|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
The International Olympic Committee will elect the 2014 Host City in its session in Guatemala City tonight, 4th July 2007, local time. All three bids - PyeongChang (KOR), Salzburg (AUT) and Sochi (RUS) - are said to be of a very high quality and the race is predicted to be tight. The three were selected unanimously from a total of seven Applicant Cities which also included Jaca (SPA), Almaty (KAZ), Sofia (BUL) and Borjomi (Georgia).
In addition to the 2014 election, the other major items on the agenda for the 2007 IOC session include a proposal to create the Youth Olympic Games, changes to the way the IOC decides the program for the Olympics (changing the two-thirds majority vote to a simple majority for including new events), an intensification of the fight against doping (such as sampling DNA and increased out-of-competition/targeted testing) and the election of four new members to the IOC. Also up for discussion in Guatemala are plans to make the 2009 IOC Session in Copenhagen fully digital. Besides the Olympic family, international federations and NOCs, plans are afoot to invite the general public to have their say on the Olympic Movement through new media channels.
To follow the selection of the 2014 Host City through a live webcast, please click here:
|Rock statue of Illinak|
|Work at the ski jumps|
Work to build a brand-new 2010 Olympic Cross-Country, Biathlon and Ski Jumping venue in Callaghan Valley is on schedule. While the British Columbian wilderness has posed some very unique challenges, the project should be complete by this autumn.
The Nordic Competition Venue will be located just 14km from the Whistler Olympic Village. At the end of November, a new 10 km road will open to take skiers into the venue from the Sea-to-Sky highway that links Vancouver and Whistler. Travel to Vancouver is then estimated to take about 75 min.
A total of 28 Olympic competitions will be carried out at the Nordic Venue including 12 Cross-Country, three Ski Jumping and three Nordic Combined events. Inside the venue, the two side-by-side jumping hills (HS 106 and HS140) will be flanked by a large rock statue of Illinak, the 2010 Inukshuk logo to welcome visitors. The company manufacturing and installing the large in-run steel structures is used to build roller-coasters for the Disney Company. The first of the two so-called "super structures," made of massive steel trusses measuring ca. 24 meters in length by eight meters in width, just arrived on-site a few days ago. The second will follow later in July.
|The Nordic Venue|
Near the ski jumps, the Day Lodge and Cross-Country stadium are coming out of the ground. The stadium is shaped as a horseshoe, with the skiers in view of the spectators for more than 800m. The technically challenging Olympic sprint loop is entirely in view from the main stadium bleachers. The two separate 5 km competition courses are quite different in design: while the classical technique course consists of long, straight ups and down, the free technique course is more twisty and turny, with quite challenging downhills. Most of the competition trails are already finished, while work continues to shape the spectator areas, ski test areas and warm-up loops. The first competitions will include Canadian national events, with the FIS World Cup races following in the 2008/2009 season.
"All in all, we will have 14 km of competition trails at the Nordic Venue. If needed, we could combine the Cross-Country and Biathlon courses into a single 12.5-km loop," said John Aalberg, Director, Nordic Sport at VANOC, the Vancouver Organizing Committee. "We are really pleased with the way the new courses combine the traditional Cross-Country feeling of `skiing in the woods' with the sport's modern aspects, such as 9-meter-wide trails and spectator friendliness."
Includes contributions by VANOC
Jean-Claude Killy resigned as President of the Board of Directors of the Organizing Committee for the 2009 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Val d'IsŠre on 30th June 2007. One of skiing's true legends, triple Olympic champion and hailing from the resort of Val d'IsŠre itself, decided to take this drastic step due to the lack of progress with numerous areas of the preparations, including the construction work required on the courses, the finalization of the plans and construction of the sports center which will serve as the media center during the championships as well as the appointment of specialists to several key areas. He will however continue to support the management of the Organizing Committee.
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper reacted to the news of Killy's resignation: "We were aware in recent months that all was not well and the lack of progress with the keys areas highlighted by Jean-Claude Killy is of serious concern to FIS. We will be communicating with the President of the Organizing Committee, the mayor of Val d'IsŠre Bernard Catelan, and installing a series of deadlines for the implementation of the various projects. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the championships in Val d'IsŠre may be in jeopardy unless the political leadership of the Organizing Committee reacts and demonstrates immediate and actual progress."
The "2008 Big Finals", the FIS World Cup season finals for four Olympic disciplines - Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard - are scheduled to be held in Bormio (ITA) from 10th -16th March 2008. This will represent the third time that Italy plays host to the Big Finals, after the 2000 Finals were also held in the Bormio region and the 2004 Finals in Sestriere/Pragelato/Sauze d'Oulx/Bardonecchia, which also served as a test for the 2006 Winter Games. The Big Finals have become a FIS tradition every four years during seasons in which no major title competitions are staged.
During the 2008 Big Finals, 28 different World Cup competitions are planned to be carried out. The prize money will amount to more than CHF 1.4 million. This includes five Alpine Skiing events (downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom for ladies and men & team event), three Freestyle events (ladies and men's moguls, ski cross and half-pipe), four Snowboard events (big air, half-pipe, parallel and snowboard cross) and the new Cross-Country Finals consisting of three competitions (prologue & two distance races for each gender) combined into one ranking awarding 200 World Cup points.
