Race favourites Lara Gut-Behrami and Vincent Kriechmayr have finally launched the world championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo with super-g triumphs.
Swiss Gut-Behrami landed her first world gold following three silvers and two bronzes, confirming her outstanding form after dominating the last four World Cup races in the discipline.
The men's race had a curious start after the first three skiers went off the course in the same spot but it was no problem for Austrian super-g World Cup leader Kriechmayr as he too won his maiden world gold.
Gut was a convincing victor, clocking 1 minute 25.51 seconds to beat teammate Corinne Suter by 0.34 seconds.
Defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, was third, 0.47sec behind the winner.
"I wanted to show what I can do. And that a career is not only measured by a gold medal," Gut-Behrami said.
"Today at the start I thought to myself, 'if they had suggested to me years ago 30 World Cup victories or a gold medal - then I would have taken the 30 victories'.
"I have achieved so much in my life that it doesn't depend on a medal."
Shiffrin praised Gut-Behrami, saying: "I think we all agree that Lara really deserved to win today. She has been the strongest in the entire season.
Shiffrin's last super-g start saw her win in Bansko, Bulgaria, in January 2020, a few days before the death of her father.
"One year without a super-g race was not easy for me, I'm really happy with my skiing, just exactly how I wanted," added the US great.
Later, Kriechmayr won the men's race in 1:19.41 while Romed Baumann, an Austrian competing for Germany, was left in tears of delight after he finished second, just 0.07sec behind.
Overall World Cup leader Alexis Pinturault of France completed the podium, 0.38 seconds off the winner.
"I saw the first three runners at the start and they all went off. I thought I'd take the passage with more feeling," Kriechmayer said.
"I planned to drift to the left - but then I already crossed before the jump. That was a 100-metre drift, I've never done that in my life. It was an unusual situation. But that's what makes our sport, you have to improvise, especially in the super-g."
The super-g races were the first of the championships which were originally scheduled to start on Monday, only to be hit by adverse weather.