FIS Honorary Member Erich Demetz

18 June 2014 13:57
Erich Demetz
Erich Demetz -
FIS

After 28 years, Erich Demetz chaired his last meeting as the Chairman of the FIS Sub-Committee for the Alpine World Cup during the FIS Congress week in Barcelona (SPA). In recognition of his outstanding services and commitment to the sport of skiing, he was named as FIS Honorary Member at the final day of the Congress.

Upon his return home in Italy, Erich Demetz took a few minutes to talk about his career with FIS.

You have just closed one big chapter of your career. What are some of the memories you have from your 28 years as Chairman?

Looking back, the general feeling is that of a beautiful time and there are definitely a lot of fond memories I have collected from those years. Certainly the first things that come to mind are the many excellent seasons I have witnessed and the countless FIS Word Cup races I have had the pleasure of being involved with. Unfortunately, during this time I have also had to witness tragedies, such as the fatal accidents of Ulrike Mayr and Gernot Reinstadler.

How much do you plan on staying involved?

After turning 72, I decided it was time to slowly stop being an active member of the various local and international organisations I have had the pleasure of being involved with for so many years. The decision to retire was something I had been thinking about since a couple of years. Time goes ahead, techniques change and are improved and it feels time for the younger generation to take over. I am sure they will improve the basis we have set. I do not plan to stay involved too much; I am a firm believer that when you step out you do so completely.

How do you see the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup developing in the near future?

In recent years the FIS World Cup has been strongly shaped by former Men’s Chief Race Director Guenter Hujara, but I have no doubt that things will work just as well with the new team led by Markus Waldner. He is my neighbour, living only a few kilometers from Val Gardena and has done a great job leading the Continental Cups for many years. I have full trust in him and the directions he is going to take.

Only two days after your last meeting chairing the Alpine World Cup Committee, you have been named a FIS Honorary Member. How does it feel to receive such a high recognition?

I am very thankful to President Gian Franco Kasper and Vice-President Janez Kocijancic who gave the laudacio. I was no longer present at the Congress, but have been informed about the speech he gave. I am grateful for everyone who made it possible for my liaison with FIS to remain indefinite, even though my involvement in the future will be minimal. I will still attend the races in Val Gardena and in two years, when the celebrations of the 50 years of World Cup come around, I will be there.

Erich Demetz’s career includes the following:

1970 Organising Committee Vice-President and Chief of Race FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Val Gardena (ITA)
1970 – 1992 FISI Vice-President
1971-2004 Chairman of the OC and Race Director of the World Cup Races in Val Gardena
1973 – 1975 Vice-Chairman FIS Alpine Committee
1975 – 1994 FIS Council Member
1976 TD Olympic Winter Games Innsbruck
1986 – 2014 Chairman Sub-Committee for Alpine World Cup
1987 Founder of the community of interests Club 5
Member Sub-Committee for Intercontinental Cup
Initiator of the world’s first interregional ski pass system, laying out the foundations for the “Dolomiti Superski”