Special Communiqu‚ 

  Qualification criteria for Vancouver 2010 ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

  Morgenstern leads the Grand Prix ... more

  Young talents show off at Nordic Combined summer races ... more

  FIS Snowboard World Cup season starts in New Zealand ... more

  Ready, set, go: Roller Skiing Worlds in Oroslavje (CRO) ... more

  Calder and Murray best in ANC Cross-Country ... more

 Inside FIS 

  Jumping national commissioners review rule changes .... more

 Special Communiqu‚ 

Qualification criteria for Vancouver 2010

In May 2007, the International Olympic Committee advised the International Federations (IFs) that the Qualification and Participation Criteria for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games would be analyzed by the IOC at the end of August. Due to logistical, organizational and financial problems facing the Vancouver Organizing Committee with accommodation notably in Whistler, the IOC is obliged to introduce maximum team numbers for all sports, and not just for some sports as has been the case until now.

Even though the IOC alone will take a final decision in regard to the regulations for the National Olympic Committee's participation in the Olympic Winter Games, FIS has undertaken extensive analyses in regard to implementing the Principles defined in the IOC documentation.

Regrettably, it has not been possible to consult all National Ski Associations and the FIS Committees on this subject, due to the short time given by the IOC. Furthermore the situation is more complex for FIS than the other IFs due to the fact that we have six entirely unique disciplines that have to be looked at independently. In this respect, each FIS Technical Committee can (and may) only be concerned about its own discipline, and each National Ski Association is rightly concerned about how the quota system affects its own opportunity to participate in the Games with as many athletes and officials as it would like in the National Olympic Committee's delegation.

In view of this an analysis of possible qualification criteria to conform to the IOC's maximum number requirements was submitted to the FIS Council for review. The FIS Council's task is to look at the picture from an international and multi-discipline perspective, and not only the specific, yet merited arguments from the six FIS disciplines and 108 National Ski Associations. For the IOC, the problem is multiplied even further with each of the seven International Federations and 205 National Olympic Committees presenting different arguments defending their sports.

With the deadline to communicate back to the IOC by 31st August, the position of FIS is to strongly request the IOC to retain the exact same qualification criteria and procedures that were in place at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino.

It is the philosophy of FIS that both the world's top athletes as well as qualified competitors from as many nations as possible will have the opportunity to participate in their National Olympic Committee's team in the Olympic Winter Games and we can assure you that this position will be clearly represented in all discussions with the International Olympic Committee.


 News from the World of Skiing 

Morgenstern leads the Grand Prix
Thomas Morgenstern leads the summer ranking
Photo: NordicFocus
Adam Malysz won at home in Zakopane
Photo: NordicFocus

Austria's Thomas Morgenstern recorded his third victory of the summer season in the first of the two FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping events in Zakopane (POL) last Friday. The double Olympic champion from Torino beat teammate Wolfgang Loitzl and the home favorite Adam Malysz. Simon Ammann (SUI), who landed the longest jump in the final in the second round, finished fourth, improving from 16th after the first round.

In the second competition in Zakopane on Saturday night, Malysz topped Morgenstern by 5.5 points for the victory, with Loitzl finishing third. Malysz, the winner of the 2006 FIS Grand Prix, thrilled the 25,000 fans in attendance after equaling a summer hill record of 139.5 meters in the first round. The Zakopane victory was his first one this summer.

Morgenstern continues to lead the overall ranking of the summer series with 500 points, ahead of Malysz (460) and Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT; 317 points).

The 2007 FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping series will continue in Hakuba (JPN) on 8th-9th September.


Young talents show off at Nordic Combined summer races
Klingenthal winners
Photo: OC Klingenthal

The 10th edition of the FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix began in Klingenthal (GER) on Friday. The first race was dominated by young-and-coming talents as 18-year-old Eric Frenzel (GER), 2007 FIS junior world champion in sprint, won˙and 19-year-old Alfred Rainer (AUT), three-time-medalist at the 2007 Junior Worlds in Tarvisio (ITA), finished 3rd.

