News from the World of Skiing 

  South American Cup kick off ... more

  Dry land Cross-Country season in full process ... more

 Inside FIS 

  ORIS the Olympic Results and Information Service ... more

  Taxation Rules in Europe easy to find ... more

  5th FIS Youth and Children's Seminar ... more

 Member News  

  New president at Liberec 2009 ... more

  On-ice workout for the U.S. Alpine Ski Team ... more

 In Depth 

  FIS Staff Member in Portrait - Christoph Stulz ... more

 News from the World of Skiing  

South American Cup kick off
Cristian Javier Simari Birkner (ARG)

The Southern hemisphere Alpine Continental Cup season will start soon. For the first time, the South American Cup (SAC) will kick off at Cerro Castor (ARG), the southernmost ski area in the world located in the `Tierra del Fuego' (Land of Fire) National Park. The competitions will begin with the ladies' and men's giant slalom races on 7th August, 2007 and continue on 8th August with slalom races of both genders. Cerro Castor is a new ski resort, which is becoming more and more attractive for training camps for several traditional Alpine nations because of the low altitude of between only 195-1'057 meters over the sea level. After the competitions in Cerro Castor, the SAC will continue at the traditional venue of Cerro Catedral (ARG) on 21st-22nd August.

At the end of August, the SAC will move to Chile, where speed races and a slalom competition will take place in La Parva and a giant slalom in El Colorado. The last stage of the SAC will be held in Termas de Chillan (CHI), where the first three races will be organized by the Brazilian Ski Association. From 8th-14th September, the Chilean Ski Association will host the Cup finals, including super combined races for the second time in the Cup's history. Termas de Chillan, the famous winter sport resort in the Chilean Andes, will also be the host of the 2010 FIS Junior Alpine World Ski Championships. Last year, the SAC rankings were dominated by the siblings Cristian Javier and Maria Belen Simari Birkner (ARG) - by the middle of September we will know if they were able to repeat that feat.

South America is enjoying excellent snow conditions this year. Cerro Castor and Cerro Catedral in Argentina as well as El Colorado, La Parva and Termas de Chillan in Chile are all reporting at least a meter of snow in the mountains. Besides the South American Cup, the Australia/New Zealand Cup, another one of the five regional series in the Alpine Inter-Continental Cup program, which also includes European Cup, Nor-Am Cup and Far East Cup, is scheduled to start in late-August in excellent snow conditions.

"The Alpine Inter-Continental Cups play a very important role as a stepping stone into the FIS Alpine World Cup, and especially for the younger athletes, as an opportunity for them to gain valuable high-level competition experience," says Oskar Fischer, Chairman of the FIS Sub-Committee for Inter-Continental Cups and adds: "Particularly, I'm happy that after the successful premier last year, super combined races for both genders are also included in this year's schedule of both Continental Cups in the southern hemisphere. With that, we create an additional motivation for the implementation of speed disciplines. We are looking forward to great COC series in the southern hemisphere and wish all athletes good luck! This year it looks like both the SAC and the ANC series will enjoy great snow conditions which promises especially good competitions and an exciting season."

Contributed by Sandra Spitz


Dry land Cross-Country season in full process
FIS Roller Skiing World Cup
by NM 2007/photo: Pierre Teyssot

During the summer months, Cross-Country athletes and the Roller Skiing specialists participate in several competitions around Europe. Today, we've included an overview of some of these interesting summer races.

In the annual FIS Roller Skiing World Cup, three stages with distance and sprint races have already taken place in the last two months, beginning with races in Piglio in Italy, followed by Villard de Lars in France and Markkleeberg/Leipzig (GER). The Italian Roller Skiing team led by the men's 2006 overall Roller Skiing World Cup winner Alfio Di Gregorio, the strong Russian team with the current men's overall leader Igor Glushkov and the 22nd-year-old Maria Magnusson from Sweden have been the series dominators until now. As a result, they can confidently look forward to the highlight of the season - the FIS Roller Ski Championships in Oroslavje (CRO) from 28th August to 2nd September.

Unfortunately, the fourth stage of the FIS Roller Skiing World Cup in Moscow (RUS) from the 10th to 12th August has had to be cancelled due to logistical problems. The FIS Roller Skiing World Cup will then continue in Samsun (TUR) on 15th-16th September, the last stage in the series.

Other examples of popular summer races include the two competitions which took place last weekend in the North - the `Aateli Race' in Vuokatti (FIN) and the invitational Roller Ski Races in Sandes (NOR). The third edition of the `Aateli Race' consisted of a running race followed by an uphill roller skiing race. By contrast, the competition in Sandes was only a roller skiing race. Both races have traditionally been used by top Cross-Country athletes for their summer training. The 2007 Aateli Race was won by Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) in the ladies' race and by Maxim Odnodvortsev (KAZ) in the men's race. In Sandes, the Norwegians Marit Bjoergen and Oeystein Pettersen were successful in both races.


