Chat with the FIS Race Directors: Chika Yoshida
With ladies’ Ski Jumping new on the programme of the Olympic Winter Games, the discipline is gearing up for an exciting future. FIS ladies’ Ski Jumping Race Director Chika Yoshida sat down with FIS Newsflash to talk about the next season.
What will be new for ladies' Ski Jumping in the upcoming winter?
In our summer season we've already welcomed a new Organiser with Nizhniy Tagil (RUS) and it will continue in this vein in winter.
We will start our season with the traditional locations, Lillehammer (NOR) and Hinterzarten (GER) but then we move on to new hills such Chaikovsky (RUS) in January and Rasnov (ROU) after the Olympic Games. The Organisers are very motivated to host ladies' World Cup events.
During the recent FIS Technical Autumn Meetings in Zurich, the Ski Jumping Committee also confirmed that there will be an additional large hill competition in Planica (SLO) where the season finals will be held. Planica is already a very traditional venue for the men's World Cup. Overall, there will be two events on the large hill for the ladies this season.
What can the fans especially look forward to?
This will be the third World Cup season for the ladies and many fans have already become familiar with the athletes' names and faces and know the favourites. This makes it more interesting to follow our competitions. 2013/14 is the first Olympic season for the ladies and it will be very exciting in this aspect.
As it will be the first time the ladies compete at Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, you must be very excited, just like the athletes, or will this just be a competition like the others for you?
The competition and the sport itself is the same as in any other World Cup. On the other hand it will be a historic moment for ladies' Ski Jumping. The ladies will receive Olympic medals for the first time ever and viewers and fans from all over the world will watch this competition. This will be something special and therefore I'm really excited. I am sure that the impact of this big event could influence the future of our sport.
The interest in ladies' Ski Jumping increased enormously over the past years. What effect does this have on the competitions and the general environment of the sport?
Of course it helps to raise the level of ladies' Ski Jumping in general, concerning the TV production, the organisation of World Cup events and so on.
The quality of ladies' World Cup competitions has definitely improved since the start of the series.
There is no doubt that ladies' Ski Jumping is an attractive sport, however the number of competitors is still relatively small compared to the men's events. I am hoping the effect will be that we will be able to increase the number of competitors from year to year.