News from the World of Skiing  

  Sochi - Host City for 2014 Winter Games ... more

  A go for Youth Olympic Games ... more

  Vancouver 2010 Update: Whistler Mountain Resort ... more


 Inside FIS  

  Ski Jumping: Great Continental Cup kick off in Slovenia ... more


 Member News  

  Oslo 2011 appoints CEO ... more

  Green light for ski tunnel in Oberhof (GER) ... more


  In Depth  

  Athletes in Summer Training: Cross-Country Skiing ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Sochi - Host City for 2014 Winter Games
Krasnaya Polyana (RUS)
by OC Sochi

The IOC elected Sochi (RUS) as the host city of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 during its 119th Session in Guatemala City. The announcement was made by IOC President Jacques Rogge on 4th July 2007.

It was a close race among the three candidate cities for the 2014 Games and finally Sochi beat PyeongChang (KOR) in the final round of voting by 51 votes to 47. The vote went to a second round with Salzburg (AUT) going out with 25 votes in the first round (vs. 34 for Sochi and 36 for PyeongChang). The 2014 Games will be the first time Russia will host the Olympic Winter Games. For both Salzburg and PyeongChang, it was the second consecutive bid for the Games after they bid for 2010 with nearly the same results - as Salzburg went out in the first round, Pyeongchang earned the most votes initially. In 2003, PyeongChang narrowly lost the 2010 Games to Vancouver (CAN).

"Sochi presented a strong and visionary project," said Rogge. "The Russian project will leave a tremendous legacy: a sporting legacy for athletes and for Russia's young generations, who will be able to practise winter sports at home, as well as a social and economic legacy with infrastructure being used both in the winter and the summer."

FIS President Gian Franco Kasper commented: "There is great potential to have excellent Olympic Winter Games and competitions in the spectacular mountains above the city of Sochi. Since the entire development will be constructed according to the latest technical specifications, we can expect top class facilities. However there is no time to lose, especially building up the expertise and knowledge in Russia on the organizational side of several of the FIS disciplines, notably Alpine Skiing, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined."

FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis added: "We really look forward to collaborating with the Sochi Organizing Committee. During the candidacy we have built up good relations with the team and FIS will be supporting all stages of the planning, preparation and implementation of the projects".

The Sochi 2014 competition venues will be built at two main locations - the Sochi Olympic Park, situated on the Black Sea coast, and the mountain region of Krasnaya Polyana (Red Meadow), just 49km away from the coastal cluster. For more information, please visit www.sochi2014.com; www.olympic.org

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A go for Youth Olympic Games

Besides electing the Host City for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the 119th IOC Session in Guatemala City, Guatemala, made several other decisions.

One of the most influential decisions was the approval of the Youth Olympic Games, with the first editions for the Youth Olympic Summer Games in 2010 and the Youth Olympic Winter Games in 2012.

As the flagship of the IOC's strategy outlined for young people, the Youth Games are planned to take place every second year. They aim to bring together talented athletes to participate in high-level competitions and promote Olympic values as well as to run education programs on Olympic values, on benefits of sport for a healthy lifestyle, on the social values sport can deliver and on dangers of doping and of inactivity.

The Youth Olympic Games will target 1,000 athletes which for the FIS disciplines will be maximum 16 years old, supported by 580 officials for the Winter version. The sports program will encompass all sports on the program of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the 2012 Summer Games, however with a limited number of events. Proposals to integrate youth-driven disciplines that are not part of the Olympic Games may also be accepted.

Following the decision by the IOC to introduce the Youth Olympic Games, FIS President Gian Franco Kasper stated: "We welcome this initiative as a step to try and generate active interest for participating in Olympic sport amongst the youngsters. Nevertheless we need to proceed carefully and not put too much pressure and focus on developing athletes in their formative years with such a potentially high profile event".

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Vancouver 2010 Update: Whistler Mountain Resort
Women and men courses
at Whistler Creekside
map of the courses

The world-famous Whistler Mountain Resort will host ten Alpine Skiing medals events at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Consistently ranked one of the top ski resorts in North America, it welcomes more than two million visitors each year. It also has solid experience hosting FIS World Cup competitions, having carried out 13 ladies' and men's races from 1982-1995.