Lukas Bauer
by OC Otep
Saku Suverull 2006
by OC Otep

One of the summer's most important tests for Cross-Country athletes will be the 17th annual Saku Suverull that will be held in Otep (EST) on 10th -11th August. This year, the scene's main international summer competition will celebrate a premiere as Saku Suverull 2007 welcomes its participants to two separate roller skiing competitions, a sprint and a distance race, on the newly renovated tracks, instead of the old scheme that included a prologue in roller skiing, a mass start running race followed by a pursuit in roller skiing.

"Clearly, the sprint is gaining a bigger role in Cross-Country. Our decision was to modify our event and that is why we included two different competitions in the Saku Suverull 2007 program," explained Tiit Pekk, Chief of Competition in Otep and Chairman of the FIS Sub-Committee for World and Continental Cups.

The weekend will begin with a sprint competition on Friday, August 10th, held in the classical technique in the World Cup Cross-Country competition format. On Saturday, the first part of the competition for the distance racers is a free technique roller-skiing race with interval start - 10 km for ladies and 15 km for men. The start in the afternoon roller-ski race in the classical technique (ladies 12 km, men 20 km) will be a handicap start based on the morning's results.

Skiers from 16 countries will take part in Saku Suverull 2007 and nine World Champions from Sapporo are expected to start. The Finnish force of Virpi Kuitunen, Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Riitta Liisa Roponen and Pirjo Muranen (former: Pirjo Manninen) will probably fight with the Russian A-team for the victories.
The men's races have been quite open every year and this time it will be no exception. Norwegian skiers haven't won a single race in the event's history. Odd-Bjorn Hjelmeset, Frode Estil, Petter Northug, Tor Arne Hetland and Eldar Ronning are all coming to Otep to finally try to add Norway onto the winners' list. Add Cristian Zorzi and Renato Pasini from Italy, Dusan Kozisek from Czech Republik, Thobias Fredriksson from Sweden and a long list of Russians led by Vassili Rotchev and the sprint event should be as attractive as in the winter. Click here for more information about Saku Suverull.

Includes contributions by Veiko Ulp and Sandra Spitz


 Inside FIS  

ORIS the Olympic Results and Information Service
Information coordinated by ORIS

One of the key issues for the IOC and all International Federations including FIS in preparation of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games is developing the information for the ORIS system. Maybe you have already heard or read something about ORIS but do you know what stands behind the abbreviation? ORIS means the "Olympic Results and Information Service." It is a highly effective and efficient information system based on documentation agreed upon by all key parties, which in our case means the IOC, the Olympic Organising Committee, the respective discipline data service provider and the International Ski Federation. It outlines the technological requirements for each Olympic sport so that every technology partner understands exactly what, when and to whom they have to deliver in each area and that continuity can be guaranteed. The ORIS program made its debut at the Olympics in Nagano in 1998. This summer and autumn, numerous meetings are being held on the ORIS Requirements Project for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Several working groups including the FIS Race Directors and the responsible data persons are working on updating the system to ensure optimal results at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

"ORIS is a great process program. It clearly defines all the steps during the Olympic Games and every piece of data. The current focus, besides on updating the information, is on defining exactly the processes of the newly included disciplines in the Olympic program. For 2010, this includes the super combined in Alpine Skiing and ski cross in Freestyle", says Francesco Cattaneo, FIS IT Manager and FIS Coordinator for the ORIS project.

Contributed by Sandra Spitz


Taxation Rules in Europe easy to find

Organizers and athletes in nations based in the European Union be attentive: The International Sports Federations have been advised by the European Union that it introduced a new website relating to taxation which will be a very useful for the organizers of major international sports events taking place in Europe, as well as for professional athletes living in the region , who often have to face the complexity of different levels of national taxation. It will make it easy for those involved in a trans-national activity to know quickly which and how the taxation rule is applied. The `Taxes in Europe database' is the European Commission's on-line information tool covering the main taxes in force in the EU Member States. Access is free for all users and the system contains information on around 500 taxes, as provided to the European Commission by the national authorities. Please click here to get more information and enter the database


5th FIS Youth and Children's Seminar

For the 5th consecutive year, FIS is organizing a Youth and Children's Seminar this autumn. Following the successful seminars held in Magglingen (SUI) in 2003, in Bucharest (ROM) in 2004, in Dublin (IRE) in 2005, and in Heerlen/Landgraaf (NED) in 2006, this year's seminar will for the first time take place in conjunction with the FIS Autumn Meetings in Zrich. The seminar is scheduled to be held at the Hotel Hilton (Airport) on 26th September. Important subjects around the Youth and Children Sport will be discussed with the representatives of the National Ski Associations and the Members of the Sub-Committees for the Youth & Children Questions such as the importance of the support of the parents, the challenges and opportunities of the sport and the different possibilities how we could animate the kids to take part in the ski sport. For the first time, following the reorganization of the Youth & Children's Committees, the seminar will be led by Ken Read, Chairman of the FIS Youth & Children Coordination Group.


