|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|2006 Kangaroo Hoppet ladies' podium|
Photo: Finn Marsland
While most of us are enjoying the sun, the Cross-Country competition season in the southern hemisphere is starting in superb winter conditions. From 2nd to 5th August, the Australia/New Zealand Cup (ANC) will begin at Snow Farm (NZE) with several races in both skiing techniques. The series will then continue with races in Australia in Falls Creek (11th -12th August) and Perisher Valley (18th - 19th August), before returning to Falls Creek for the series final at the Kangaroo Hoppet (25th August).
Traditionally the ANC is a very important opportunity for young athletes from Down Under to prove themselves and gather competition experience. The winner of the series will also ensure the right to start in the Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country, provided they fulfil the World Cup qualification rules. Click here for an overview of last season's ANC Cup standing.
"The ANC is a great series for our athletes to get in shape for the northern hemisphere winter season. The US Ski Team usually provides some good competition in the races at the Snow Farm, and we are expecting some Japanese skiers this year as well," says Finn Marsland, Coach of the Australian Ski Team. "A handful of European skiers are also already entered for the races in Australia."
Regardless of the ANC, the Kangaroo Hoppet is a highlight of the Cross-Country schedule Down Under in its own right. The Kangaroo Hoppet belongs to the prestigious Worldloppet series of long distance races, and attracts over 1000 competitors annually including over 150 from the northern hemisphere. For more information about the Kangaroo Hoppet please click here.
Contributed by Sandra Spitz
The periods of the year without snow may be an off-season for the snow sports enthusiasts but for Grass Skiing, the main competition season is in full swing.
The 2007 FIS Grass Skiing World Cup season began with giant slalom and super-G events in Dizin, Iran, on 12-14th July. Last weekend, the Tour continued in Marbach/Egg (SUI) with another two events for both the ladies and men. On the men's side, Jan Nemec (CZE) has so far collected three victories in four races. As a result he˙is well-positioned as the Tour continues with the Bohemia Cup 2007 on his home ground in Cenkovice (CZE). Sattel / Hochstuckli (SUI) will then stage another FIS World Cup in late August, followed by the events at the Italian resort of Forni di Sopra and the finals at Rettenbach - Bad Tatzmannsdorf (AUT) in mid-September.
The 2007 FIS Junior World Championships in Grass Skiing will be carried out in Welschnofen-Karersee/Nova Levante-Carezza (ITA) from 3rd -5th August. Up to ten nations are expected to participate.
The highlight of the 2007 season will be the FIS World Championships in Grass Skiing at the ski resort of Olesnice v Orlickych in Horach (CZE). Those will take place from 6th - 9th September.
Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Czech Republic continue to be the leading nations in the Grass Skiing family. In Asia, Japan is a strong proponent and in the Middle East, Iran, which organized the FIS World Championships in 2005. For more information about Grass Skiing, including online shops for the required equipment, visit the Official FIS Grass Skiing Committee web site here.˙
The first Working Meeting for the Tour Board and the five Organizing Committees of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski as well as their National Ski Associations took place last Friday at Ammersee near Munich (GER). 29 representatives met to discuss the various aspects of event planning, current status of organization as well as possibilities for further coordination and cooperation across the eight events in three countries. The meeting participants also included new partners interested in making the 2nd edition of the Tour an even greater success - the winter sports event of the year - for all the stakeholders but especially for the sponsors, fans and TV spectators.
"We were very happy with the way the first Tour de Ski turned out. However, last year's success has also increased the expectations and we need to do even better this time. We are working on many details, such as items in administration, promotion and fan services, that will help us make a difference for the second time around," commented Jrg Capol, FIS Race Director Cross-Country and Director of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear. "We are also especially looking forward to the inclusion of Prague (CZE) as the host for the city sprint and to carrying out the Tour in its original planned length of eight races in ten days."
The WADA Doping Quiz is a new educational tool that provides coaches, athletes and other support staff a user friendly and interactive way to learn more about the dangers of doping and their responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code. The Doping Quiz - available in 15 languages - is an interactive computer game that tests the player's knowledge about anti-doping. It can now be easily accessed through the FIS web site by clicking here.