At Whistler Creekside, the planned men's course for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games - the Dave Murray Downhill - is a well-respected and challenging course. The ladies' course for 2010 is known as Franz's Run. Some of the key improvements to ensure the competition slopes meet the modern requirements for Olympic competitions include contouring and reshaping the courses, additions to the existing snowmaking system and an enhanced reservoir for snowmaking.

The improvement work began last summer. One of the key projects this summer is to widen and grade the finish area. As at the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Źre (SWE), there will be one combined finish area for all the ladies' and men's events in 2010. The snowmaking system is currently being installed and the construction of the pump station has started. In the upper parts of the mountain, the work got underway somewhat delayed due to the masses of snow that fell this winter. In places, the snow pack reached 4meters! An overpass for the ladies' course and a tunnel under the men's course will also be built this summer.

"Despite the vast amounts of snow last season, all projects are ahead of last year's schedule as construction and environmental permits are now all in place. We are confident that everything will be completed by the end of October, as planned, in preparation of the FIS Alpine World Cup races here at the end of February 2008," noted Pete Bosinger, Sport Manager, Alpine Skiing at VANOC. "The FIS Chief Race Directors Guenter Hujara and Atle Skaardal will visit us in September to inspect our progress and help with final preparations for the first World Cup-level test events," he added.˙˙˙˙˙˙

Includes contributions by VANOC

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 Inside FIS 

Ski Jumping: Great Continental Cup kick off in Slovenia
Winners of the first COC
Jumping Hill of Velenje (SLO)

The FIS Continental Cup in Ski Jumping started in Slovenia with two competitions in Velenje on 6th -7th July and one event in Kranj on 8th July. Velenje, organising the COC opening since the season 2000/2001, and the former Junior World Ski Championships town Kranj could look back on a successful weekend with good weather conditions and between 53 to 62 participants from 13 different nations.

Last Friday, 23-year-old Bastian Kaltenboeck (AUT) claimed victory before Primoz Pikl (SLO), who won the other two competitions on Saturday and Sunday. For Pikl it was the first two COC victories in his career while Kaltenboeck has already won four times in winter Continental Cups. After the first three events, Pikl leads the COC standings with 280 points ahead of the Japanese athlete Keita Umezaki (192 points) and Bastian Kaltenboeck (160 points). Please click here for the detailed results.

"It was a great weekend, we saw successful competitions with fair conditions and at the end we had a total of seven nations in the top ten," says FIS Continental Cup Coordinator Ski Jumping Sepp Gratzer, "The Continental Cup series are very important, it provides the basis for the athletes to gain the necessary competition experience that is required for success later on at World Cup level. It is also an important step to earn a starting place for the National Ski Association in a World Cup competition."

The first period of the men's Continental Cup Ski Jumping, which includes six more competitions, will continue in Oberstdorf (GER) at the beginning of August. Please click here for the men's COC calendar.

˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙Contributed by Sandra Spitz

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 Member News  

Oslo 2011 appoints CEO
Źsne Havnelid
by Terje Pedersen, ANB

Źsne Havnelid (46) has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of VM 2011 AS, the organization in charge of carrying out the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo (NOR). She was selected by the Board of VM 2011 AS, led by Svein Aaser, from among more than 50 applicants on the basis of her substantial leadership experience both in sport and business. Havenlid is the first Norwegian female to lead the preparations for such a large event as the FIS World Ski Championships.

A B‘rum native, Havnelid sees the Championships at Holmenkollen as a great opportunity to inspire especially the children and the youth about skiing and bring about a true people's festival. She also stressed the importance she places on teamwork in the successful management of such a large event. The responsibility for organizing the Oslo 2011 event is shared by the city of Oslo for infrastructure and the Norwegian Ski Association and the Organization for the Promotion of Skiing (Skiforeningen) which own VM 2011 AS (60%/40%). Havnelid will start in her new role as from 1st September 2007.

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Green light for ski tunnel in Oberhof (GER)
Grafic ski tunnel Oberhof
T. Fredriksson in Torsby

The first ski tunnel in Central Europe will be built in the wintersport center of Oberhof (GER), as was decided by the Thuringia Cabinet in June. The financing for the approximately _12.5 Mil. project will be split between the federal state government and the state of Thuringia. A final decision on the details for financing the operational costs is expected on 17th July 2007.

