News from the World of Skiing 

  Kober (GER) and Bozzetto (FRA) victorious in Landgraaf ... more

  S”lden looking good! ... more

  Important milestone for Val d'IsŠre ... more

  FIS President attends GAISF Council Meeting ... more

  Nordic ski journalists gather in ™stersund ... more

  More girls for Nordic Combined ... more

  Vancouver 2010 tickets to go on sale in a year ... more


 Inside FIS 

  FIS Alpine TD updates in progress ... more

  FIS Academy Intensive Event Program continues ... more

  FIS Medical Committee Educational Series: Part 3

Fit to Ski - Nutritional Concerns ... more


 In Depth 

  Before the Season with Gnter and Atle ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Kober (GER) and Bozzetto (FRA) victorious in Landgraaf
Amelie Kober (GER)

They may have the same birthday (16th November) but with 14 years of age difference: Amelie Kober (GER) and Mathieu Bozzetto (FRA) were the winners of the NOKIA Snowboard FIS Word Cup season's first parallel slalom in the SnowWorld ski hall in Landgraaf (NED), the former a young talent at just 19 and the latter in the latter stage of his career at 33. In the ladies' final, the German Olympic silver medalist edged Heidi Neururer of Austria to defend her 2006 victory on the 260-meter course in the Dutch ski hall. The local hero Nicolien Sauerbreij (NED) finished an excellent 3rd. On the men's side, Siegfried Grabner (AUT) missed his third consecutive victory as he finished only two hundredths of a second behind Bozzetto. It was the 61st World Cup podium and the 32nd victory for Bozzetto who considered retiring after the last season but then chose to continue one more year motivated by the change to a new board brand. In the battle for third, Marc Iselin (SUI) successfully competed against Zan Kosir (SLO).

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S”lden looking good!
Soelden GS course overview
Race course on Tuesday

The NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup will continue on October 20th as the season's first parallel giant slaloms will be held on the Rettenbach glacier in S”lden (AUT), just like in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The men will chase down the slope on Saturday followed by the ladies one day later. The busy schedule to launch the season in Europe will continue, in S”lden, a week later. The traditional season opening giant slalom races in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup will take place on 27th and 28th October.

The weather forecast for the coming days promises a significant fall in temperatures with the freezing point dropping down below 1000m of altitude as from Thursday. Atle Skaardal, FIS Chief Race Director for the ladies' FIS Alpine World Cup commented: "The ongoing work and current conditions on the race course on the glacier look very promising. I am looking forward to a solid start for the season in S”lden. A good start there, as it looks like we'll have, will help us get us well on our way to having a great season!" For the current weather forecast for S”lden, click here.

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Important milestone for Val d'IsŠre
Val d'Isere (FRA) in March 2007
Photo: OC Val d'Isere

The Organizing Committee for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2009 in Val d'Isere (FRA) received a very important visit on Monday: The French Minister for Health, Youth and Sports, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin traveled to the site of the 2009 championships to take stock of the preparations. Accompanied by Sophie Dion, Councilor for sports to the French Presidency, and Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary-General, the minister learnt about important progress made on site. For example, the construction of the lift to men's downhill start is on schedule to be completed by November 15th, and work on finalizing the courses as well as other ongoing projects such as the new "Vers les Eaux" car park near the finish area is almost complete. The final FIS inspection on the Face-en-Face courses to give the go-ahead for the pre-World Championship events in December and February, for the women and men respectively, is set for 24th-25th October.

Construction on the over 5000-square-meter sports center has also started. This facility is planned to host 500 working spaces in the Main Press Center as well as the International Broadcasting Center and athlete hospitality. The building work on the complex is scheduled to be finished in October 2008.

Following the meeting with the Minister and the leaders of the Organizing Committee, as well as other government national, regional and local authorities, Sarah Lewis commented: "The personal engagement from the Minister of sport demonstrates the recognition given at the highest level in France to the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Val d'IsŠre. Much progress has been made with the construction over the summer and autumn, but whilst we are optimistic that the event will be a success, it is necessary to remain vigilant, and there is still much work to be done with the preparations."

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FIS President attends GAISF Council Meeting

The autumn GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations) Council meeting took place on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th October at the organization's headquarters in Monte Carlo, Monaco. FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, representing the Winter Sports Federations on the Council, was present for both days of meetings chaired by GAISF President, Hein Verbruggen (NED). GAISF is an important organization for the sports movement with its membership comprising both the large federations that are established on the program of the Olympic Games as well as the numerous smaller federations, some of whom have status as IOC recognized federations. The GAIFS Council Meeting coincided with SportelMonaco 2007, a major worldwide television market for the sports, attended by broadcasters, acquisitions and distribution executives, producers, event organizers, sponsors, marketing agencies and representatives of the new media.

