News from the World of Skiing 

  Ingrid Christophersen awarded MBE ... more


 Inside FIS 

  European Broadcasting Union and FIS meet ... more

  Update for World Anti Doping Code Testing Procedures ... more

  Jumping Judges in Garmisch ... more

  Maori welcome to TDs in Christchurch ... more

  Entries due for first Aid & Promotion Alpine Training Camp ... more


 In Depth 

  Five questions to Vedran Pavlek (CRO) ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Ingrid Christophersen awarded MBE
Ingrid by Cape Saint Vincent

As announced on the Queen's Birthday Honours List last week, Ingrid Christophersen has been awarded the MBE.

The MBE is awarded by the Queen and those awarded it go to Buckingham Palace to receive it from her. The initials stand for Member of the British Empire and it is given to those who are especially distinguished in a useful field. Ingrid was awarded it for `Services to Skiing' as recognition for all she has done for skiing over many years.

Ingie has worked in many fields of skiing, both Alpine and Nordic, involved with racing, teaching, and organizing events. She was brought up in Norway and at the age of 14 won a slalom open to all who lived in Oslo. She came to Britain and was a member of the British team from 1963 to 1968, then taking over as manager of the British Ladies B team from 1968-70. From there she went to teach at the British Mountaineering Centre in Glenmore Lodge, Scotland.

A qualified instructor, she passed the highest Alpine grade of the British Association of Ski Instructors and grade 2 for Nordic and became a FIS Technical Delegate for both Alpine and Nordic events. After trying speed skiing, she also became a TD for FIS Speed Ski events. She is also a member of the FIS Sub-Committee for Ladies' Alpine Skiing, Sub-Committee for Alpine Youth and Children's Questions, and Sub-Committee for Alpine Citizen Racers. Ingrid's club is the Downhill Only, which is among the most prestigious British ski clubs and she has been racing and training manager of the DHO for the last 40 years.

That all adds up to a great deal of work for British Skiing and we are proud that she has received recognition from the Queen. It also shows the importance of skiing in British life.

Contributed by Elisabeth Hussey, Honorary Member of the FIS Committee for PR & Mass Media

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 Inside FIS 

European Broadcasting Union and FIS meet
TV production in Are 2007
Photo: Graeme Ellis
Are TV compound
Photo: Graeme Ellis

As a key element of the review of the 2007 FIS World Ski Championships in the Alpine and Nordic Events in Ǻre (SWE) and Sapporo (JPN), representatives from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and FIS met last Thursday in Oberhofen (SUI).

EBU represents Europe's public service broadcasters and are holders of the television and marketing rights for the FIS World Ski Championships in the Alpine and Nordic events. After many years of collaboration between the EBU and FIS, the first long-term global agreement between the two organizations covered the 1999 championships. Over the years, the relationship has developed significantly with the current agreement in place for the 2011 and 2013 championships in the Alpine and Nordic events. The guaranteed exposure for the championships afforded through Europe's free-to-air television networks has been a crucial element of the promotion of the sport. Furthermore, the rights fee invested by the EBU's members has enabled the organizers to stage championships at the very highest level.

The EBU delegation included Marc Joerg, Head of EBU Sports Unit, Arthur Haechler, President of EBU Sports Working Group and former Project Leader for Swiss Television, Tor Aune representing NRK of Norway and Ingolfur Hannesson, EBU Senior Manager Winter Sports with FIS represented by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, Secretary General Sarah Lewis and Marketing & Communications Director Christian Knauth. The meeting followed up on discussions from the previous meeting in September 2006 and before, reviewing the 2007 championships, including viewing figures, operational issues and lessons learned. The agenda also looked ahead to the 2009 championships in Val d'IsŠre (FRA) and Liberec (CZE) following the confirmation of the competition programs by the FIS Council. Moreover, EBU expressed its pleasure with the record number and quality of candidates for the 2013 FIS World Ski Championships in the Alpine and Nordic events.

