News from the World of Skiing 

  And the Globes go to: Hosp and Svindal ... more

  Manninen makes history by taking 4th straight World Cup title ... more

  Krings and Schoch claim overall Snowboard Globes ... more

  Nordic World Cups at Holmenkollen ... more

  Tarvisio 2007: Third straight Marc-Hodler-Trophy for Norway ... more

  Great sport at Airolo 2007 ... more

  7th FIS Telemark World Ski Championships begin in Thyon (SUI) ... more

  Two double victories for France at Military World Skiing Champs ... more


 Council's Corner 

  Q&A with Dr. Lee (KOR) ... more


 Inside FIS 

  Messner steps down ... more

  FIS Academy: Flexible education for skiers and snowboarders ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

And the Globes go to: Hosp and Svindal
Nicole Hosp (AUT)
Photo: Agence Zoom
Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR)
Photo: Agence Zoom

It was suspense pure at this year's Audi FIS Alpine World Cup finals at Lenzerheide (SUI). It was also the first time in history that the winners in both the ladies' and men's overall World Cup rankings were decided in the very last race of the season. In the end, the happy winners of the big crystal globes were Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) and Nicole Hosp (AUT). Both skiers needed to be - and were - at their best in the final races.

Although he had led the rankings for most of the season, Svindal turned on yet another gear during the finals week under the bright sunny Swiss skies. After winning the downhill on Wednesday, the super-G on Thursday and the giant slalom on Saturday, Svindal needed to finish in the top 15 in the final slalom to triumph (since only the top 15 earn points at the finals). His challenger Benjamin Raich (AUT) needed to win with Svindal placing 16th or worse. In the end, Raich won and Svindal finished 15th, meaning that the overall World Cup title went to Norway with a 13-point margin. As the only skier to race in every event this season, Svindal scored in 32 of the 36 races held. He won five races all season; three of them at Lenzerheide. With a remarkable performance in Sunday's slalom, Raich - a six-time-season winner - claimed the slalom title ahead of teammate Mario Matt.

Marlies Schild (AUT) surrendered the overall lead in Saturday's slalom which Hosp won, her second-ever slalom World Cup victory and first since December 2003. On Sunday, Schild needed to make up 30 points on Hosp to win the coveted large crystal globe. With best times in both runs in the final giant slalom, Hosp gave Schild no chance and clinched the title with a margin of 90 points. Hosp's overall title marked the first time in five years that an Austrian female has claimed ski racing's top prize. She scored in 30 of the 35 ladies races and only won four races all season, while finishing 2nd eight times!

Overall, the Austrians, especially the ladies, had another superb season. Hosp, Schild and Renate Goetschl, the latter two of whom celebrated eight season victories each, shared all the World Cup crystal globes among the three of them. Austria ended up winning the Nations Cup by 8 874 points over Switzerland which ranked 2nd. It was the 18th straight time the Austrians have won. At the same time, 13 different nations garnered wins in the 72 races held this season.

Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2006/2007 champions
Overall ladies: Nicole Hosp (AUT)
Overall men: Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR)
Slalom ladies: Marlies Schild (AUT)
Slalom men: Benjamin Raich (AUT)
Giant slalom ladies: Nicole Hosp (AUT)
Giant slalom men: Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR)
Super-G ladies: Renate Goetschl (AUT)
Super-G men: Bode Miller (USA)
Downhill ladies: Renate Goetschl (AUT)
Downhill men: Didier Cuche (SUI)
Super combined ladies: Marlies Schild (AUT)
Super combined men: Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR)
Nations' Cup: Austria

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Benjamin Raich & Marlies Schild

Raich and Schild top the prize money rankings

Benjamin Raich and Marlies Schild emerged at the top of the season's prize money list. It is only the third time in history that the overall World Cup winners did not win the prize money rankings as well.

Schild finished on the podium a total of 14 times this season. Her season earnings of 475 772 Swiss francs amount to the third-highest total ever; the record is held by Janica Kostelic (CRO) with CHF 561 646 earned last season. Benni Raich's ten podium finishes netted him CHF 350 465 which was enough to defend his 2006 top spot in the prize money list. He is the fifth man to conquer the prize money ranking two years in a row.