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Nordic ski journalists gather in ™stersund

FIS was well-represented at the 2007 Forum Nordicum, the annual meeting of the Union of Nordic Ski Journalists that is part of the AIPS (`Association de la Presse Sportive'), which took place in ™stersund (SWE) from Monday, 15th October until Thursday, 18th October. The host of the 2008 Biathlon World Championships in early February, ™stersund welcomed more than 80 representatives of the media, ski industry, organizing committees and the Nordic ski sports' governing bodies at the Forum. Besides special presentations on the year's title events in Biathlon and the FIS Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER), the agenda included presentations on the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec (CZE), Worldloppet, Vasaloppet, and on the latest developments in the available techniques on snow-making, among many others.

On Wednesday during the so-called FIS Day, the FIS delegation led by Secretary-General Sarah Lewis provided an update on the latest FIS news. FIS Marketing and Communications Director gave an update on various initiatives whilst FIS Nordic Race Directors Jrg Capol, Walter Hofer and Uli Wehling discussed the latest developments in their respective disciplines.

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More girls for Nordic Combined
Magdalena Schnurr (GER)
Photo: www.nordische-kombination.de

The traditional Pupils' Summer Grand Prix, held in conjunction with the FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix, took place in Klingenthal (GER) this year. The event was not only stage at a new site - previously Berchtesgaden (GER) - but also˙included a˙new category of competitors: This year, girls aged 14-15 had their own official competition. Ten athletes from four different nations (GER, ITA, NOR, SLO) took advantage of this possibility to compete. Magdalena Schnurr (GER) won, in front of Gyda Enger (NOR) and Ann-Kristin Ahlers, also of Germany.

All in all, the first Nordic Combined competition for girls was a great success. "I'm very happy about this chance to compete in Klingenthal. The organization was perfect and it was nice to see so many competitors from different nations. The side events, too, such as the excursion to the summer bob track, were wonderful," said 14-year-old Simona Senoner from Italy. Coach of the German team, Sven Koch was equally enthusiastic. "It was a great event. At present, most girls in Nordic Combined are jumpers who also like to ski. However, if more Nordic Combined competitions for girls were offered, many might specialize in Nordic Combined rather than in Ski Jumping. It would help bring the level of competition up rapidly." FIS Nordic Combined Race Director Uli Wehling commented: "We in the FIS Nordic Combined Executive Board are pleased about the success of the first official event for girls in Klingenthal. Our approach is a long-term strategy to help the National Ski Associations to develop female participation in Nordic Combined from the ground up. The races for this age group are primarily held at the local and regional levels. We hope that some organizers will take advantage of this chance to stage winter events this season. And we'll be happy to use all available means to support this development and shall evaluate the situation again in our spring meeting in Cape Town."

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Vancouver 2010 tickets to go on sale in a year

VANOC, the Vancouver Games Organizing Committee, announced last week that tickets to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games will go on sale in just little less than a year from now, on 11th October, 2008. Approximately 1.6 million tickets will be available, with 100'000 tickets priced at $25. Half of all tickets are priced at $100 or less and Opening and Closing Ceremonies tickets will range from $175 to $1'100. Together with its partners, VANOC is also following through on its bid commitment to purchase and distribute 50'000 tickets to the Olympic and Paralympic events to those who would not otherwise have the means to attend. The ticket buying process will be staged in phases and will also include lotteries to fairly distribute tickets to Olympic events where the demand for tickets exceeds the supply. The sign-up for more information can be found at www.vancouver2010.com.

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 Inside FIS 

FIS Alpine TD updates in progress
Photo: Agence Zoom

The FIS Alpine Technical Delegates' annual update program began last weekend in the Northern hemisphere. The material for the update was distributed by the FIS Office to the 15 worldwide TD Commissioners who are responsible for their local and regional updates.

This year, the focus of the seminar program is on practical cases as well as on quiz questions to be resolved by the participants with guidelines and advice provided by the Commissioners in charge of facilitating each session. Mistakes and difficult situations from the past season have been collated into illustrative cases on the basis of results and TD reports. A series of videos will provide the TDs with practical ideas on how to act under different circumstances and help them to be prepared to respond in a correct manner in the future.

A total of 106 TDs from AUT, CZE, SVK, POL UKR, SLO, CRO, MKD, SER and BUL already had their update course last weekend. During the next five weekends, a total of ten update courses will be offered to the rest of the 458 FIS Alpine Technical Delegates. In addition, 34 candidates will take their written examinations and if they pass, they will be able to have their practical TD examination during the next winter season and receive their FIS Alpine Technical Delegate licenses. Currently, there are 945 FIS Alpine Technical Delegates with a valid license, i.e. the next license to be awarded will be the license # 946.

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FIS Academy Intensive Event Program continues

The Bulgarian Ski Federation and Ski Association of Slovenia benefit from FIS Academy Programs

In July 2007, the FIS Academy conducted its most recent 5-Day Intensive Event and Administration Program in Manchester. Taking part in the program were Mila Andreeva from the Bulgarian Ski Federation and Matjaz Stibelj from the Ski Association of Slovenia. On the eve of the next 5-Day Intensive Event and Administration Program to be held 19th-23rd November, make sure to read what they thought about the Program. The FIS Academy has limited 50% scholarship opportunities available for National Ski Associations. These can be accessed by contacting Peter Schofield by phone on +44 7919 305 569 or email at˙pschofield@wasec.mbs.ac.uk.

