Quick Hits: One year to Åre 2019
Åre 2019 celebrated its one-year-milestone to the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on 5th February. The coming year will be filled with final preparations, planning and the Audi FIS Ski World Cup finals in March 2018 which will serve as official test for the Championships.
For further information, visit the event website www.are2019.com
Canada Post celebrates Canadian Women in Winter Sports
Last week, Canada Post presented the new Stamp Collection of Women in Winter Sport that have had an impact in their field of sport and the culture they represent.
The collection includes six athletes, of which three are FIS athletes, in five stamps: Sharon and Shirley Firth (cross-country skiing); Nancy Greene (alpine skiing); Sonja Gaudet (wheelchair curling); Danielle Goyette (hockey); and Clara Hughes (cycling and speed skating).
Sharon and Shirley Firth, representing the Indigenous part of the Canadian population, transformed Inuvik into a hotbed of Nordic skiing. They competed in four Olympic Games and four World Ski Championships and dominated their sport from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, winning 79 medals at the national championships, including 48 national titles.
Nancy Greene put Canada on the map in alpine skiing. She competed at Squaw Valley in 1960, Innsbruck in 1964 and Grenoble in 1968, winning gold and silver medals. Canada’s Female Athlete of the 20th Century, Greene won 17 Canadian titles, 13 World Cup victories including the first ever FIS World Cup overall title in 1968 and three U.S. Ski Championships.
Royals help children take part in an afternoon ski school session
Prince William and Kate Middleton wrapped up the final leg of their Scandinavian tour last Friday. Together with their Norwegian counterparts, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon, they visited the Holmenkollen Ski Jump — one of Oslo's most iconic landmarks. During the outing, the Duchess of Cambridge revealed that her four-year-old son, Prince George, took up skiing last year. Kate showed off her maternal skills helping local nursery children take part in an afternoon ski school session on the slopes organised by the Norwegian Ski Federation.
Sub-Committee for Youth & Children’s meets in Davos
Chaired by Ken Read, the FIS Youth & Children’s Sub-Committee held a meeting on 5th February in conjunction with the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Davos (SUI). Many of the Committee members were present as coaches or support personnel at the Championships.
The meeting addressed current issues, including the transition of athletes to FIS World Cup level, current and future formats, the ratio between technical and speed events, equipment rules, cooperation between the nations and next editions of FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships.
Styrian Ski Association celebrates 125th anniversary
The Ski Association of Styria celebrated its 125th anniversary last week in Muerzzuschlag. It was on 2nd February 1893 when alpine skiing and ski jumping competitions were first held in Muerzzuschlag and the Styrian Ski Association found its first mention in the history books.
Among the many guests who had come to celebrate this landmark was FIS Council Member and President of the Austrian Ski Association, Peter Schröcksnadel. Further special guests included former and current successful athletes from Styria including Herbert Neuper (multiple Olympic silver medallist in ski jumping) and Renate Goetschl (multiple World Champion in alpine skiing) who shared their anecdotes with the many locals.
Participants were treated to a film which was especially produced for the occasion and highlights the 125-year history of the Styrian Ski Association.
Styria remains the only Austrian state which has hosted World Championships in all six FIS disciplines on the Olympic programme.
Kirsty Coventry announced as next Chair of IOC Athletes’ Commission
Following a vote of confidence from all members of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission, Zimbabwean Olympic swimmer Kirsty Coventry was officially appointed by the IOC President as the IOC Athlete Commission’s chair during a joint meeting between the IOC Executive Board and Athletes’ Commission in PyeongChang.
Coventry has been a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission since 2012, and has played a significant role in developing the Commission’s new strategy, which was presented by the current Chair, Angela Ruggiero, at the International Athletes’ Forum last November.
After stepping up to Chair from Vice Chair at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Angela Ruggiero will see her term end at the close of the Olympic Winter Games on 25th February.