News from the World of Skiing 

  Career first victory for young Tochimoto ... more

  Alpine ANC and SAC finals in progress ... more

  Indoor Ski Jumping facility project in Finland ... more

  Head sporting goods company fighting climate change ... more


 Inside FIS 

  IOC Coordination Commission underway in Vancouver ... more

  100 days to go for first Val d'IsŠre test events ... more

  Fresh off the press: FIS Bulletin 2007 ... more


 In Depth 

  Q&A with Evelyne Leu (SUI) ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Career first victory for young Tochimoto
Shohhei Tochimoto (JPN)
Hakuba hills

Shohhei Tochimoto, the 17-year-old Japanese talent, captured his first two podium finishes including a maiden victory in the two FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping events in Hakuba (JPN) last weekend. Tochimoto is a two-time medalist from the 2007 junior Worlds in Tarvisio (ITA) who was part of the Japanese team that won bronze at the FIS World Ski Championships in Sapporo in February. Andreas Kuettel of Switzerland also collected a win and a second place in Hakuba, while Noriaki Kasai, the 35-year-old veteran, finished third and Michael Neumayer (GER) fourth in both events.

With 359 overall points, Kuettel is now third in the 2007 FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping rankings, 101 points behind 2nd-placed Adam Malysz (POL) and 141 points behind the leading Thomas Morgenstern (AUT), both of who did not compete in Japan.

There are two events left in the Grand Prix schedule: the series will resume on October 3rd, the anniversary of German Reunification, in Oberhof (GER) and conclude on October 6th in Klingenthal (GER).

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Alpine ANC and SAC finals in progress
ANC speed finals at Mt Hutt (AUS)
Photo: Neil Bell

The speed events in the Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) finals series were successfully completed today Wednesday with the running of the second super-G and super combined races. Mt Hutt (AUS) turned on some outstanding weather and excellent snow conditions on both days to ensure the athletes were given every opportunity to achieve good Continental Cup results.

Oskar Fischer, the Chairman of the FIS Sub-Committee for Intercontinental Cups, commented favorably on the event: "The courses are good for the athletes and it's good to see that 13 countries are represented in these finals."

The men's ANC super-G series winner is Brenton Fetterplace (AUS) with 180 points while the ladies' series finished in a tie between Kirsten McGarry (IRE) and Janelle Miller (NZE).

The super combined was strongly contested, with Martin Harris (USA) winning the men's on 200 points, and Jana Gantnerova (SVK) winning the ladies' on 200 points.

The ANC finals for giant slalom and slalom are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, respectively. The finals for the South American Cup (SAC) are also taking place at Termas de Chillan (CHI) this week.

Finally, the good news for the Audi FIS World Cup opening in Soelden (AUT): It has already snowed 80 cm there in September which bodes well for the start of the Northern racing season!

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Indoor Ski Jumping facility project in Finland

Ylitornio in Finnish Lapland is trying to develop plans to become the first venue to stage indoor Ski Jumping competitions. The municipality presented the results of an eight-month long feasibility study to the representatives of the Finnish Ski Association on Tuesday. The innovative plan calls for building three hills side-by-side, a Ski Flying hill (K 185) enabling jumps of up to 250 meters, a large hill (K 120) with jumps of approx. 140 m, and a normal hill (K 90).

The top part of the in-run track is planned in a tunnel to be dug into the Aavasaksa mountain. The rest of the facility would also be covered to ensure that weather conditions have no impact on the competition results and that safe and equal conditions can be ensured for all competitors. Given the indoor set-up, the hills could be in use almost ten months a year. For more details, view a short movie here. The estimated budget for the project amounts to _30 million and financing is expected to be available by the end of 2007. The construction is estimated to begin in 2009 and last 2-2.5 years.

"The Aavasaksa project is very interesting and innovative. I have followed the project's planning phase carefully," said Janne Marvaila, Director of Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined at the Finnish Ski Association. "Having the will to push things forward is very positive. The Ski Jumping Committee of the Finnish Ski Association will review the detailed proposal this Friday and formulate its official stance."

In addition to the Aavasaksa project, a competing Ski Flying hill project is underway at Suomu, Kemij„rvi, in the eastern part of Finnish Lapland. This plan foresees a normal Ski Flying hill with construction completed by 2011. There is currently no Ski Flying hill in Finland.

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Head sporting goods company fighting climate change

Head N.V. has partnered with the global environmental charity, Cool Earth, to set up a worldwide environmental program. Cool Earth's mission is to fight climate change head-on by protecting endangered rainforest, which play a vital role in the global climate by absorbing carbon. More than 100 tons of carbon are locked up in each acre of rainforest˙- when the forest is destroyed, the carbon that is released warms the earth's temperature.

Head is the first sporting goods company to "supercharge" its carbon responsibility. Through the partnership with Cool Earth, Head is matching ten times its annual carbon emissions with avoided deforestation credits (rainforest carbon credits). Head is committed to saving over 7,000 acres/28 km2 (per year) of mature rainforest from destruction. The company has also enlisted the help of its athletes for the campaign, including Bode Miller and Hermann Maier.

