Chat with the FIS Race Directors: Lasse Ottesen
With the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and the new competition, the ‘Nordic Combined Triple’ ahead, Nordic Combined is gearing up for one of its most exciting seasons. FIS Race Director Lasse Ottesen sat down with FIS Newsflash to talk about the upcoming season.
The season will begin in less than five weeks in Finland’s Kuusamo. How are you preparing?
At our Committee Meeting in Zurich on 5th October, all changes in rules and regulations were confirmed for the upcoming season and we expect confirmation by the FIS Council this weekend as a formality. The updates of the Continental Cup, World Cup and International Competition Rules are being prepared. The quotas for the first period will be sent out and final discussions with Swiss Timing are underway to update TV graphics. I will also be going to PyeongChang, Korea for the first 2018 Olympic Winter Games Nordic Combined inspection. In addition, the final inspection in Sochi will be held on 12th November.
With the Olympics, and also the new Nordic Combined Triple, there are two season highlights this winter.
The 2013/14 season will be very exciting. The introduction of "The Triple" in the Seefeld (AUT) is going to be a lot of fun. This is the premiere and we hope that we will have great conditions in Seefeld. It will be very interesting to see our new World Cup season highlight come to life. So far, the feedback from the media, athletes/coaches and spectators has been very positive.
The Olympic Winter Games are the biggest event of the season for Nordic Combined athletes. We are well-prepared and together with the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, we will host great events for the whole world to enjoy.
I am equally excited for both events, and look forward to one of the most exciting seasons in the history of Nordic Combined.
After a test during the Summer Grand Prix, the rules for the Triple are now set. How satisfied are you with the competition?
I am very happy with the Triple rules and regulations. This summer showed us that it will be a fight all the way to the finish line on the last competition day. The rules are simple, we are using our normal format and points system, but the athletes are taking the results with them from one day to the next which will be a new and exciting challenge for them.
The season will kick off in Kuusamo. What can you expect and why have you decided to open the winter with a team event?
Kuusamo has been the Nordic Opening for more than ten seasons, so we know the venue, conditions and atmosphere very well. The challenge with Kuusamo is that it can be very cold and windy for the first World Cup competition of the season, which makes conditions difficult for the athletes. But in the last seasons, we have seen some great events and I am sure that we will have a great start of the 2013/14 season again. We decided to start this Olympic season with a Team Event in order to encourage "patriotic" feelings. Feedback from the athletes about this event is good and it is a great way to start the Olympic season with a lot of team spirit.