The opening mass start event also served as a successful first˙trial for the so-called intermediate sprints in the Nordic Combined mass start competitions. Bonus meters were awarded at two intermediate points on the course for the Top 3 (3 m for the winner) as well as at the finish for the first six (6m for the winner, each meter worth 1.2 points).. "Following discussions at the FIS meetings in the spring, we decided to test the bonus points in Klingenthal to have some practical experience before the winter season. Whether we will introduce this in the winter, too, will be decided in our Autumn Meetings in September," commented Uli Wehling, FIS Race Director Nordic Combined.

Klingenthal also hosted the first-ever international Youth competition in Nordic Combined that was open to girls. Over 50 boys and more than 10 girls participated.

In the second competition in the 2007 FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix in Oberhof / Steinbach-Hallenberg (GER) on Sunday, David Kreiner (AUT) prevailed ahead of Jason Lamy Chappuis (FRA) and Wilhelm Denifl (AUT). After the jumping in Oberhof, the 17km in-line skating Gundersen competition took place in Steinbach-Hallenberg in front of 3'000 enthusiastic spectators. Bernhard Gruber (AUT), who led after the jumping thanks to a sensational jump of 140 m in the second round, broke one of the wheels in his in-line skate. For Kreiner, the 2001 Junior World Champion in sprint, it was his first top podium in the Summer Grand Prix or at World Cup level. He now leads the Summer Grand Prix rankings with 140 points ahead of Kircheisen with 130 points and Frenzel with 113 points.

The Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix will continue in Val di Fiemme (ITA) on Wednesday, 29th August.


FIS Snowboard World Cup season starts in New Zealand
2006/07 FIS World Cup half-pipe winners

The 2007/2008 Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup will kick off this season in New Zealand for the first time. On August 31st and September 1st, the first half-pipe contests will be held in the Johnny Superpipe in Cardrona.

Riders from about 20 nations will fight for the first FIS World Cup points Down Under. Besides the reigning 2007 title holders Ryoh Aono (JPN) and Manuela Laura Pesko (SUI), also the 2007 and 2005 FIS World Champion, many well-known stars of the snowboard scene will be in Cardrona. On the ladies' side, Gretchen Bleiler (USA) and Kjersti Buaas (NOR), 2006 Olympic silver and bronze medalists, respectively, will battle for victory. In the men's competition, 2005 double World Champion Antti Autti (FIN), his teammate Risto Mattila along with Kazuhiro Kokubo (JPN) and Christophe Schmidt (GER) will be at the start - just to mention a few names.

Besides opening the competition season, the riders will need to adjust to a new FIS World Cup half-pipe format. Only the best three ranked riders of each qualification heat will make it directly into the final. The 4th to 9th ranked in each of the two heats will need to fight for the remaining spots in the finals during the semi-finals and only the top six men and three ladies proceed. In the finals, twelve men and six ladies will compete in two runs as last season.


Ready, set, go: Roller Skiing Worlds in Oroslavje (CRO)
Photo: OC Oroslavje

Everything is ready to go for the FIS Roller Skiing World Championships in Oroslavje (CRO) set for 30th August - 2nd September. More than 150 competitors from 17 countries on three continents have been registered. The competition schedule includes four races in the junior male and female, and senior male and female categories each: prologue, sprint, pursuit and relay.

The favorites at the start include, on the men's side, Igor Glushkov (RUS), the defending sprint world champion and current FIS World Cup leader, and Alfio di Gregorio (ITA), the 2006 FIS World Cup overall winner. The defending 2005 world champion in the pursuit, Vitaly Martsyv (RUS), will also compete, as will the double Olympic champion from Torino 2006, Giorgio Di Centa (ITA). On the ladies' side, Mateja Bogatec (ITA) and Elena Vedeneeva (RUS) will defend their sprint respectively pursuit titles. One of their biggest challengers is Maria Magnusson of Sweden, the current leader in the FIS Roller Skiing World Cup.