"I am proud to support such a worthy cause," said Bode Miller. "Cool Earth provides an opportunity to get involved as individuals, and take a step towards saving our environment.." Hermann Maier added: "Head's commitment to making a difference with a global program like this is important to me as a skier and as a citizen.." For more, visit www.coolearth..org.

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 Inside FIS 

IOC Coordination Commission underway in Vancouver
Vancouver
Photo: VANOC

The IOC Coordination Commission in Vancouver officially began on 11th September. Immediately on arriving in the city, FIS President Gian Franco Kasper and Secretary General Sarah Lewis met with the VANOC Sports Services team to review the status of the logistical planning to date for the six FIS disciplines.

The first plenary session of the Commission covered the majority of Tuesday, before the members split into three specific working groups in specialist areas, including NOC Services, Media Services and Paralympic Games. Wednesday morning's program is a key one for FIS with the IOC/IF/VANOC working group on IF relations and sport. Alongside, the Sponsor Services/Marketing and Communications working groups are taking place. In addition to the afternoon workshops of Live Sites and International Client Services, venue inspections for several of the International Federations are scheduled to see the progress made on the ground.

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100 days to go for first Val d'IsŠre test events

A delegation of FIS officials led by Christian Knauth, FIS Marketing and Communications Director, visited the Organizing Committee of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Val d'IsŠre (FRA) on Monday. Following the resignation of Jean-Paul Pierrat from the position of the Director General of the Organizing Committee last week, select changes to the structure of the Organizing Committee have been defined, including the appointment of a new Director General which is imminent.

In the meantime, planning for the Championship test events is proceeding according to the plan; the ladies' downhill and super-G are set for 13th-16th December 2007 while the men's downhill and super combined follow on 2nd-3rd February, exactly a year from the start of the Championships (for more information, see here). In addition to the strong sports program, many great side events are being planned during both these Audi FIS World Cup Events. At the venue, work is currently underway on the courses. The 52Šme Crit‚rium de la PremiŠre Neige for the ladies will be held on the new course Rhone-Alpes on the Solaise mountain, for which all construction is proceeding as planned with completion scheduled by the end of the month of September. On the men's course, a final site inspection by FIS Chief Race Director for the men, Gnter Hujara, has been set for 24th September.

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Fresh off the press: FIS Bulletin 2007

The 2007 edition of the FIS Bulletin is now fresh off the press. It includes news from inside FIS, a 2006/2007 season overview, 2007/2008 preview, FIS Committee updates and various articles of importance for the extended FIS family. Copies of the FIS Bulletin along with the latest version of the FIS World Statistics have been sent to all Member National Ski Associations and will also be available at the FIS Autumn Meetings in Zurich. Happy reading!

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 In Depth 

Q&A with Evelyne Leu (SUI)
Evelyne Leu victorious in Deer Valley
Photo: Mike Ridewood
Leu at 2007 Worlds
Photo: Agence Zoom

The challenge of competition

Evelyne Leu (SUI), 2006 Olympic Champion and 2006 FIS World Cup aerials winner, was not quite satisfied with the 2006/2007 season where she ranked 3rd in the aerials FIS World Cup and missed a medal at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Madonna di Campiglio (ITA) due to a fall in the second jump. A Q&A with the 31-year-old about her training and goals for the 15th season in the FIS World Cup follows below.

Q. What has been different this summer compared with the year before?

A. Last year after becoming Olympic champion in Torino, I had too many appointments and was often very tired. I struggled to fit my training into the schedule. Now I am doing it the other way around. And I am noticing that I now have enough experience. If something does not work out the way I wanted, I can deal with it better. I am glad to see I am improving. For example, as the World Cup event in Australia was cancelled, I immediately booked a week of vacation on the island of Mallorca. I would not have done that in the past. I would have said that I will take a break and still continue with my training. I now know that I need enough rest to improve. And when I train, I do it 100%. Also, I pay more attention to strength training. I need that more now than when I was 20.

Q. For you, what are the highlights in the coming season?

A. There are interesting new venues in the schedule. A FIS World Cup will take place in Vancouver at the planned Olympic venue, Cypress Mountain and then there are the World Ski Championship test events in Japan. Performing well there means a lot. One event will take place in Moscow (RUS). I have no idea how it is there and I am very excited. Of course I also want to do well at home in Davos (SUI).

Q. How important is summer training on the water jumps?

A. Water jumps have always been important for training. If you cannot do it there, it won't work on snow either.

Q. How about on snow: Are you satisfied if you jumped well even if you did not make it onto the podium?

A. I am quite pleased to know that I make it to the podium if I do not crash. Then, if someone is better it does not matter as opposed to if I lost because I fell.

Q. Imagine you finished 4th in Vancouver in 2010 with a good Full Full Full. Would you be satisfied?

A. That would be tough. But if my jumps are no longer enough to finish in the top three I have to get better. That is what the challenge is.

Q. Are you practising new jumps?

A. Last year, I started practising something new. But, it is not surprising that it did not work given the circumstances. I am in a better shape now. It is still not perfect but I am getting there and believe I will make it.

Q. What motivates you after so many years?

A. The competitions. That's where you have to deliver your best and what makes me tick.

Contributed by Swiss-Ski

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