In summing up, FIS President Kasper stated: "The partnership with the European Broadcasting Union is one that FIS values highly. Both organizations are trying to achieve the best possible outcome for their members, in our case the National Ski Associations, through offering highly attractive championships that will serve as outstanding promotion for the sport and be a commercial success, too. Our close collaboration with the EBU has meant it has been possible to achieve this, but we are aware we cannot stand still and we will continue to work diligently to ensure that this will also be the case in the future."

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Update for World Anti Doping Code Testing Procedures

As part of the revision of the World Anti-Doping Code, the regulations that define the practical conduct of testing, the International Standards, are also undergoing a thorough update as they become an obligatory part of the Code following the adoption of the new version in November 2007.

The International Standards contain provisions related to the organization and practical aspects of testing, including athlete whereabouts requirements and sample collection procedures. FIS was requested by WADA to participate in the working group that is preparing the draft document and collating the feedback from WADA's stakeholders, the National Anti-Doping Agencies and International Federations. The second meeting of the group took place at the Maison du Sport in Lausanne (SUI) on 13th-14th June, led by WADA Director of Standards Rune Andersen and Testing Manager Stuart Kemp, with participants from the International Athletics Federation, the United States Anti-Doping Agency, UK Sport as well as Sarah Lewis and Madeleine Erb representing FIS.

The latest drafts of both the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standards can be reviewed on the WADA website www.wada-ama.org.

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Jumping Judges in Garmisch
Most seminar participants
Visit to the construction site

The annual FIS Jumping Judges Seminar took place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) last weekend. Ueli Forrer, Chairman of the FIS Sub-Committee for Jumping Officials, Rules and Control, was pleased to welcome some 70 participants from 14 nations. In addition to intense two-day training and an examination based on taped performances, 14 FIS Jumping Judge candidates from ten countries successfully completed an exam concluding the theoretical part of their two-year training.

The participants also found time to visit the construction site for the new jumping hill at the ski stadium and maintain old friendships. The new K 125 HS 135 hill is planned to be inaugurated with a Continental Cup competition on 21st December 2007 that will serve as a dress rehearsal for the traditional New Year's event on 1st January 2008, to be held on the new hill. Construction is also underway on the World Cup slalom piste right of the jumping hill. The slalom finish area will be moved to the ski stadium in time for the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Contributed by Franz Rappenglueck

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Maori welcome to TDs in Christchurch
Traditional Maori welcome
Update in Christchurch (NZE)

The annual Australia & New Zealand Technical Delegate & Organizing Committee Update was held over the weekend in Christchurch (NZE). FIS's only Maori Technical Delegate, four time Olympian Simon Wi Rutene gave a traditional Maori welcome to the visiting Inspector, Ted Savage from Canada (see photo). 56 participants enjoyed two and a half days of intense training, along with a lively social program. Several regular attendees reported that the update was 'the best yet'. Skiing is already under way in both countries and everyone is looking forward to a great season of racing.

The Australia New Zealand Cup Committee met during the weekend and encourage Northern hemisphere teams to head 'Down Under' this season to take part in the ANC Cup races, which include a four-event-series final at Mt Hutt (NZE) featuring super-G and super combined races.

Contributed by Eric Henry

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Entries due for first Aid & Promotion Alpine Training Camp

The first week of the FIS Aid&Promotion Alpine training camp will take place on the Hintertux glacier in Tux (AUT) from 1st - 8th July 2007. As in the past, the first week will serve as a selection camp for the other training camps later on this season. Eligible for participation are FIS Member National Ski Associations with one or two votes; those with two votes may send athletes at their own cost. Per Member Association, up to two male athletes and two female athletes with less than 120 FIS Points in slalom or giant slalom may be entered. Entries are due to Madeleine Erb (erb@fisski.ch) in the FIS office no later than on 22nd June.

