45. Vilamoura (POR) 2006
The 45th International Ski Congress convened at the Tivoli Marinotel in Vilamoura/Algarve (POR) and saw the participation of 990 delegates from 66 member nations.
Re-election of President Kasper
Gian Franco Kasper was re-elected as FIS President with enthusiastic applause of the 45th International Ski Congress. Accepting his election, he began his third four-year term by promising to do his best for the federation, while adding that it will be up to others to judge whether that is enough.
In his opening speech to the Vilamoura Congress, Gian Franco Kasper commented on the two-year period since the 2004 Congress in Miami (USA). He observed that the 2004/05 and 2005/6 seasons have been “quite successful for FIS and for the sport of skiing,” including carrying out an outstanding total of approximately 10’800 international skiing competitions, let alone several superb FIS World Championships and the magnificent Olympic Winter Games in Turin. However, he also noted that “quantity does not automatically mean quality” and that FIS will be challenged to “rectify certain shortcomings in the organization during the next competition seasons.”
President Gian Franco Kasper also underlined that “the philosophy of FIS has never been and shall never be to work for the financial benefit of the organizers at very few National Ski Associations, but for the benefit of all National Ski Associations world-wide and the development of our sport as such.” He stressed that it is his very personal philosophy to “generate income for the sport, but not from the sport” and asked the international ski family to continue to work together for “realistic solutions especially concerning finances and division of income” so as to ensure the promotion of skiing world-wide also in the future.
Potential new Olympic events
Given the success of the new Olympic events, the 45th FIS Congress decided to request the IOC Executive Board to consider the inclusion of three new events in the Olympic Winter Games program. These events are: the ladies’ Ski Jumping, the nations’ team event in Alpine Skiing, and the men's and ladies’ ski cross in Freestyle Skiing and the request for Ladies Ski Jumping event pertains inclusion in the program of the Olympic Winter Games as early as in Vancouver (CAN) in 2010.
Ladies’ Ski Jumping was also added into the program of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Pending approval by the organiser, an individual event on the normal hill could be included as soon as at the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (CZE) and a team event as of the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo (NOR).
A Nordic Combined Mass Start competition was also added into the program of the FIS Nordic World Championships. Pending approval by the organiser, the event could be introduced as early as at the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (CZE).
Moreover, the Congress adopted detailed criteria for FIS disciplines and events, including the possibility of exclusion of a discipline from FIS when it is no longer practiced in at least twelve National Ski Associations on at least two continents. It also decided that the status of FIS World Championships and FIS Junior World Championships in all disciplines may only be afforded when there are a minimum of eight (8) nations participating/represented in a competition.
Three new Council Members for 2006-2008
New members of the FIS Council for a two-year term (2006-2008) include Jaakko Holkeri (FIN), Eduardo Roldan (SPA), and Leonid Tyagachev (RUS).
Anatolij Akentiev (RUS) was appointed as Honorary Member of FIS whilst the Alpine Skiing Federation of the Republic of Armenia was affiliated as a Full Member of FIS, and Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Ethiopia, Ghana and Madagascar as Associated Members.