight race, while the men competed at night. Along with the money, the winner of the women’s competition received a crystal crown, while the winner of the men’s competition got a cloak and was allowed to sit on a throne.