The fight against doping in sport also continues to expand to new regions of the world. Recently three new Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADO) have been established. The new Central African RADO is being hosted by Cameroon while, in South Asia, a new RADO was established based out of the Maldives. For FIS of special importance is the recent establishment of the new Eastern Europe RADO in Belarus. The Belarus government and NOC have agreed to provide office and staff to coordinate anti-doping development in the region.
The RADOs are part of WADA's anti-doping development program. It helps countries and organizations to develop anti-doping programs in regions of the world where no quality doping control programs have been established. In particular, the program brings together several countries and stakeholders within a geographic area to mobilize and pool resources for anti-doping under the umbrella of an independent Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO). The overall goal is to ensure that all athletes in all countries and in all sports are subject to the same anti-doping protocols and processes. The specific objective of the RADO program is to have all countries of the world engaged in anti-doping programs by 2010.
The first Alpine FIS points list for the 2007/08 season is now available either for downloading from the FIS ftp site˙ or from the FIS web site under Alpine Skiing - FIS Points (click here). This latest list is the first one to include specific FIS points for super combined. New is also the RSS functionality for the FIS Points Lists for those who want to conveniently build all the list updates into their daily news feed. (For more information on RSS either through e-mail program or specialized RSS aggregator, see here). As before, the FIS List program can also be downloaded for working off-line while on the road.
|Finally, FIS World Champion |
|Hannu vacationing in Thailand |
Photo: Hannu Manninen
Summer is not just about training but also about having fun
Even after winning four consecutive overall FIS World Cup titles, Hannu Manninen (FIN) still does not have enough of Nordic Combined. In fact, he's committed himself to yet another summer of hard training. And so far, it is looking good: "My training has gone fine until now. We didn't really change anything from the last couple of years," he commented. "Some might have thought that I would quit after I won gold in Sapporo, or that at least it would be hard for me to get motivated for training. But, I can say it was not and I never thought about retiring after the medal. Quite to the contrary: my success in Japan has motivated me to train even harder and it was quite easy for me to get back into training after a short break in the spring."
Today, most people know that off-season Nordic Combined training is not just about hours on roller skis or sessions on the hill. But this year, Hannu Manninen along with the rest of the Finnish Nordic Combined team had a special new challenge. "The World Masters Orienteering Championships were carried out in the area of Kuusamo when we held our training camp at Ruka. Our team ended up staging a promotional event during which we jumped once and had a 1.9km orienteering race. It was a really nice competition - truly something new," Manninen explained enthusiastically. The event was a resounding success with the approximately 2000 spectators who came to cheer. Another highlight in the Finns' training plan is the annual Jumping Carnival, which is held in Vuokatti in the beginning of August. "We'll have a training camp and a competition there together with the ski jumpers. After that, we athletes act as coaches for the little kids, who come to train at the Carnival. It is always a lot of fun and really motivating to see how committed those young ones are already at that early age and how serious they are taking the sport," Manninen said. For all those who had hoped to see Hannu competing in the annual FIS Summer Grand Prix, it might be disappointing that he will not race. "I haven't been on inline skates since 2004 and it would be too difficult for me to get into it again in order to be successful in the SGP. However, I will come to Klingenthal (GER) with the rest of the team to get some good training jumps on the new big hill there," the tall 29-year-old explained.
Not only have the Finns had a break from the regular training schedule. The Austrian team went to Mallorca (SPA) for a 900-km cycling camp before returning home for a canoe trip. The natural reserve of Gesuse provided a perfect setting for the expedition. The camp was rounded up by an introduction to the sport of "trial racing" in which the driver uses a motorbike without a saddle to overcome certain obstacles on the race course.
The Germans, then, went to Cyprus (GRE) for a week of cycling earlier on and will be travelling to Waiorau Snow Farm, New Zealand's only Cross-Country Skiing area, just before the FIS Summer Grand Prix to get some snow under the skis again. Cycling seemed also to have been the training method of choice for the Norwegian team that went to Southern France for a week in May. The French are planning to go to the Ardeche region in France for some endurance training in September and the Swiss will have their annual Oberhof-Klingenthal training camp just before the FIS Summer Grand Prix which kicks off in exactly those two spots. Team Japan is training on home soil for most of the summer. Most teams have scheduled their first "real" snow camps in Scandinavia in November. And, after that, the World Cup Opening in Kuusamo is just a stone throw away.
Contributed by Christina Fritz