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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Saying goodbye: Freestyle, Snowboard, Telemark
Shortly before training for the new season is about to start, it is time for a summary of top Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding and Telemark athletes who have announced their retirement after the 2010/11 season. Despite the absence of World Championships and Olympic Games in the next season, surprisingly few athletes have chosen to move on ahead of the 2011/12 season, which will be followed by another FIS World Championship winter in 2013.
The retiring stars in Freestyle Skiing include some who have played a key role in defining the sport in the past years. Those finishing their active career are led by the 2006 mogul Olympic champion Jennifer Heil (CAN) and her aerials teammate on the men's side Ryan Blais, who announced his retirement after being on the Canadian National Team for ten years, as well as the Swiss aerial skier Christian Hächler.
Jennifer Heil, one of Canada's most-decorated athletes, earned 58 career World Cup podiums, as well as winning the first gold medal for Canada in the 2006 Games in Turin and a silver medal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. It is rare that an athlete can write her own ending, but Jenn finished her career on the World Cup podium for the 10th time in the 2010/11 season, and as the reigning world champion in both moguls and dual moguls. She came second in the mogul season standings behind Hannah Kearney of the USA. Ryan Blais finished his career with 19 top-ten FIS World Cup results, including eight podiums highlighted by two wins despite having his career blighted by various injuries.
The FIS Snowboard circuit is losing three Swiss men including Roland Haldi (PAR), Hans Reichen (SBX) and Rolf Feldmann (HP). They are joined in retirement by the Austrian triple World Championship medal winner Doris Günther. The 32-year-old Günther from Zell am See competed for Austria at the 2010 Games in parallel giant slalom, finishing ninth. She went on to capturethe bronze medal at the 2011 FIS Snowboard World Championships after having previously won two silver medals at the 2009 FIS Snowboard World Championships. Her biggest success was claiming the overall title in the 2008/09 season when she won nine World Cup races in total. With three Olympic appearances, she just finished off the podium in fourth in 2006.
On the men's side, the 32-year-old parallel giant slalom specialist Roland Haldi has one World Cup victory from February 2007 in Bardonecchia. The Swiss earned eight World Cup podium finishes in total, whilst his teammate Rolf Feldmann landed on the podium twice in his career, whose main reason for retirement are mostly back problems. 29-year-old Hans „Johnny" Reichen also terminates his career for health reasons. The snowboard-cross specialist has been suffering from persistent neck pain.
One of the most successful Telemark skiers of the past ten years, Eirik Rykhus has also decided to retire. The 29-year-old Norwegian leaves the world of Telemark Skiing with a whopping 75 World Cup podium finishes and 10 World Championship medals. He stood on the World Cup podium for the first time in 2001 and won 35 World Cups in his career.
Not many athletes can look back on such an impressive career, which earned him the nickname "Snake" after winning his first World Cup in the United States in 2002. Rykhus has been the major driving force for the sport of Telemark Skiing in Norway.
Contributed by Sandra Kühni
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