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 In Depth 

Five questions to Vedran Pavlek (CRO)

This week we feature an interview with Vedran Pavlek (CRO), a former world-class giant slalom and super-G racer and two-time Olympian (Lillehammer 1994 and Nagano 1998). Under his leadership since 1998, the Croatian ski team has collected 75 FIS World Cup podiums, including 39 victories, six FIS World Championship gold medals and seven medals at the Olympic Winter Games.

FIS Newsflash: You played a key role in establishing Croatia on the skiing radar screen together with the Kostelic siblings. What were the key ingredients of this success story?

Vedran Pavlek: I retired from active competition following the Nagano Olympic Winter Games and became Alpine Team and Ski Pool Director with the Croatian Ski Association. At that time, the association basically consisted of a single room full of paper and a lot of debt. However, what we had were two very talented skiers - the Kostelic siblings - who had been well-coached by their father. Our idea was to bring Janica and Ivica to the top while developing other young racers. The results of our well-coordinated efforts are obvious today: besides the amazing successes of the Kostelic siblings, we now have another two rising stars: Ana Jelusic and Nika Fleiss. All this would not have been possible without a lot of hard work and very talented skiers along with good management, excellent equipment and solid support in all related areas.

FIS Newsflash: With Janica officially retiring this spring, how does the future look for Croatian skiing?

Vedran Pavlek: The future looks bright. We already survived one season without Janica, and enjoyed good performances by Ivica in the World Cup and the first podium place by Ana Jelusic. There are another couple of young racers coming. Granted we are unlikely to have another athlete like Janica but I think we will be able to continue to achieve solid results in the World Cup in the future as well. In the ladies, our goal is to have two racers in the top 10 and a few others in the top 30. We are currently a bit more focused on the ladies as they tend to reach the top at a slightly younger age than the men.

FIS Newsflash: The Snow Queen of Zagreb has become known as one of the best organized World Cup events in a short time, with the highest prize money for a single race. For the first time, the ladies will be joined by the men at next year's event. How do you deliver such a first-class event and most importantly, ensure the impressive amount of prize money?

Vedran Pavlek: Our idea from the beginning was to create a first-class event because we thought that would be the only way for us to `survive' on the FIS World Cup tour in the long term, and to be able to host a combined men's and ladies' event. However, our intent was not just to create 2x 45 minutes of skiing but to combine the sports part with a lot of social events, strong VIP program, concerts and other spectator entertainment. We also believe that in some other sports, the athletes are remunerated much better than in skiing despite their relatively smaller investment in the sport so we wanted to make sure we pay them well here in Zagreb. Doing this, we have found that high prize money greatly increases the level of general public interest. Initially we had sponsors from the Croatian market place or regional (Alpe-Adria) companies based in Croatia but now we receive quite some interest on an international basis.

FIS Newsflash: What advice would you give for other World Cup organizers to optimize their event marketing and communications?

Vedran Pavlek: I think the key is to combine ski racing with a strong side program including social events and entertainment. While the initial tendency may be to try to minimize costs, we have found that investment in creating a strong brand is a long-term strategy which will generate future income if the work is properly done and the event becomes well-established. Creating a strong event brand requires a good show supported by excellent organization in all areas. Moreover, it is critical that we look across disciplines to learn from the strongest events in sports such as golf, tennis and Formula 1 and apply their best practices to skiing.

FIS Newsflash: How could the skiing family work better together to ensure that the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup remains one of the most important global series of winter sports events that it is today?

Vedran Pavlek: I believe that more should be done to integrate TV and marketing for the entire series. A key step in doing this is centralizing the management and exploitation of TV rights and, partially,˙also of˙marketing rights for the entire FIS World Cup tour. This would make the˙Audi FIS Alpine World Cup more interesting to the˙large international companies that are˙particularly interested in winter products.

We also need to create better events: rather than producing our events just for TV, we need to make sure we deliver a wonderful show and a true experience for the spectators on-site.

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