FIS alpine committee updates
The traditional FIS Autumn meetings were held last week in Zurich as an occasion for the various alpine sub-committees and working groups to meet and finalise preparations for the upcoming season. As usual when heading into an Olympic season, there were no major rule changes. However, some important topics were discussed and decisions made.
At the Sub-Committee for Alpine World Cup, two candidates were bidding for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals 2021: the Bulgarian venue Bansko and the Swiss resort Lenzerheide. The FIS race directors inspected both competition sites and attested that Bansko and Lenzerheide are both in a very good shape to host the Finals. The vote of the Sub-Committee was in favour or the Swiss organiser, so Lenzerheide will organise its sixth World Cup Finals and welcome the 25 best ladies and men for the season final in 2021.
On the men’s World Cup, the new giant slalom ski radius that was decided last year will go into effect from the Sölden opener onward. Additionally, the coaches’ working group agreed to no longer appoint all course setters at the beginning of the season. Instead, they'll draw each course setter five days prior to the competition. This will bring more suspense to the tour and improve fairness by preventing the teams from planning to train specific combinations on specific slopes prior to the competition.
Not having experienced any issues with course setters in the past, the ladies' side opted to draw all course setters at the start of the season. But another topic was of great interest to the ladies' tour: the official proposal from U.S. Ski & Snowboard to grant Lindsey Vonn a one-time exception (based on her great achievements) to race with the men in the 2018 Lake Louise downhill. Earlier in the week, the Executive Board decided to table this decision and discuss this motion again at the FIS Congress next May since the request was for a competition in the 2018/19 calendar year.
Future World Cup calendars for the upcoming years were also presented. The season 2017/18 will count 79 competitions in 32 resorts, with a season final in Are (Sweden), where all the tracks and infrastructures for the World Championships 2019 will be tested. Oslo made its entrance onto the World Cup calendar with a highly anticipated City Event in the Holmenkollen arena on January 1st, while Courchevel will host a parallel slalom and Garmisch-Partenkirchen a two-run downhill for the first time.
The season highlight will indubitably be the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in February 2018. The final inspection showed that the speed venue in Jeongseon and the tech venue in YongPyong are ready to welcome the athletes and host the races for Olympic medals.
Full calendar: 2017/18 season
*All proposal/decisions are subject to approval of the FIS Council which will meet in November for the final decisions.