 Member News  

New president at Liberec 2009
Part of OC Prague
with Katerina Neumannova

Katerina Neumannova, the former top Cross-Country athlete from the Czech Republic, has switched from active sport to the managing ski events. The extremely popular Olympic and World Champion was appointed as the new president of the Organizing Committee of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec by the committee's general meeting last week. Neumannova, mother of 4-year-old Lucie, succeeds Roman Kumpost in this position.

FIS Secretary General commented on the change of leadership in Liberec "The relations with the competent Organizing Committee in Liberec has been first class until now and we trust that the collaboration can continue in this way. The FIS World Cup competitions this season will serve as test events and these are a crucial element in the preparations for the championships"

In addition to the pre-World Championships events in Liberec, Katerina Neumannova will gain her first on-site experiences as World Cup organizer already this coming December. She is heading the organizing committee in charge of carrying out the second stage of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear in the city of Prague. The free style sprint race is scheduled for 30th of December 2007.

"No place in Prague is more beautiful than Hradcanske namesti, the area where we will organize the first World Cup Sprint in Prague," said Neumannova in front of about 40 media representatives in the first official Press Conference on 25th July. Neumannova, the OC team, the Czech Tour participant Martin Koukal and FIS Race Director Cross-Country Jrg Capol informed the interested media about the FIS Tour de Ski in general and the details of the Stage in Prague in particular concerning the course, logistics and snow production. For more information about the FIS Tour de Ski in Prague please click here.

Contributed by Sandra Spitz


On-ice workout for the U.S. Alpine Ski Team
On-ice workout

The U.S. Men's Alpine Ski Team swapped skis for hockey skates and equipment in its latest camp as coaches, looking at opportunities for strong cross-over training, brought in the head coach of the Utah Grizzlies Jason Christie and a former NHL player Andre Faust to organize on-ice workouts designed to payoff when the racers return to snow this winter.

"Everyone was fired-up to have the camp and we ended up with everyone still being fired-up," said two-time Olympian Marco Sullivan (USA) as he headed home from the camp. "This next week's definitely going to be a week of rest," he laughed.

The U.S. Ski Team coaches also joined the alpine men for the skating and tactics drills session. Hockey drills are for example good for footwork, balance and quickness in addition to boosting aerobic capacity and body awareness in high-speed motion.

The first hockey camp won't be the last, according to head coach Phil McNichol. "The skating and awareness factors improved five- or six-fold," said McNichol and added:" The transfer of skills, and keeping them focused on their real sport, was great. This camp was everything we wanted."


 In Depth 

FIS Staff Member in Portrait - Christoph Stulz
Christoph Stulz

We continue our series of brief portraits of key FIS staff. These are intended to help you know who to contact for what and to provide some more background on who you might already be working with in the FIS Office in Oberhofen (SUI).

FIS Newsflash: What is your area of responsibility in the FIS Office?

Christoph Stulz: My primary responsibility is the maintenance of the FIS office in Oberhofen (SUI). This includes diverse tasks from network installation to repairs and cleaning, and everything in between. Overall, I am the contact person for all our suppliers relating to the office building. I also help in the logistical organization of the larger FIS meetings, especially the International Ski Congress, FIS Calendar Conference, the Autumn Meetings and the FIS Council's meetings. This includes preparation of the meeting materials and rooms. I also operate the in-house print service and manage all the large mailings for the FIS membership and Committee members. Finally, I oversee the FIS network, data and telecommunications hardware solutions and generally support our IT team as an always-on-site help desk.

FIS Newsflash: How did you come to work for FIS?

Christoph Stulz: I started to work for FIS in February 1990. The FIS Office in Oberhofen was inaugurated on the occasion of the FIS Congress in Montreux in May 1990. As a native of Oberhofen, I had followed the construction of the building and as the job as caretaker was advertised, I applied. From the beginning, they were looking for someone to take care of the building on a regular basis, including the weekends. So, I joined in time to help finish the construction and move the staff from the old office near Bern to Oberhofen. Since then I have seen the organization grow significantly in terms of full-time staff as its tasks have multiplied. In fact, we already fill each office in the house.

FIS Newsflash: What do you enjoy most, at your FIS work and outside of it?

Christoph Stulz: Contact with people from around the world is what makes it special to work at FIS. The work is also very diverse; there are no monotonous days and it is a great working environment. Of course, since I am available 24 hours every day of the week, I do prefer to travel somewhere on vacation as otherwise it would be difficult to switch off. This also applies to our entire family since they all help out when I travel to any of the FIS meetings by taking care of the building in my absence. During my 17 years at FIS I have had the chance to travel quite a bit but I have especially fond memories from the FIS Congress in Rio where we enjoyed an especially relaxed atmosphere despite having to do quite some work on site. In my free time, I also like to take trips with our camper van around Europe but especially in Italy. In addition I also enjoy skiing and mountain biking as well as, of course, spending time with the family and our dog. And, like most Swiss males, I serve in our municipality's fire brigade.