Men, in CHF
1. Benjamin Raich (AUT) 350 465
2. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 268 088
3. Jens Byggmark (SWE) 265 910
4. Mario Matt (AUT) 257 441
5. Bode Miller (USA) 220 085

Ladies, in CHF
1. Marlies Schild (AUT) 475 772
2. Renate G”tschl (AUT) 387 000
3. Nicole Hosp (AUT) 383 455
4. Julia Mancuso (USA) 312 340
5. Lindsey Kildow (USA) 221 581

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Manninen makes history by taking 4th straight World Cup title
Hannu Manninen (FIN)
Photo: NordicFocus
Felix Gottwald (AUT)
Photo: NordicFocus

Strong winds wreaked havoc at the Warsteiner FIS World Cup Nordic Combined season finals in Oslo (NOR) last weekend. The second-to-last event had to be cancelled due to the wind on Saturday, and the final event, the compact sprint, was delayed for several hours. Jason Lamy-Chappuis (FRA), the winner of the first event of the season also took the last one, just like last season, while winning the small crystal globe for the sprint. Ranking 2nd, Felix Gottwald (AUT) celebrated his 55th podium in his 171st and final World Cup start. Despite finishing 29th, Hannu Manninen (FIN) claimed his fourth consecutive overall World Cup title, becoming the first person in history to do so. Altogether, Manninen now has 45 World Cup victories and 83 career podiums.

The 2007 Nordic Combined Nations' Cup went to Austria, followed by Finland and Germany. All in all, 58 athletes scored World Cup points and six nations took home at least one World Cup victory in the 16 competitions this season.

Warsteiner FIS World Cup Nordic Combined 2006/2007 champions
Overall World Cup: Hannu Manninen (FIN)
Sprint World Cup: Jason Lamy-Chappuis (FRA)
Nations' Cup: Austria

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Krings (AUT) and Schoch (SUI) claim overall Snowboard Globes
Simon Schoch (SUI) and Doresia Krings (AUT)

The Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup season came to a conclusion over the weekend in Stoneham, Eastern Quebec (CAN) with Doresia Krings and Simon Schoch claiming the large crystal globes as the overall World Cup champions. Both also won the small globes for the parallel World Cup although the Swiss pair of Fraenzi Kohli and Heinz Inniger won the last event of the season. While it was the first overall title for Krings, Schoch repeated his 2006 victories in the parallel and overall wins.

The snowboardcross season closed in Stoneham with wins by two first-time World Cup victors: Helene Olafsen (NOR) and Pierre Vaultier (FRA). Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) already secured her World Cup title in the second-to-last race in Lake Placid while Drew Neilson (CAN), who won three of the four races, confirmed his title by placing third in the last event. In the season's last half-pipe competition, the Swiss duo of Manuela Laura Pesko and Daniel Friberg grabbed the top spots. Japan's Ryoh Aono took the men's crown despite finishing second in the last event while Pesko took the title ahead of Holly Crawford (AUS).

In the 50 World Cup competitions, 18 nations celebrated podium finishes, 14 of them taking the top spot at least once. With a total of 34 top three appearances, Switzerland was the most successful nation, followed by Canada (14), USA (15) and Austria (24).

Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup 2006/2007 champions
Overall ladies: Doresia Krings (AUT)
Overall men: Simon Schoch (SUI)
Parallel ladies: Doresia Krings (AUT)
Parallel men: Simon Schoch (SUI)
Snowboardcross ladies: Lindsay Jacobellis (USA)
Snowboardcross men: Drew Neilson (CAN)
Half-pipe ladies: Manuela Laura Pesko (SUI)
Half-pipe men: Ryoh Aono (JPN)
Big air men: Peetu Piiroinen (FIN)

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Nordic World Cups at Holmenkollen
Tobias Angerer (GER)
Photo: NordicFocus
Adam Malysz (POL)
Photo: NordicFocus

After the Lahti Ski Games, the Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country continued in Drammen (NOR). In the city sprint last Wednesday, the overall World Cup winner Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) confirmed her victory in this year's sprint World Cup by prevailing over Petra Majdic (SLO). In the men's race Boerre Naess (NOR) celebrated his second World Cup victory ever, while Tobias Angerer ensured his second straight World Cup crystal globe with three races to spare. Angerer is only the third male to collect the World Cup overall title two times in a row, after Per Elofsson (SWE) in 2001 and 2002, Bj”rn D„hlie (NOR) und Gunde Svan (SWE).