The first race, the 5.8km˙uphill prologue, will be staged in Bistra on Thursday 30th August. The sprints are scheduled on Friday and Croatian Television will broadcast live. On Friday evening, Stjepan Mesic, President of the Republic of Croatia, will attend the official opening ceremony, along with Dragan Primorac, Minister of Education, Science and Sport and Bozo Biskupic, Minister of Culture and Zlatko Matesa, President of the Croatian Olympic Committee, at the main town square in Oroslavje. The pursuit races will be carried out in Stubicke Toplice. For more information, please˙click here.


Calder and Murray best in ANC Cross-Country
Start of the Kangaroo Hoppet
Photo: Finn Marsland

The 2007 FIS Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) for Cross-Country Skiing concluded on Saturday, 25th August, with the Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek (AUS). Thomas Freimuth (GER) and Katherine Calder (AUS) won the 42km Wordloppet event, which featured nearly 1100 entrants from 22 countries. In the ANC series, Calder and Paul Murray from Australia topped the final standings (for complete standings, see here).

The ANC consisted of seven events for ladies and men in Australia and New Zealand during August. The top three skiers in the series receive extra quota places in the World Cup in March 2008, with the winners of the series receiving a personal place on World Cup already from the first World Cup period. Calder won the 2007 ANC ahead of Australian team-mate Esther Bottomley and 2006 ANC champion Samantha Bondarenko from New Zealand. Murray missed the Kangaroo Hoppet due to illness but already had enough points to hold off Ben Sim from Australia and Tomio Kanamaru from Japan.

In the Kangaroo Hoppet, Freimuth made a series of attacks over the top of the course that broke up the men's field, and won by nearly two minutes. In the ladies race, it was an all-Australian podium with Calder winning ahead of Bottomley and Belinda Phillips.

There is still plenty of snow in Australia and New Zealand and training conditions are expected to be good through until the end of September.

Contributed by Finn Marsland


 Inside FIS 

Jumping national commissioners review rule changes
FIS Obmen gathered in the Black Forest
Photo: Joachim Bruder

13 Ski Jumping commissioners, known in FIS lingo as "Obmen," from their respective National Ski Associations gathered for the FIS Obmen's 23rd Annual Meeting, held in Bad Peterstal-Griesbach, Black Forest (GER) in bright sunshine last weekend. The Obmen are the chiefs of all Jumping Judges and Jumping Technical Delegates (TDs) in their countries, responsible for proposing the judges from their nations for the different assignments and for educating and updating the national officials. 20 National Ski Associations have nominated Obmen at present.

The focus of the meeting was analysis of the past season and updates on the various rule changes that apply as of the coming season. Even though the Jumping officials were under quite some pressure due to the difficult weather circumstances that characterized last season, the TDs, TD Assistants (TDAs) and Jumping Judges received solid marks overall. Special recognition belongs to the work of the Working Group for Judging Evaluation that spares no effort all season long to assess and analyze the judging performance.

The most significant rule change in the area of Jumping Officials, Rules and Controls is that all the FIS World Cup Ski Jumping events will now be covered by four semi-professional TDAs: Jan Kowal (POL), Berni Schoedler (SUI), Ralf Schmid (GER) and Sandro Sambugaro (ITA). They will be on site early on to help the organizers with hill preparation and to share their experience and know-how. While this will reduce opportunities for other TDs, the intention is to ensure certain consistency and similar standards throughout the entire season. As a result, the roles and tasks of the various jury officials were also redefined for the upcoming season.

Moreover, the Annual Meeting reviewed the assignments for the new season and accepted new TD candidates. The Obmen also received diplomas for distribution to the retiring judges and TDs. Finally, the dates for the TD seminars were confirmed: there will be a TD training in Sapporo (JPN) in September and another one in Central Europe in 2008.

Special thanks for the excellent organization of the meeting and the side events goes to Joachim Bruder, the retiring Obman from Germany!

Contributed by Ueli Forrer