Dear Ski Friends,
With the Holidays upon us, it is always a pertinent time to look back on the exciting year that is concluding and look ahead to a thrilling 2014.
There were many highlights in 2013 for FIS. Naturally the World Championships across the various disciplines are always at the top of the list.
The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2013 set new standards for future hosts to live up to. Austria’s Schladming hosted an outstanding event and gave the ski world record crowds and a true ski festival that will not be forgotten quickly.
Similarly, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Italy’s Val di Fiemme were fantastic. The small villages of the valley were transformed into a thriving metropolis when the worlds of Cross-Country, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined came together for exciting competitions and celebrations.
Voss, Norway hosted a top FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships that sees an ever-expanding field of athletes in a vast array of competitions that capitivated the spectators. Similarly, Stoneham, Canada welcomed the world’s best snowboarders for the FIS World Championships and the Orgnanisers did an excellent job of welcoming the world to North America despite arctic temperatures.
In addition, FIS World Championships in the junior category as well as in the other FIS disciplines were carried out successfully thanks to perfect preparation and organisation by the local Organising Committees.
It was indeed an outstanding season for skiing and snowboarding. But the past successes are confined to history and soon to come is the event that everyone looks forward to for four years – the Olympic Winter Games. Russia will host its first-ever Winter Games in the Black Sea town of Sochi. No one knows what the outcome of the competitions will be once the cauldron is lit, which is what always makes the Olympics such an exciting event for fans and athletes alike.
I wish everyone a festive Holiday season and I look forward to seeing you all somewhere on the slopes in 2014.
Gian Franco Kasper