Following lengthy planning, the seven meter wide and four meter high tube with a length of 2.4 km should be available for athletes from summer 2009 to provide them with good training conditions prior to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Moreover, the tunnel will offer new possibilities for ski tourists in the Oberhof area. Due to the climate change affecting especially the lower mountain areas, Oberhof's tourism is likely to profit from the snow guarantee as will their different World Cup events.

Beside the Oberhof ski tunnel, a few such tunnels are already in use in the Nordic countries. The Fortum Ski Tunnel with a Biathlon shooting range in Torsby, Sweden, opened last season and is a popular training center for top athletes (click here to get a impression of the Torsby Ski Tunnel).

In Finland, some ski tunnels are open and a few more are planned by late 2008. For example, work is underway for two private projects in Espoo and in Lemp„„l„ (near Tampere) as well one in Helsinki (Kivikko). The Kivikko project includes building a winter sport center (Arctic Sports Centre) with a one-kilometer-long ski tunnel.

Contributed by Sandra Spitz

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  In Depth  

Athletes in Summer Training: Cross-Country Skiing
Gold medal for 'Haensel und Gretel'
by Nordic Focus
Glacier training of the Swiss Team
by Swiss-Ski

While the masses are heading to the beach and enjoying their holidays, Cross-Country skiers are already hard at work to be in top shape for the upcoming season which will include the 2nd Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski. Most nations already started with their training programs at the beginning of May, and some athletes have even spent their training-free time with athletic challenges.

For example, Jens Filbrich, the German bronze medalist in the 50km race in Sapporo, made an excursion to the Caucasus to climb Mount Elbrus (5642m), the highest peak in Russia. Unfortunately, the weather didn't allow his group to reach the summit, although at the maximum altitude of 4850m they were already higher than Mont Blanc.

Claudia Kuenzel-Nystad (GER), who auctioned her Olympic gold medal from Salt Lake City 2002 to benefit the `Haensel und Gretel' foundation (www.haensel-gretel.de) committed to help abused children, tried her skills in kick-boxing with Vibeke Skofterud (NOR).

Several teams started with endurance and strength training on foot and bike, while others sought to extend the snow season. The Finnish team, including the overall World Cup winner Virpi Kuitunen, held its first ever training camp in Crete (GRE) in May. At the beginning of June, they went to the famous Sognefjellet (NOR) for on-snow training and then headed, last week, to Are (SWE), the home country of Coach Magnar Dalen, for another training camp which also entails social activities such as a painting lesson for the ladies team.

The German team around overall World Cup winner Tobias Angerer, kicked off as last year in Willingen, the hometown of Head Coach Jochen Behle. The men held their second camp in the indoor ski hall in Neuss. "We are very satisfied with the current state of our preparations. Except for some small complaints, all athletes are fit and everything is according to plan. The change in the training structure for the ladies' group is also working out very well. The entire team is working hard and I expect that we will see this reflected in their performances next season," says Behle.

Several teams opted to staying close to home rather than accumulating additional frequent flyer miles. The Swiss started their preparations in Magglingen (SUI) and continued with on-snow glacier training in Les Diablerets (SUI). The Austrians, led by their new Head Coach Bernd Raupach, held their first camp on the Dachstein (AUT) glacier while the Estonians trained in the region Haanja (EST). The Norwegians found some snow in Sognefjellet (NOR), the Italians in Val Senales (ITA), the French in La RosiŠre/Col du Petit St. Bernhard and Tignes (FRA).

The US team's two-week camp at Mount Bachelor in Oregon incorporated plenty of on-water training, besides solid on-snow training and team dynamics exercises. In other words, surfing on the Pacific Coast. "It was very cool," sprinter Andy Newell said, making no reference to the weather. "It was cool to get the whole crew together so we could all dive in 100 percent, make sure everybody's on the same page and motivated."

Most nations will continue now with dry land training, adding maybe some roller skiing and running events like the Saku Suverull in Otep„„ (EST) on 10th-11th August. More on-snow training is on schedule in September/October on glaciers or in the indoor ski tunnels.˙

Contributed by Sandra Spitz

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