Special Communique 

  Record number of applications for FIS World Championships 2012/2013 ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

  FIS in favor of Youth Olympic Games ... more

  Praise for the 55th Four-Hills-Tournament ... more

 Council's Corner 

  Q&A with Sverre Seeberg (NOR) ... more

 Inside FIS 

  Packed program at 2007 SportAccord ... more

  Decisions from Beijing ... more

  FIS Academy Announces the Perfect Addition to FIS Calendar Conference ... more

  Over 800 doping tests conducted at 2007 FIS World Championships ... more

 Special Communique 

Record number of applications for FIS World Championships 2012/2013

By the May 1st, 2007 deadline, FIS received complete application dossiers from a total of 12 candidates as follows (in alphabetical order):

 Two applications for 2012 FIS Ski Flying World Championships submitted by Harrachov (CZE) and Vikersund (NOR)

 Four applications for 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships submitted by Cortina d'Ampezzo (ITA), Schladming (AUT), St. Moritz (SUI) and Vail/Beaver Creek (USA)

 Five applications for 2013 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships submitted by Falun (SWE), Lahti (FIN), Oberstdorf (GER), Val di Fiemme (ITA) and Zakopane (POL)

 One application for 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships submitted by Voss (NOR)

This represents the highest total number of applications since the introduction of the non-refundable registration fee and the guarantee for training days at the International Ski Congress in Christchurch (NZE) in 1996, which was implemented beginning with the organizers of the 2002/2003 FIS World Championships elected in Prague (CZE) in 1998. The FIS Council shall elect the organizers of the 2012/2013 FIS World Championships during the Congress Week in Cape Town (RSA) in May 2008.

No application was received for the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Championships by the May 1st deadline. However, the intention to apply has been expressed by a candidate and since there is no application submitted, the deadline for the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Championships has therefore been extended until May 28th, 2007, when the FIS Council next meets.


 News from the World of Skiing 

FIS in favor of Youth Olympic Games

In its meeting in Beijing last week, the IOC Executive Board unanimously welcomed the idea of establishing Youth Olympic Games. The idea has been conceived by IOC President Rogge to address the decline in the relevance of sport amongst the younger generation. The concept will be presented for final approval by the IOC Session in Guatemala City in July in order for a debut of the summer edition to take place in 2010 with the first winter edition being planned for 2012. Like the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games would alternate every four years and feature a similar Olympic environment with an Olympic Village, protocols and spirit. However, they are intended to complement the Olympic Games rather than mimicking them.

"FIS supports the principal idea of Winter Youth Games," noted FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. "For us it will be important to set the schedule so that we do not conflict with the FIS World Championships. We would also welcome flexible, discipline-specific age limits set to reflect the varying needs of our sports, such as 14-16 for all FIS disciplines that are not endurance sports. Similarly, the competition program would need to be carefully determined per discipline and be limited to a few events only. To make the organization financially feasible, the team size should also be smaller than in the Olympic Winter Games," he added.


Praise for the 55th Four-Hills-Tournament
2006/2007 winner Anders Jacobsen (NOR)

The 55th International Jack Wolfskin Four-Hills-Tournament 2006/2007 was one of the most successful in the history of the legendary competition series that is part of the FIS World Cup Ski Jumping. This was the result of the traditional spring "read-out" by the four hosting venues Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen held in Munich (GER) at the end of April. Such conclusion was also shared by Tournament President Pe Horle (Oberstdorf) and the representatives of the National Ski Associations, TV, suppliers and marketing agencies. "I have no reason for criticism since the Four Hills events are amongst the best in the World Cup," commented Walter Hofer, FIS Race Director Ski Jumping. President Horle added: "The excellent international TV audience figures - considerably higher than in the last years - and the large numbers of on-site spectators bode well for the 2007/2008 edition."


 Council's Corner 

Q&A with Sverre Seeberg (NOR)
Sverre Seeberg (NOR)

This week we feature some questions and answers with FIS Council Member Sverre Seeberg (NOR).

Q. Norway topped the 2007 FIS medals tables for both the FIS World Championships and the Junior World Championships across all FIS Olympic disciplines. What is your secret?

A. Having such broad success is not a matter of any special secrets, I think. Instead, compared with many other National Ski Associations, the difference is that we in Norway provide support for all FIS disciplines, not just our traditional success disciplines of Cross-Country Skiing and Ski Jumping. This means that although there can be different levels of support, we provide financing to the extent that we can run a national team in each discipline. We also have lots of youngsters that are actively participating especially in Cross-Country and Alpine Skiing but also in Ski Jumping, which provides us with a good basis for the future. While football is the number one sport in Norway, too, Cross-Country Skiing is among the top five largest sports nationally.

Moreover, we in Norway did a great job before the 1994 home Olympics in Lillehammer by establishing programs that were focused on winning medals in all disciplines. We still benefit from those programs and methods, for example in terms of how we work with the top athletes.

Q. Oslo will host the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2011 - tell us about the project foreseen for a new Holmenkollen, one of skiing's most traditional venues?

A. We are currently in the process of creating the basic organization for the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. We hope to have the CEO in place just after the summer holidays. The planning for all the different venues is also making good progress. There has been huge interest among architects from all over the world to design the new Holmenkollen; so far there have been requests from 27 different countries for the detailed design competition information. The time schedule calls for the destruction of the current hill right after next year's World Cup in the spring of 2008 which is why we have to decide on the architecture and overall concept for the venue in October 2007. This decision will be made by a jury appointed by the municipality of Oslo, which is also the main financer of the new Holmenkollen. The expected total cost of the project is _50 million.

Q. The Nordic Ski Associations - Norway, Sweden and Finland - will celebrate their centennial next year (2008). What special activities are you planning to mark the occasion?

