Committee Updates from Telemark, Grass Skiing and Speed Skiing

16 October 2014 07:24
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In the course of the 2014 FIS Technical Committee meetings in Zurich (SUI), more than 100 different meetings took place among the FIS disciplines and other areas of activity such as Medical, Advertising and Legal. Below is an overview of the major topics addressed in Telemark, Grass Skiing and Speed Skiing.

Telemark Committee

The FIS Telemark Committee had a successful meeting in Zurich primarily looking at details for the upcoming season. Competitions will begin in late November (28th -30th  on the Hintertux Glacier (AUT) and the season will end with the World Cup Finals in Rjukan (NOR) in March. In total, racers will compete in 20 World Cup races in Central Europe and Scandinavia.

The spotlight this winter will be the FIS World Championships for both juniors and seniors in Steamboat Springs (USA). All eyes will be on the defending champions, Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Tobias Mueller (GER), both with overall World Cup and individual World Championship titles.

The biggest step this season is the implementation of standard software for timekeeping. Software from the French company Vola will be provided for all Organisers of FIS Telemark World Cups that also automates the transfer of result files to FIS which allows for quicker publishing. At the same time, all provisions for live TV production are met with the new programme. In addition, live streaming will be available from a number of FIS Telemark World Cup events this season.

With these key changes, the Committee hopes to shift the positioning of Telemark Skiing towards greater marketing value and media exposure. Its’ primary strategic goal remains the inclusion of Telemark Skiing onto the programme of the Olympic Winter Games.

Grass Skiing Committee

The FIS Grass Skiing Committee Meeting held its meeting on 4th October 2014 and focused mainly on reports from the 2014 Grass Skiing season and Junior World Championship presentations from the Organisers of the Tambre 2015 Grass Ski World Championships (ITA) and Stitna 2015 Junior World Championships (CZE). Additionally extensive discussions took place on new initiatives to structure the Committee by creating Working Groups to be more effective with its work.

There is a desire from the members to further harmonise the development of Grass Skiing between the more developed and younger up and coming Grass Skiing nations.

Speed Skiing

During its meeting in Zurich, the Speed Skiing Committee established a working group for marketing and sponsorship charged with increasing the profile of the discipline and improving its exposure in the international media.

The last two seasons have been very exciting and have attracted a lot of attention, thanks to the barrier of 220km/h being broken for the first time at a FIS event since the 1992 Olympic Winter Games.

The past season saw an incredibly tight fight for the men’s overall Speed Ski World Cup title between Ivan Origone (ITA) and Klaus Schrottshammer (AUT).  Schrottshammer eventually took the crystal globe and a few weeks later, Simone Origone (ITA), set a new world record in Vars (FRA) with 252.454km/h.

Press coverage in France was good for these events thanks to the experienced and capable organisation of the Organising Committee, however worldwide media attention was disappointing. The Working Group will assist in trying to ensure better international media coverage of events in the future.  The World Championships in Pas de la Casa (AND) from 27th February – 1st March 2015 will be the first event on which the Working Group will focus its attention.

Under the supervision of Nadal Antor, Grandvalira / Pas de la Casa have turned what was only four years ago a FIS speed ski race track into a venue worthy of a World Championship and with good organisational infrastructure. Considerable investment has been made to create a second track and, with the construction of a tower, speeds of over 190km/h can be expected in Andorra.