News from the World of Skiing 

  Winners from three continents at pre-Holidays World Cups ... more

  2 days to the start of 2nd Tour de Ski ... more

  56th Four-Hills-Tournament on the new Partenkirchen hill ... more

  Alpine year 2007 concludes in Lienz and Bormio ... more

 Member News 

  Reinhard Hess passes away ... more

 Inside FIS 

  FIS Medical Committee Educational Series: Part 6

Preventing Lower Back Problems in Alpine Skiing ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

Winners from three continents at pre-Holidays World Cups
Andreas Kuettel (SUI)
Photo: NordicFocus

Morgenstern's series ends

In the e.on Ruhrgas FIS World Cup Ski Jumping event in Engelberg (SUI) on Sunday, Andreas Kuettel (SUI) managed what no one had yet achieved this season: win a World Cup competition in front of Thomas Morgenstern! On Saturday, the Austrian had equaled the record of six victories in a row held by the Finns Janne Ahonen and Matti Hautamaeki, and set a new record for the most victories in a row in the beginning of a season. On Sunday, Andreas Kuettel made history in becoming the first Swiss jumper to win on the Titlis hill in Engelberg at the 34th competition held there since 1980. And it was the first top finish under the guidance of the new Swiss Head Coach, Werner Schuster, who took over the team for this season.

Austria may not have collected both of the victories last weekend but its dominance on the hill was again remarkable: on both days, there were four Austrians in the top five. On Saturday, it was only Tom Hilde of Norway who managed to break the red-white-red lines. On Sunday, Andreas Kofler who led after the first round fell at the end of his 139-meter leap, the longest in the second round, and dropped to 5th.

In the overall FIS World Cup rankings, Morgenstern now leads with 660 points (of maximum of 700) ahead of three of his teammates. The best non-Austrian is Tom Hilde in 5th.


Lindsey Vonn (USA)
Photo: Agence Zoom

Vonn dominates in St. Anton

In the ladies' last Audi FIS Alpine World Cup races before the Holidays in St. Anton (AUT), Lindsey Vonn (USA) made it two for two and took her second season victory in downhill and her career-first victory in the super combined. It was the first time a ladies' downhill was raced inArlberg since the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2001. The ladies competed on a shortened men's downhill course including the feared "Eisfall." Vonn's teammate Julia Mancuso also had a great weekend, collecting two podiums, while Canada's Kelly Vanderbeek posted her career-best finish in 2nd in the downhill. In the super combined, Maria Riesch of Germanyˇfinished 2nd, her third podium finish this season.

Benefiting from the DNF of many of the leaders, Vonn is now in control of the World Cup overall standings. After 12 of 38 races, she leads with 474 points ahead of Nicole Hosp (AUT) and Riesch, who rose to 3rd, as Marlies Schild (AUT) and Anja Paerson (SWE) share the 4th place.


Omischl & Cooper

Jump-start into aerial season in Changchun, China

The aerialists opened their season in China on 21st and 22nd December 2007. It was the third Freestyle FIS World Cup held at the Lianhuashan (Lotus Mountain) Ski Resort some 30 km northwest of the 7 million inhabitant city of Changchun.

Jacqui Cooper (AUS) took victory in both of the ladies' back-to-back competitions. They were her 20th and 21st Freestyle FIS World Cup aerials victories, and her 4th and 5th in a row. At 34 years of age, she set yet another record for the highest number of aerial World Cup wins in the history of Freestyle FIS World Cup. Steve Omischl (CAN), last season's aerials FIS World Cup champion, and Dmitri Dashinski of Belarus, the 2007 World Championships silver medalist, claimed the men's victories. With a first and a 3rd place, Omischl retained his yellow World Cup leader's bib. And, thanks to a total of five podium finishes, the Chinese team delivered a great performance on home turf.

Freestyle FIS World Cup in aerials will continue in Lake Placid (USA) in mid-January 2008.


Big air in Sofia
Photo: Nokia

Gimpl takes big air World Cup in Sofia

More than 10'000 spectators attended the premiere of the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital last Saturday.ˇˇStefan Gimpl of Austria dominated the competition, winning the third of six big airs this season. In the super final, the 28-year-old out-performed the World Cup leader Janne Korpi (FIN) and celebrated his first triumph this season. Korpi, the winner of the last competition in Stockholm, opened with a "Cab 10". Gimpl responded with the same trick and a better landing, earning just one point off the best possible score of 30 points. In the Slovenian battle for third, Matevz Petek beat his countryman Domen Bizjak.

The next big air will be held on Gimp's home turf in Graz, Austria, on January 5th, 2008.


2 days to the start of 2nd Tour de Ski
Tobias Angerer wins on Alpe Cermis in 2007
Photo: NordicFocus

The second edition of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear will begin in just 2 days, on 28th December, 2007. The 2007/08 Tour will consist of eight races at four venues in two countries in the course of ten days.