In Oslo (NOR) last Saturday, Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) took her maiden World Cup victory in the traditional 30 km race in the classical technique. The Holmenkollen race was also the first trial for the so-called `pit stop' which allowed the athletes to change skis during the competition. All athletes on the ladies' podium used the chance to change skis after 12.5 km. Virpi Kuitunen, who finished 2nd thanks to a strong finish, also confirmed her victory in the distance World Cup. In the men's 50km race, Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset (NOR) again demonstrated his late-season shape by winning 9.8 seconds ahead of Angerer who thereby secured the small crystal globe in the distance World Cup.

The third competition in the Nordic Tournament, that is part of the e.on ruhrgas FIS World Cup Ski Jumping, had to be cancelled in Lillehammer (NOR) due to strong winds on Friday, but thanks to the support of the organizers could be re-scheduled the following day at Holmenkollen. Delivering the best jumps in both rounds, Adam Malysz took a clear victory despite the challenging conditions. In Sunday's official Holmenkollen ski jumping competition and last event in the Nordic Tournament, Simon Ammann (SUI) won the one-round event as the second round was canceled because of strong winds. Anders Jacobsen (NOR) reclaimed the overall World Cup lead from Malysz with a 7th place finish. Malysz is now 14 points behind Jacobsen whilst Ammann is 3rd. Despite finishing 54th in the last event, Malysz triumphed in the Nordic Tournament, 2.1 points ahead of Andreas Kofler (AUT). The World Cup season ends next weekend with three ski flying competitions on the world's largest Ski Flying hill at Planica (SLO).

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Tarvisio 2007: Third straight Marc-Hodler-Trophy for Norway
Charlotte Kalla (SWE)
Lisa Demetz (ITA)

The 2007 FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships and U-23 Cross-Country World Ski Championships concluded in Tarvisio (ITA) on Sunday. Almost 600 athletes and several hundred officials participated in the event which represents the largest event in the FIS Nordic disciplines after the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The official U-23 FIS Cross-Country World Ski Championships were staged for the second time.

With eight medals, four gold and four silver, Sweden won the event medals ranking, followed by Norway with ten medals (3/2/5) ahead of Switzerland (3/1/0), Russia (2/3/0) and Finland (2/2/3). Overall, 17 countries won medals in Tarvisio, while Norway collected the coveted Marc-Hodler-Trophy for the third time in a row. With 139 points the team finished clearly ahead of Germany with 85 and Finland with 75 points.

Charlotte Kalla of Sweden was the most successful athlete with four medals, two gold and two silver medals. Astrid Jacobsen (NOR), the sprint 2007 World Champion from Sapporo, collected three medals, of which two were gold and one bronze. In the men's Cross-Country, Martti Jylhae of Finland returned home with a gold and a silver medal. In the U-23 category, Dario Cologna of Switzerland, the youngest ever winner of the Engadin Ski Marathon, took two titles.

In Ski Jumping, Shohei Tochimoto (JPN) captured two silver medals while in the second-ever ladies' Ski Jumping FIS Junior World Championship event, 17-year-old Lisa Demetz of Italy emerged with the gold medal, just 1.5 points ahead of 15-year-old Katie Willis (CAN) and 2.5 points ahead of Maja Vtic (SLO) who finished 3rd. In Nordic Combined, Anssi Koivuranta (FIN), the bronze medalist in the individual Gundersen event and team World Champion in Sapporo, garnered another two medals, gold and silver. Alfred Rainer (AUT) returned home with the team gold and two individual bronze medals.

The 2008 FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships and U-23 Cross-Country World Ski Championships will be held in Sczcyrk (POL) from 3rd -10th February.

