|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|Bernie Schoedler and Werner Schuster|
Most teams have already started preparations for the 2007/2008 summer and winter seasons. Following last year's turbulence with numerous coaching changes, only few changes have taken place in the coaching ranks in the e.on ruhrgas FIS World Cup Ski Jumping and the Warsteiner FIS World Cup Nordic Combined. Here is a summary of those that have come to the attention of the FIS Newsflash:
In Ski Jumping, the most spectacular transfer was made by Switzerland: Werner Schuster was engaged by Swiss-Ski as Coach for the national team that includes double Olympic Champion and World Champion Simon Ammann and top jumper Andreas Kuettel. The 37-year-old Austrian replaced the long-term national coach Bernie Schoedler who is now responsible for a national talent group. His former assistant Roger Kamber will be replaced by Schuster's compatriot Gerhard Hofer, previously a service man for Austrian World Cup Ski Jumpers.
Primoz Ulaga retired as Sport Chief in Slovenia and was replaced by Franci Petek. Ari-Pekka Nikkola will continue in charge of the World Cup team's coaching. Meanwhile, the Swedish Ski Jumping team was able to double their budget after a successful season. With this, a new structure will be realized and Head Coach Wolfgang Hartmann has been promised support to manage the B-team.
In Austria, the World Cup team leadership will be the same including Alexander Pointner, who has signed a contract until Vancouver 2010, as Head Coach and Mark Nlke as Co-Coach. The German Ski Federation also holds onto its current World Cup coaching team, with Peter Rohwein continuing as Head Coach. Falko Krismayr, native of Austria who assumed the position of Assistant Trainer last season and Henry Glaį as Technique Trainer will stay on his side. The following nations will continue with the existing coaches, too: Finland (with Tommi Nikunen), Norway (with Mika Kojonkoski), Czech Republic (with Richard Schallert), Italy (with Roberto Cecon), Poland (with Hannu Lepist) and France (with Pekka Niemel).
Changes in Nordic Combined were reported from Norway, Germany, Slovenia and Italy. In Norway, Bard-Joergen Elden will focus on his role as Sport Chief, including responsibility for Marketing and Media. Serving as Sport Chief and Coach at the same time turned out to be too much for one person. New in a full-time role, the former athlete Kristian Hammer will work as Cross-Country Coach for the World Cup team while Kjetil Strandbraten remains as Jumping Coach.
In Germany, a new Assistant Coach, the former jumper Kai Bracht, will support the coaching team including Hermann Weinbuch as Head coach and Andreas Bauer as Jumping Coach. Igor Cuznar was appointed as the new World Cup leader in Slovenia. He will be supported by specialist coaches, Marco Gracer for Cross-Country and Ari-Pekka Nikkola for Ski Jumping. In Italy, 35-year-old Ivo Pertile, a former World Cup Ski Jumper, was named new Technical Director for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined. Guiseppe Chenetti, a former Cross-Country Coach, will provide Cross-Country training support for the Nordic Combined team around Head Coach Paolo Bernardi.
Lasse Ottesen will remain as Chief of Nordic Combined with the US Ski Team while others staying put include: Alexander Driess (Head Coach) and Christoph Eugen in Austria, Etienne Gouy (Head Coach) and Julien Eybert-Guillon in France, Jouko Karjalainen (Head Coach) and Kimmo Savolainen in Finland, Eugen Krgel in Switzerland and Takanori Kohno in Japan.
Contributed by Sandra Spitz and Christina Fritz
Based on the success of the 55th edition of the Four-Hills-Tournament in Ski Jumping, Jack Wolfskin has decided to extend its contract early on. The Germany-based provider of outdoor equipment that debuted as the event's title sponsor this past season announced on Tuesday that its engagement, initially set to last until the end of the upcoming season, has been extended through the 2008/2009 season.
The 55th tournament, broadcast live in more than 15 countries, was seen by more than 400 million TV viewers and 111'000 spectators on site. "We're very pleased about our involvement as title sponsor for the 55th Jack Wolfskin 4-Hills-Tournament. Given the enormous media presence at this year's edition, it was an easy decision to continue our engagement," commented Manfred Hell, CEO and Co-Owner of Jack Wolfskin GmbH & Co.
According to recent research by an independent TV research company, IFM Medienanalysen GmbH based in Karlsruhe, the Four-Hills-Tournament is the most important brand in winter sports in Germany, one of the world's biggest commercial markets. "Based on our IFM-Winter Sports Compass, the Four-Hills-Tournament is the best known winter sports event in Germany. It generates the highest viewer figures among all winter sports and therefore represents a true premium product and the number one brand," said Heinz Abel, CEO of IFM Medienanalysen.
|Eduardo Roldan (SPA)|
This week we feature some questions and answers with FIS Council Member Eduardo Roldan of Spain.
