|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|Marlies Schild wins again |
Photo: Agence Zoom
|First World Cup victory to Marc Gini (SUI)|
Photo: Agence Zoom
Moved from Levi (FIN) due to a lack of snow, the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup had a snowy welcome at Reiteralm (AUT). Hefty amounts of snow posed the Styrian organizers at Reiteralm (AUT) with a different challenge. Yet, the slalom FIS World Cup was launched in great conditions last weekend. Defending World Cup slalom champion Marlies Schild of Austria again proved her strength, taking the World Cup victory #16. The Austrians ended up with a double victory as Schild's teammate and defending overall FIS World Cup champion Nicole Hosp finished 2nd. The upstart Italian team continued its early momentum, with Chiara Costazza claiming her first career World Cup podium following Denise Karbon's surprise victory in the opening giant slalom two weeks ago on the S”lden glacier.
The `epic' snowfall continued during the men's race on Sunday. To everyone's surprise, it was Marc Gini (SUI) who nailed down his first-ever victory. The top six finishers in the season's first slalom came from six different nations, including Finland's Kalle Palander and Italy's Manfred Moelgg who rounded out the podium, followed by Jean-Baptiste Grange (FRA) in fourth, Mario Matt (AUT) fifth and Swede Markus Larsson sixth. Starting with bib# 19, Gini already led after the first run. Previously, he had reached the top 10 four times, but had only a 9th place as his best finish, and a podium place as his main season goal.
The men's Audi FIS Alpine World Cup now makes its annual North American tour. The speed skiers kick off their 2007-08 season with a downhill and super-G at Lake Louise, Alberta, in the stunning Canadian Rockies. The ladies' tour will continue with technical events at Panorama, B.C., followed by the traditional Lake Louise speed events.
|Ladies EC opening in Neuss|
Photo: Skihalle Neuss
This season, the opening of the FIS European Cup returned indoors after a one year break. The men's season kicked off in the SnowWorld in Landgraaf (NED) while the ladies' season started in the ski halls of Bottrop and Neuss (GER), both last weekend. The four slalom events were conducted as three-run slaloms: the first two runs were raced according to the normal slalom rules (and are valid for FIS points) but then only the 30 best qualified for the third and last run. Competition in the third and final run started from null, with no time advantages from the FIS races carrying over.
"We are very pleased with these first trials of the three-run slalom format. Along with technical prowess, it also requires considerable concentration and tactical skill from the athletes," commented Janez Flere, Coordinator for the ladies' FIS European Cup tour. "We are looking forward to a first outdoor trial of this format, perhaps next season somewhere together with the men's European Cup."
European Cup points were awarded for the top 30 of the combined results of the third runs of each race only. After the indoor slaloms, Germany's Monika Springl now leads the ladies' European Cup rankings, ahead of Anna Fenninger (AUT) and Springl's teammate Katharina Duerr (GER). Fenninger won both of the two-run FIS races, but made some mistakes in the third run in Neuss. 22nd and 11th in the FIS races, Springl finished 2nd in both of the final rounds, behind Fenninger in Bottrop and behind Duerr in Neuss.
In the men's rankings, the lead is shared by Hans Olsson (SWE) and Christof Innerhofer (ITA) ahead of Paul McDonald of USA. While Innerhofer won the first final, Olsson topped the field in the second. The wins in both of the two-run FIS slalom races went to Paul Stutz (CAN) who however made too many mistakes in both of the final runs.
The Third World Conference on Doping in Sport, organized by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is taking place from Wednesday, 14th until Saturday, 17th November in Madrid (SPA). Nearly 1'500 representatives of the sport movement, public authorities, the anti-doping community and other stakeholders are gathering to discuss the state of the fight against doping in sport.
The main topic of discussion will be the revision of the World Anti-Doping Code -the core document adopted in 2003 by the sport movement and governments of the world as the framework for the global harmonized fight against doping in sport. The product of a broad, 18-month review process with all the main stakeholders, the draft revised Code will be presented to WADA's Foundation Board, which includes the members of the Executive Board, for approval on 17th November, 2007. The revised Code is intended to fine-tune the provisions based on the experience gained to date. The final draft revision of the Code was published on 15th October and can be viewed on WADA's web site at http://www.wada-ama.org/.
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, Member of WADA's Executive Board, commented prior to the Madrid Conference: "The Code revision is an important opportunity to incorporate refinements and changes on the basis of the lessons we have learnt since the Code's introduction in 2003. I am relatively optimistic that the draft revised code will be accepted on Saturday although a few key points will still need to be discussed during the Conference and in our meeting. FIS finds the majority of the changes acceptable and supports the further steps the draft code takes to strengthen global efforts against doping in sport."
At its Saturday meeting, WADA's Foundation Board will also appoint WADA's next president and vice-president, whose three-year terms will commence on 1st January, 2008. The third term of WADA's current president Richard Pound expires on 31st December, 2007. For more information on the Conference visit the event's web site at www.wadamadrid2007.com, Live Web casts, daily recordings and daily summaries of the plenary sessions of the Conference will also be available there.
|Matevz Petek (SLO), Stockholm 2006|
After last year's success, the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup circus will return to Stockholm (SWE)˙this week. On November 17th, around 75 of the world's best riders will present top freestyle action in the Stockholm Stadium - the 1912 Olympic Arena. 25'000 spectators are expected to attend the season's second big air on Saturday night.
Most of the scene's big names have been entered to compete. They include the Finns, Risto Mattila, 2005 big air world champion and big air NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup title defender and winner of the Rotterdam season opener Peetu Piiroinen, the Austrian snowboard star Stefan Gimpl, Switzerland's Stephan "Mu" Maurer and Iouri Podladtchikov, along with Matevz Petek of Slovenia, the 2006 Stockholm winner. But the snowboarders are not the only ones who will rock the Stockholm Stadion. The well-known Swedish band Backyard Babies will perform a live show to warm up the crowd for the k.o. finals of the top 16 riders. For more information on the Stockholm event, visit www.winterjam.se.
