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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Andorra, Russia debut in FIS Alpine World Cup
Last weekend saw two successful historical firsts for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup as one of Europe's smallest countries - Andorra - and its biggest one - Russia - both entered the circle of World Cup organizing nations, becoming the 24th and 25th countries to host the Alpine World Cup since January 1967.
The challenging men's downhill course at Rosa Khutor was raced for the first time and received a lot of praise for the technical challenge it offers, including spectacular jumps and a lot of terrain. The first-time Organizers spared no efforts to stage a top event despite the ongoing construction and considerable security measures accompanying the visit of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev.
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper commented: "It's difficult to imagine how things have changed here in recent years. A lot has been achieved for snow sports. I remember going up to the slope on a dirt road, and there was nothing around. Now there are dozens of lifts and buildings, nice hotels, restaurants; it's incredible."
He added: "The alpine facilities are ready! There are of course things still to be improved on the slopes and logistics, but basically everything has gone really well during these Audi FIS Ski World Cup events," he added. "More lifts will be constructed from the valley and I'm confident that the infrastructure needed for the other FIS disciplines, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, will soon be ready for use. Alpine Skiing is the first major winter sport to have now tested the Olympic venue and much precious information was gathered by the FIS professionals and the National Ski Association delegations. We hope that the discipline will soon boom in Russia with all these new facilities. After the 2014 Games, the FIS Technical Committees will certainly consider coming back here for more World Cup racing."
From a sports perspective, the star of the men's weekend in Russia was Switzerland's Beat Feuz who collected another downhill victory this season and finished 2nd in the super combined. The first small crystal globe of the season however will be presented to Croatia's Ivica Kostelic who won Sunday's super combined thanks to a strong slalom run. For Kostelic winning the fourth small globe came at a price as he sustained another knee injury and had to undergo a cartilege operation on Monday. The greatest surprise in Rosa Khutor was the exhilarating run to his first career podium in Saturday's downhill by Canada's Ben Thomsen who can now officially call himself a Canadian Cowboy thanks to a top 3 finish.
In Andorra, the ladies' tour also enjoyed perfect organization by another debutant World Cup Organizer in Soldeu-Grandvalira. Unfortunately, Friday's giant slalom, itself a make-up race for Courchevel, ended up having to be cancelled due to heavy winds. On Saturday, the wind continued to challenge the ladies but the slalom race was carried out and ended up with another victory for the slalom queen Marlies Schild (AUT). On Sunday, France's Tessa Worley took her second straight giant slalom win and in so doing took over the World Cup leader's red jersey. The athletes expressed great pleasure with their visit to Andorra, complimenting the slope and general organization across the board.
Atle Skaardal, FIS Chief Race Director for ladies' Alpine commented: "We are very happy with the first World Cup in Andorra. The Organizing Committee is very experienced after years of staging FIS-level and European Cup races so we were very confident about their capabilities. It is also a great slope here and all the stakeholders were very pleased with our weekend of racing. Unfortunately we were unlucky with the heavy winds, which are not at all typical of Soldeu-Grandvalira, yet this time led to the cancellation of Friday's giant slalom."
For more details, visit www.fisalpine.com
Includes contributions by Patrick Lang