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Great sport at Airolo 2007
Ladies' moguls medalists

The 3rd FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championships concluded Monday in Airolo, Ticino
(SUI) with the Dual Mogul competitions. Athletes representing 19 nations competed in all the five official events at the Championships - ski cross, half-pipe, moguls, aerials and dual moguls - staged in beautiful spring weather and great conditions in Southern Switzerland. Ten nations collected medals at the 3rd FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championships at Airolo, eight of them gold. The top rank in the medals table was claimed by USA with nine medals (2 gold/5 silver/2 bronze), followed by France and Switzerland with four each. USA also collected the Marc-Hodler-Trophy.

The ski cross course was designed by Reto Griesenhofer, a former Swiss national team downhill coach. The 1170-meter-long course had several large jumps with several banked turns and some long gliding sections. This suited the Swiss team very well as they took all the top spots in the men's race, led by Renato Trummer. The aerials competitions were held under the lights and the men's champion, Maxim Gustik (BLR), won with a very high score for the junior category after he performed a back double full double which has four twists in flips. Finally, it may have been a light season for snow in Europe, but the Airolo half-pipe was constructed out of snow to provide a good test for the competitors.

The most successful athletes included Ekaterina Stoliarova of Russia who earned gold and silver from moguls and dual moguls, respectively, to accompany the gold medal she won at the 2006 Junior Worlds in Krasnoe Ozero (RUS). Jay Bowman-Kirigin (USA), the 2007 World Cup Rookie of the Year in the men's moguls, captured silver in moguls and bronze in dual moguls, flipping his results from 2006 when he took silver in duals and bronze in moguls. The gold medalist in the ladies' ski cross, Alizee Boulangeat (FRA), the younger sister of Madonna di Campiglio silver medalist Meryl Boulangeat and herself a two-time medalist at 2006 Junior Worlds, just narrowly missed her second medal at Airolo as she finished fourth in the ladies' dual moguls. Another impressive performance was delivered by the moguls skiers from Kazakstan, with Dmitriy Reiherd taking the gold and Yuliya Rodionova the bronze in the dual moguls. In moguls, Reiherd qualified first, but crashed in the finals and ended up 16th.

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7th FIS Telemark World Ski Championships begin in Thyon (SUI)

The 7th FIS Telemark World Ski Championships begin on 21st March in the Thyon Region with the Telemark sprint classic competitions. The Opening Ceremony took place on Tuesday evening with Jean-Pierre Meyer, President of the Organizing Committee, officially opening the event. 99 athletes representing 15 nations have been registered to participate. Medals will be awarded in three events for the ladies and men in both the open and junior categories. After considerable snowfall early this week, the Thyon region is ready for a week of exciting sporting competitions.

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Two double victories for France at Military World Skiing Champs

The 49th edition of the CISM (International Military Sports Council or Conseil International du Sport Militaire) Military World Skiing Championships are taking place in Estonia this week. The competition program includes Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon races for the ladies and men, as well as a special patrol competition for each. Due to a lack of snow, the Cross-Country competitions were moved from Haanja to Otep„„, the host of 20 FIS World Cup Cross-Country events. In today's Cross-Country races, the French team with well-known World Cup names took two double victories as Karine Philippot and Vincent Vittoz won while Coraline Hugue and˙Emmanuel Jonnier˙finished 2nd.˙For more information, please visit here

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 Council's Corner 

Q&A with Dr. Lee (KOR)
Dr. Sung-Won Lee (KOR)

This week we feature some questions and answers with FIS Council Member Dr. Sung-Won Lee (KOR).

Q. The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships were just held in Sapporo, Japan. In your view, will they have a positive legacy for skiing and its further development in Asia?

A. We certainly aim to work very hard to capitalize on the legacy from the championships. The highlights of the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo (JPN) included the sprint competitions in the Sapporo Dome. These events, linking an exciting indoor course with a well-developed outdoor course through a wide side opening in the impressive Super Dome were so unique that comparison or copying will not be easy. A facility like the Dome, given its tremendous height and arena space, can be a great legacy for future ski events internationally. The facility can also be studied for other types of ski events which require more limited space and for which the preparation of an indoor snow venue is relatively easy. We might even want to assess whether it would be possible to use the Dome or a similar indoor facility for staging summer-time skiing events on artificial surface.