Q. How important is skiing in Spain, better known for football and beautiful beaches, and what kind of a future trend do you envisage for the sport there?
A. In Spain, skiing is a sport which has experienced an expansion parallel to the domestic economy. Besides skiing other individual sports have developed, contributing to the rise in both economic and cultural levels. As for the future development tendency, it is very positive, due to the improvements in the infrastructure in the new ski resorts in the country, mostly located in the Pyrenees and Andalusia (Sierra Nevada), but also in other regions.
Q. Spain will host the 2008 FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Jaca/Formigal and the 2010 FIS Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, a Spanish premiere in both instances. Your thoughts?
A. First of all, there is a lot of hope and enthusiasm surrounding these two Championships and their venues. Both Jaca/Formigal and La Molina count on support from regional and state governments as well as on assistance provided by the Federations from Aragon, Catalonia and Spain. With additional support from FIS and its technical officials, I believe that both Championships will be carried out well.
Q. Sierra Nevada has demonstrated its versatility having hosted the 1996 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, numerous Alpine World Cups and more recently Snowboard and Freestyle World Cups while being a popular stop on the tour. Can we still look forward to future events there after the change in management?
A. The future of ski sports activities is assured in Sierra Nevada due to the growing potential displayed by the Federation of Andalusia in Alpine Skiing and Freestyle (ski cross), with the assistance of the Spanish Federation.
Furthermore, the new management in Sierra Nevada with the new Executive Director is in agreement with the projects of the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation in the FIS disciplines of Alpine Skiing and Freestyle. I am not only quite confident about this, but also have great expectations.
In Spain, the expansion of skiing is being fostered through technological advances in several autonomous communities, linked with the structure for high level competitions in the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation. At the same time, several ski resorts are involved in promoting competitive skiing, namely Sierra Nevada in Andalusia, Candanch£ and Formigal in Aragon, La Molina and Boi Taull in Catalonia, as well as Alto Campo in Cantabria.
The German Ski Association (Deutscher Skiverband - DSV) has sold its TV rights to Infront Sports & Media for the upcoming four seasons. The new agreement includes DSV's worldwide media rights to all FIS World Cup events including the Alpine and Nordic disciplines, Freestyle and Snowboard as well as other DSV events such as the Biathlon World Team Challenge at the Schalke stadium. The exclusive agreement is effective from the start of the 2007/08 season through the 2010/11 season. The details regarding price were not revealed.
Alfons Hrmann, DSV President, said: "This agreement demonstrates the great appeal and value of DSV's skiing properties. It will allow us to develop the sport to an even higher level and - at the same time - continue to reach the commercial targets outlined in our strategy. Infront is the ideal professional partner for us, with a proven track record in international skiing."
The agreement was negotiated by Infront Sports & Media and its Milan-based subsidiary Infront Italy (formerly Media Partners). The Infront Group is the commercial partner of 19 National Ski’Associations as well as several local organizing committees.
There were a total of 3086 in- and out-of-competition doping controls carried out in the FIS Olympic disciplines by either FIS or WADA during the 2006/2007 season, including controls performed at the 2007 FIS World Championships.
In total, 2676 in-competition tests were completed, including regular urine tests, urine EPO controls, blood tests, blood human growth hormone and blood transfusion controls. The large majority of in-competition tests, 1890, were blood tests in addition to urine (667) and urine-EPO (119) tests. Among the FIS disciplines, Cross-Country athletes were most often subject to testing as 1973 in-competition tests were performed on them, followed by Nordic Combined with 374 in-competition controls. In the previous season 2006, during which doping testing at the season's main competition the 2006 Olympic Winter Games fell under the responsibility of the International Olympic Committee, the FIS in-competition testing program included 2278 tests.
Continuing the emphasis on targeted out-of-competition testing, FIS performed as many as 80 out-of-competition tests, including both blood tests and urine (normal screen and/or EPO analysis). In addition, WADA conducted another 330 out-of-competition tests on FIS athletes. WADA's out-of-competition testing included blood, urine and EPO controls.
FIS sends its condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Franz Sigut (*1919), Honorary Member of FIS Ski Jumping Committee, who passed away in April. Dr. Sigut was also Honorary Member of the Austrian Ski Federation and of the Ski Association of the state of Lower Austria.
Likewise, FIS sends its condolences to the family and friends of Igor Yudin (*1957), President of Belarus Ski and Snowboard Federation. Former Alpine Racer, Mr. Yudin passed away on May 17th.