A. We will start the celebrations already in connection with the FIS World Cup races in November 2007 and additional activities will take place at all big events during the winter. We will hold the main anniversary party in Oslo on 20th February. Our actual anniversary is on 21st February but that also happens to be the birthday of the King of Norway as well as the date for the FIS Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER). We would like to welcome both the King and FIS President Kasper at our reception and hence chose to have the celebration a day earlier. The most important activity during the year will be the organization of youngster competitions starting on the anniversary weekend in February and continuing for the rest of the winter all over Norway. We have also launched a book project with a famous Norwegian author Karsten Alnaes, who is writing a new account of the history of skiing in Norway over the last 100 years. This book will be published by Christmas 2007.


 Inside FIS 

Packed program at 2007 SportAccord

The world's leading sports executives gathered in Beijing (CHN) for the fifth edition of SportAccord, last week. Among the highlights of the week were presentations from the three cities in the running for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, their last public forum before the election by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in its session in Guatemala City in July. 1,400 delegates attended the week-long congress, themed as "Sport and the City", which also served as a superb test event prior to the Olympic Summer Games in the Chinese capital next summer and offered all delegates the opportunity to visit several Olympic sites including the impressive Beijing Construction Center which showed scaled models of various sites as well as their development within the overall city plans.

Hein Verbruggen, acting president of GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations) opened the SportAccord conference on Wednesday before keynote addresses from Wang Wei, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of the 2008 Beijing Organizing Committee BOCOG, and Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee. In addition, the conference program included various case studies and focus sessions, including one on Sponsorship entitled "Activation in the City - How sponsors make their investment pay off in host cities and elsewhere" moderated by FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis with participation by representatives of Adidas China, Lenovo Group, VISA International and Infront Sports and Media. Christian Knauth participated in the GAISF Media Workshop entitled "Focusing on Media Operations" together with representatives of the IOC, IAAF (Athletics), FIG (Gymnastics), FIBA (Basketball) and BOCOG.

The 2008 SportAccord will be held in June in Athens (GRE).


Decisions from Beijing

The General Assemblies of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAIFS) and the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) were held during SportAccord in Beijing (CHN) last week, both of which FIS is a member, as well as those of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the Association of Recognized International Sports Federations (ARIFS) and other multi-games associations.

Among the most important decisions of the GAIFS General Assembly, the entire Board was up for election and FIS President Gian Franco Kasper was re-elected as the winter sports representative. Additionally, four new members were accepted within the Association which now counts 104 International Sports Federations and Organizations: The International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG), the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), World Darts Federation (WDF) and the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). The next GAIFS General Assembly will take place during SportAccord 2008 in Athens.

At the General Assembly of AIOWF, the main items focused on the preparations for the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver (CAN) with presentations from VANOC Vice President Cathy Priestner-Allinger and Tim Gayda, Sports Director. The IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Winter Games Gilbert Felli reported on numerous IOC activities, with Kelly Fairweather, IOC Sports Director, providing information about additional initiatives including the Youth Olympics.

Also meeting in Beijing, the Board of Governors of the International Masters Games Association (IMGA) decided to introduce a winter edition of the quadrennial World Masters Games. The first winter event will be held in Bled (SLO) in 2011 and will feature Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing and Snowboard, among other winter sports. Several thousands of participants are expected!


FIS Academy Announces the Perfect Addition to FIS Calendar Conference

The first executive course to be conducted on the new FIS Academy calendar of executive events is the Three-Day Athlete Performance Pathways Program which will be held in Manchester (GBR) from 29th-31st May. The dates have been designed to coincide with the FIS Calendar Conference being held in Portoroz (SLO) from 23rd-27th May.

The FIS Academy is pleased to announce that FIS Calendar Conference participants will be eligible for a reduction in the course fee of $US 500. The fee covers the three-day course, materials and accommodation, making the program excellent value and a must-attend for those involved in athlete performance management. Come and hear from some of world's best athlete performance managers, including those preparing for the next Olympic Winter Games.

For the entire executive calendar, also including the next Intensive Event and Administration Five-Day Program being run from 4th-8th June, please click here. FIS Academy representatives will be on-site in Portoroz to update delegates on the work of the FIS Academy. For more information, contact the FIS Academy on +44 161 275 6739 or email coursecounsellors@wasec.mbs.ac.uk˙.

The FIS Academy also offers a number of educational solutions for athletes, including the FIS Academy Athlete Certificate, a holistic approach to education and lifestyle relevant to athletes, presented in CD-Rom format. The series of eight modules allows athletes to study in a time frame that suits them. To arrange an appointment in Portoroz, or for further information, please contact Ameline Gerbel, Program Manager - Athlete Learning, on agerbel@wasec.mbs.ac.uk or visit here.


Over 800 doping tests conducted at 2007 FIS World Championships

A total of 827 doping controls were carried out at the four FIS World Championships held in Arosa (SUI), ¸re (SWE), Sapporo (JPN) and Madonna di Campiglio (ITA) this winter. The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo involved one of the largest anti-doping programs of any international major sports events outside of the Olympic Winter Games. The Sapporo program included both pre-competition and post-competition controls. All in all, 697 in-competition controls were completed in Sapporo, including urine, EPO urine and regular blood controls, as well as blood transfusion and human growth hormone tests. There was one positive EPO urine control whereby nine start prohibitions were issued after the pre-competition blood controls. At all FIS World Championships, the number of athletes subject to post-competition doping controls included the top four plus two at random, as per FIS Rules.

As reported earlier, FIS's total investment in anti-doping amounted to more than 1 million Swiss Francs during the 2006/07 season. In addition to testing, various preventive measures are included in the FIS anti-doping program, such as educational and informational programs.