Q. In recent seasons, Korea has hosted many international competitions at the highest levels. What kind of impact have these events had for the development of skiing in Korea and are you hoping to organize more high-level events in the future?

A. Since I initiated Korea's first FIS Alpine competition in Yongpyong in 1991, our international skiing activities have grown rapidly, including the hosting of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup in Yongpyong in 2006 (also in 1998, 2000 & 2003), the 2005 FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships at Vivaldi Park, several NOKIA FIS Snowboard World Cups at Sungwoo and FIS Freestyle World Cups in Jisan, just to mention some. This is the result of a process of internationalization in Korean skiing which started in the early 1990's and has led to a steady development of the sport under the positive guidance, cooperation and support of FIS all along.

We are to stage the 2009 FIS Snowboard World Championships at Sungwoo and PyeongChang is now more than ready to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. From the perspective of international skiing, we need the legacy of the Olympic Winter Games in this part of the world. The Games in Korea would provide tremendous promotion and expansion for winter and ski sports and the associated businesses in this dynamic and growing region that has a population of 4 billion.

Q. For some years now, the Gangwon Province has been running the so-called Dream Program targeted at the youth, providing them with an opportunity to experience and enjoy winter sports for a period of two weeks annually. Your thoughts on this program?

A. PyeongChang's `Dream Program', a commitment made to the IOC during the bid for the 2010 Games, has welcomed around 500 young athletes from 35 countries since 2004, including some African countries where winter sports are very poorly developed. This program manifests the universality of winter sports in the world. The impact of the program can be seen on the happy faces of the participants as they experience winter sports for the first time in their lives and in the satisfaction of progress for those more experienced.

A girl from India, 13-year-old Rashael Kanwal, joined the Dream Program for two years and participated in the Asian Children's Alpine Ski Championships staged by the Asian Ski Federation March 7th-8th at Yongpyong. She was very proud to rank 7th in Children I giant slalom. This is just an example of how the Dream Program is contributing to the global promotion of winter sports, in particular of ski sport. It is planned to be expanded with diversified activities as from 2011 in a second phase of the commitment made to IOC.

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 Inside FIS 

Messner steps down
Sepp Messner
Hujara, Messner, Pieren, Kertezs, Knauth

Sepp Messner has retired after 18 years of service for FIS. The team captains and trainers wished him farewell with a standing ovation at the last team captains' meeting at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup finals held in Lenzerheide (SUI). Having begun his FIS career in the role of Security Expert in the season 1989-1990, Messner later assumed the position of Race Director working together with Karl Frehsner, Kurt Hoch, and Guenther Hujara to bring about professionalization in alpine ski racing and the FIS Alpine World Cup.

Most recently Sepp Messner was responsible for course preparation in the men's technical events. Previously, Messner served as Italian national team coach, including working with such stars as Gustav Thoeni and Alberto Tomba, for twenty years. He is now looking forward to spending more time with his hobbies hunting and golf as well as helping out his wife who runs a bed & breakfast (`pensione') near the South-Tyrolean city of Bolzano, let alone tending for his apple orchard.

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FIS Academy: Flexible education for skiers and snowboarders

The FIS Academy Athlete Certificate is a holistic approach to education and lifestyle relevant to athletes. It is presented in CD-Rom format, and contains a series of eight modules which are both sport specific and generic in their content. Athletes studying for the Certificate complete 15-20 hours of learning before taking an online examination. This format allows athletes to study in a timeframe that suits them, providing a flexibility that takes into account the unique travel and lifestyle requirements that are part of an intensive sports schedule.

To continue their curriculum, in September 2008, athletes will be able to undertake the International Baccalaureate Online. This is a 3-year distance learning course, which provides athletes with the qualification to enter universities world-wide. More information will be available on the FIS Academy website in the near future. In the meantime, visit the IBO website, at www.ibo.org to appreciate the value of their program.

For more information on FIS Academy Athlete programs, email Ameline Gerbel at agerbel@wasec.mbs.ac.uk ˙or visit www.fis-academy.org ˙for more information.

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