Nokia, the FIS tour's title sponsor, has launched a new film competition at FIS World Cup big air events. The winner, i.e. the maker of the best event film using a Nokia cell phone camera, will win a trip to the FIS World Cup Grande Finale in Bormio (ITA)˙in March. To find out more, click here.
Photo: Agence Zoom
The Autumn Coordination Group meeting for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2011 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) was held this Monday. Led by President of the German Ski Association Alfons H”rmann and Managing Director Peter Fischer, the Organizing Committee provided a very detailed update on its progress in all aspects of the preparations to the Coordination Group members led by FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis and Ingolfur Hannesson, Senior Winter Sports Manager of the marketing and TV rights holder European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Work on the Kandahar course has been underway since early October with a special focus on widening the so-called FIS Schneise ("FIS Corridor"). This first phase of the work will complete in November. Preparations for the men's Audi FIS World Cup slalom race in February are well underway. The organizing team also presented a very advanced status of team accommodation plans, where contractual agreements with the participating hotels are already in place, and a comprehensive chart of its own internal organization. Several of the key positions are already staffed with an optimal mix of experienced experts and young newcomers who have exchanged their active racing careers for the organizational side. Of note is the appointment of Stefan Stankalla who has a particularly heavy desk as both chief of race and also heading marketing projects.
The organizers have also launched a new Internet presence at www.gap2011.com where more detailed information and updates can be found. The site is currently in German but an English version will follow shortly.
|A vision of the new Holmenkollen|
The first official Coordination Group meeting for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 in Oslo (NOR) since the appointment of Źsne Havnelid as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organizing committee, also known as VM 2011 AS, took place this week Tuesday in Oslo. Since starting on 1st September, she has been joined by Adelheid S‘ther as Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer Stein Opsal, and the three person team has began earnest work to prepare the championships.
One of the key topics on the agenda was the plans for the new Holmenkollen. Prior to the election, the Oslo City Parliament had decided that the old jumping hill at Holmenkollen will be replaced by a new and modern ski jump that meets the requirements of the future on time by the FIS World Ski Championships 2011. The winners of the international design competition were selected this summer, but the construction of the new jump has yet to start, with the City Council and Parliament reviewing the project in more detail, especially the costs involved.
The Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear has been nominated for the Sports Marketing Prize 2008. Initiated by Sponsors.de in 2003, this prize is designed to honor the most outstanding projects in sports. This year, around ten projects have been selected by a Sponsors.de jury from among the submissions made by various stakeholders in the sports industry.
The winners will be selected by means of online voting that will be open from 3rd-17th December on the Sponsors.de web site. The winner prizes will be awarded in conjunction with the ISPO 2008 trade fair in Munich (GER) on 28th-29th January, 2008.
The 2007 Sports Marketing Prize winner was FIFA Marketing & TV GmbH with its FIFA World Cup Fan Fest Public Viewing, followed by Deutsche Telekom with its advertising campaigns "Welcome Tricots" and "Alex" and Coca Cola, with its "It's your Heimspiel (home match)!- Make it real!" campaign during the FIFA World Cup 2006. For more information, see here.
FIS Partner SUFAG played a key role in enabling the resort of Reiteralm (AUT) to step in as a replacement site when the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup races scheduled for Levi (FIN) had to be cancelled due to a lack of snow. As last year, when Reiteralm took over December races from St. Moritz and Val d'IsŠre, the advanced snow-making installations were one of the main reasons why Reiteralm again was able to play host to the World Cup tour.
Snowmaking started at Reiteralm as early as in the middle of October this year. The professional six-man snowmaking crew took full advantage of the first cold days in order to create perfect training conditions once more permitting the Austrian team to train at home from early on. The resort has invested significantly in its snowmaking capacity, including _4 million spent in 2007 on three new pumping stations and 33 SUFAG snowmaking canons that can operate in even `marginal' temperatures for snow-making.
Of course, last weekend's races were blessed with masses of natural snow on top of the man-made base. However, the hard base layer helped ensure an excellent quality course for all the racers even in the challenging conditions. The ladies' winner Marlies Schild (AUT) commented: "Despite the fresh snow, the course was incredibly fast. I felt like I was driving on a highway."
|City slalom in Porto|
Following the 45th International Ski Congress in Vilamoura (POR), skiing in Portugal has gained real momentum. The Portuguese Ski Association is pleased to have received official support and recognition from both the government of Portugal and the National Olympic Committee of Portugal. Some of the highlights of its recent promotional activities include a road show in schools around the country, and a slalom race on a 400m course set on a very steep road right in the city of Porto held in May 2007. The event was held on man-made snow and some 120 racers participated, with around 5000 spectators enthusiastically watching and cheering. Similar city events are planned in Lisbon and Faro/Algarve this winter.
The Portuguese Ski Association has also completed a training agreement with the ski resort of Sierra Nevada (SPA) enabling its skiers regular access to snowy pistes. At the end of November, around 50 Portuguese children will travel to ski in an indoor ski hall in Madrid, just to be able to experience `the feel of snow' again. "Although our team plans to participate in international children's races such as Trofeo Topolino in Italy, our main focus for now is having fun with skiing and for the children to experience the environment of skiing competitions," commented Vasco Fazendeiro Pinho from the Portuguese Ski Association.
"The Portuguese Ski Association is a great example of a small National Ski Association that has shown that with great desire and the will to develop skiing, it is possible to have great results even in countries with little or no mountains or snow," said Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General.