Site inspections by the various FIS Race Directors at the competition venues in the Bormio area took place during the month of June. Important overall planning work is already underway whilst details about the precise competition venues to be used for each event are being clarified.
"The FIS Council strongly supports the concept of the Big Finals every four years. Together with the FIS Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf in February, the Big Finals in Lombardy in March will be the main highlights of the 2007/2008 season. We are looking forward to a great festival of skiing in Italy next spring," said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper.
The 2007 FIS Aid & Promotion Ski Jumping camp will be held in Villach (AUT) from 19th-25th July led by Sepp Gratzer, FIS Continental Cup Coordinator. Eligible National Ski Associations are requested to register a maximum of two athletes and one coach to participate in the traditional FIS Aid & Promotion Ski Jumping Camp. Registrations are due to Madeleine Erb at the FIS Office on Friday 6th July at the latest.
|Duri Bezzola |
Swiss-Ski held its 2007 General Assembly last weekend in Grindelwald (SUI). With 12 World Championship medals in the FIS Olympic disciplines last season, the Association could report on a successful ski and snowboard season as well as a balanced budget. President Duri Bezzola indicated that he will step down after eight years of service at next year's Assembly, to be held in Saas Fee.
The 70th General Assembly of the Liechtenstein Ski Association (LSV) last week elected Andy Wenzel as its new President. The former ski racer succeeds Georg Nigg in this role. During his active career, Wenzel won four medals at the FIS World Ski Championships as well as two medals at the Olympic Winter Games in the 1980's.
|Ophelie David & Meryl Boulangeat take 1-2|
Photo: Agence Zoom
|French ski cross team|
Photo: Agence Zoom
Goals set high: French ski cross team
The French ski cross team can look back to a successful 2006/2007 season. In addition to three medals at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, it finished the season with four ladies in the top nine and two men in the top ten of the FIS World Cup rankings. The brightest star on the team, Ophelie David, collected her fourth World Cup title in as many years and the first World Championship gold. Moreover, 20-year-old Meryl Boulangeat captured her career-first FIS World Cup victory as well as a silver medal at the Worlds, while her younger sister Alizee took the Junior title in Airolo (SUI).
"For the first time, we now have an official French ski cross team with a full-time coach, Christophe Hermitan. Following the inclusion of ski cross in the program of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the French Ski Federation (FFS) is committed to providing the best possible training conditions to the athletes to enable them to meet their goals," said Remi Sella, Sports Director for Freestyle Skiing with the FFS. "We have put in place a full-year training program with camps once a month. During the camps, FFS provides a physiotherapist and a technician to support the team. Most of the athletes are professional skiers who used to train on their own. We are now trying to find the right balance between the two systems," Sella added.
"We just finished our first on-snow camp at Les Deux Alpes in very good glacier conditions. Another camp is planned there in July before we continue with more discipline-specific on-snow training in Saas Fee (SUI) and Tignes (FRA) in September-October," commented Hermitan. "We have a very successful group of four ladies and seven men who have high goals for the coming seasons. There is a great spirit in the team, with the veteran skiers like Ophelie providing excellent support for the younger ones who greatly benefit from their experience. This especially comes to play in ski cross-specific training and in injury prevention which is a major focus for us since ski cross is a contact sport."
|Ryan St.Onge training in Lake Placid|
|Folgefonna in June|
Photo: Isabella Cedercreutz
For all Freestyle national teams, the training camp season is in full swing. For example, the US aerials team locked down the basics during a camp in Lake Placid. With 35-50 jumps a day on the water ramps along with trampoline training, the team set the foundation for dry-land training before regrouping in Park City in mid-July for another pool session. Park City will also host the Australian, Canadian and Chinese aerial teams in July. Meanwhile, the US mogul skiers kicked off their camp season with a `split-personality' camp: the first three days at the water ramp and trampoline at Steamboat Springs were followed by three days of on-snow workouts at Arapahoe Basin. The team will next travel to El Colorado (CHI) for the traditional on-snow camp in August. The Canadian ladies' and men's mogul teams are both currently training at Whistler, BC, on the Blackcomb glacier. The ladies will then hold on-snow camps at Mt. Hood, Oregon and in Chile while the men are headed to Zermatt (SUI) this autumn.
The focus of the Finnish Freestylers, co-coached by Sami Mustonen who retired as an active athlete after last season, is on discipline-specific training this summer. This includes a new training base in Folgefonna (NOR) where the moguls and half-pipe teams are spending most of June and July, along with the Norwegian and Swedish teams. Folgefonna, near Bergen, provides excellent conditions for summer skiing, including a prepared moguls piste and air jumps as well as various dry land training opportunities, all at an altitude of only 1000 m.
Another must-be site for Freestyle summer training is the Freestyle Holland Waterjump in Eindhoven (NED). The water jump is not only being used by Freestyle skiers but also by snowboarders, BMX riders, skateboarders and inline skaters. The center is located just 15 minutes from the Montana Snowcenter Ski Dome in the southern Netherlands.