Click here to read the thoughts of Mila Andreeva and Matjaz Stibelj about the July course.

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FIS Medical Committee Educational Series: Part 3

Fit to Ski - Nutritional Concerns

The third article in the FIS Medical Committee Educational Series, entitled Fit to Ski - Nutritional Concerns and written by Bob Morrell (CAN), member of the FIS Medical Committee, together with Carl Petersen and Patricia Chuey, is now available. These short educational articles are intended to help provide practical advice on current medical topics related to skiing and snowboarding activities.

Proper nutrition has a direct impact on athletic performance both in training and competition. In an easy-to-use ABC format, this article lists simple steps for skiers to maximize their nutritional preparation and knowledge. It also includes tips for recovery foods, nutritional supplements and nutrition while traveling. To read or download the article, please click here.

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 In Depth 

Before the Season with Gnter and Atle
Gnter Hujara
Photo: Agence Zoom
Atle Skaardal
Photo: Christian Jansky

The FIS Newsflash caught up with Gnter Hujara and Atle Skaardal, FIS Chief Race Directors for men's and ladies' Alpine Skiing, respectively, at the outset of the new season. They shared some of their thoughts before the winter that begins in S”lden next week and culminates in the FIS Grand Finals 2008 in Bormio (ITA) in mid-March.


FIS Newsflash: How do you expect the season to be?

Gnter Hujara: With no FIS World Championships or Olympics on the schedule, I expect that many teams will take advantage of this season to have their young talents collect experience in the World Cup. This will be important for them moving towards the 2010 Games. Nevertheless I expect the experienced stars, including Svindal, Cuche, Miller and Raich, to hold their own. Based on some reports on their preparations, it promises to be an interesting season!

At the same time, I hope for a good snow year, especially for enough cold days. But I equally hope for as few injuries as possible. Based on the early results of the FIS Injury Surveillance System carried out by the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center (www.ostrc.no) for the first time last season, we now have written testimony to the need to remain vigilant in controlling the total stress load on our athletes. We must take steps to reduce the overall load in various ways: from decreasing the number of races to minimizing traveling time, and beyond. Our main goal is and must be prevention!

Atle Skaardal: I am hoping for a good season, in all areas including snow. At the same time, the FIS World Cup organizers demonstrated last season that they are in a position to perform well even in challenging conditions. If we have, as it looks like, a good start into the season in S”lden, we'll be well on our way to having another good season. I am also pleased to welcome two new members to my team: Markus Mayr as the new Race Director for the technical events and Andi Kroenner in the position of FIS World Cup Support. Both are experienced professionals and know the skiing world well so I am convinced they will do a good job!

FIS Newsflash: What's new this year?

Gnter Hujara: The new draw-based starting order for the speed disciplines was adopted on the basis of the coaches' and athletes' suggestions alike. We shall see if it will provide the expected fairer conditions for the best racers. The new equipment rules will also be valid in the FIS World Cup as of this season, to be followed by the other competition levels in the 2008/09 season. The main goal of the change, effectively wider skis but a lower position, is intended to improve the racers' ability to control the skis.

Another important change for this season is the increased importance of the public draw. If a competitor misses a public draw, they will automatically be enrolled after the start number 45. Additionally a sanction of up to CHF 999 may be applied and or in case of recurrence, even CHF 5'000! Fundamentally, this is a way to balance the rights and obligations in our system by requiring more professionalism from all the stakeholders. While the racers are expected to fulfill their public obligations, this new rule also challenges the organizers to plan their events even better and respect the athletes by being on time.

Atle Skaardal: It will be interesting to see how the equipment rule change plays out. I think that it will be technically more challenging to ski on the new skis as fast as last year. Quite a few skiers are likely to have to adapt their techniques! Overall, however, the rule change is just part of the bigger picture: it is the symbiosis of the racer, course, equipment and weather & snow conditions that determines the speed. This equipment adjustment was needed to bring that side of the equation in balance with the developments in the others. Keeping the speed under control is the ultimate objective!

On the ladies' side, the starting order might give the top racers slightly improved racing conditions compared with the rules last season. But we shall see.

FIS Newsflash: What is particular about this season?

Gnter Hujara: Well, for the first time, the men's tour will join the ladies at the Zagreb evening slalom, in line with the trend to bring the FIS World Cup near cities. In fact, the two-slalom evening event boasts a total prize money budget of _330'000, _165'000 for the ladies and men each! We will also have a true test of the revised courses in Vancouver and of their event organization as the first Olympic test events will take place for the ladies and men together on one weekend. The men's 2009 pre-World Championships in Val d'IsŠre (FRA) in February will also represent the first time that the Face Bellevarde is raced since the Albertville Olympics in 1992.

Atle Skaardal: We'll have five big events with ladies and men together this season; from S”lden to Levi and from Zagreb and Vancouver to the FIS Grand Finals 2008 in Bormio. We have two new organizers on the calendar with Panorama and Vancouver which is always great as new organizers often contribute new ideas and are well-motivated. The new ladies' course, Solaise, in Val d'Isere will be very challenging so we are happy to have an early test event. I do see great potential with that course!

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