The start will be in Nove Mesto na Morave (CZE), which will host a total of four Tour Stages this year. The snow conditions in Nove Mesto na Morave are good since the Organizing Committee has been able to produce sufficientˇartificial snow on top of a foot of natural snow.

Prague (CZE) - the venue for the 3rd Stage, a city sprint - is also ready to host the first-ever FIS Cross-Country World Cup competition in the historical center of the capital of the Czech Republic. 3500 cubic meters of snow has been produced in the resort of Horn° Vltavice and will be transported into the city.

After another sprint competition in Asiago (ITA)ˇand a mass start distance race in Val di Fiemme (ITA), the final decision of the FIS Tour de Ski 2007/08 will fall on the summit of cross-country, on top of Alpe Cermis, the already (in)famous Final Climb, on Sunday, 6th January, 2008. Asiago and Val di Fiemme recently had a cold weather period, too, and have enough (artificial) snow.

The total prize money purse for the 2007/2008 edition will amount to CHF 1'000'000. The winners of the overall Tour Ranking willˇreceive 400 World Cup points. And, the winners of the individual Stages collect 50 points, provided that they finish the entire Tour, which is half of the regular point allocation for a World Cup race.

For more information, visit


56th Four-Hills-Tournament on the new Partenkirchen hill
Anders Jacobsen (NOR) - 06/07 winner
Photo: NordicFocus

The 2007/08 Jack Wolfskin Four-Hills-Tournament will start on 30th December, 2007, in Oberstdorf (GER), followed by the traditional New Year's Ski Jumping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) on New Year's Day. The new Olympic Hill in Partenkirchen (GER) was inaugurated last Friday, 21st December, during the FIS Continental Cup competitions there and this year's Tournament competition will be the first World Cup competition on the new hill. The Austrian competitions in Innsbruck and Bischofshofen on 4th and 6th January, 2008, respectively, will conclude the 56th edition of the traditional competition series.

As usual, the Tournament will be organized using the Knock-Out system. In the qualification round, the athletes fight for start positions in the first round. Then the first round is contested by 25 pairs of jumpers. Only the 25 winners and 5 of the losers as the so-called lucky losers will reach the final round.

The dominance of the Austrian eagles has been impressive during the early season. Last year's Tournament winner Anders Jacobsen, along with the entire Norwegian team, are poised for a challenge, however, and one should not forget the veterans Adam Malysz (POL) or Janne Ahonen (FIN), currently 6th in the overall World Cup rankings, let alone the Swiss duo of Andreas Kuettel and Simon Ammann. There are also several young talents ready for exploits so excitement and adrenaline can be guaranteed!ˇ

For more, visit


Alpine year 2007 concludes in Lienz and Bormio
Alpine Krampus in Lienz
Ambiance in Bormio
Photo: Agence Zoom

The last of the ladies' Audi FIS Alpine World Cup December races will take place in Lienz (AUT). The giant slalom and slalom races will be held on the re-modeled Dr Kurt Schlick course on the Hochstein on 28th-29th December. Besides an attractive side event program, the organizers have launched a new marketing concept focused on "Krampus," known as a helper of St. Nicholas. They will also rely on some 15'000 spectators to create a magical atmosphere with the help of thousands of bells that are intended to help the athletes to top performances. For more information, visit

The final December venue on the Alpine men's Italian tour will be the traditional New Year's downhill in Bormio on Saturday, 29th December. The (in)famous Stelvio piste, known as one of the fastest and most demanding on the Tour with its more than 1000m of altitude drop, will challenge even the best of the racers. This year, Bormio will also host the "FIS Grand Finals 2008", which encompass the FIS World Cup finals for Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard. The Grand Finals week will start with the men's and ladies downhill races on 12th March 2007. For more, check out and


 Member News 

Reinhard Hess passes away
Reinhard Hess

FIS sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Reinhard Hess, the former coach of the German Ski Jumping national team. Mr Hess died of pancreas cancer on 24th December at a clinic in Bad Bebra (GER). He was 62.

Considered as the most successful German Ski Jumping coach ever, HeŠ led such stars as Jens Wessflog, Dieter Thoma, Martin Schmitt Sven Hannawald to their big triumphs. During the period of Reihard Hess, from from 1994 - 2003, the German team collected 21 medals at FIS World Ski Championships or Olympic Winter Games. A native of ThĀringen, Hess became not only appreciated as a top coach but also as a human person who was a father-like figure for the athletes on the team.


 Inside FIS 

FIS Medical Committee Educational Series: Part 6

Preventing Lower Back Problems in Alpine Skiing

The sixth article in the FIS Medical Committee Educational Series, entitled Five Ways to Prevent Low Back Problems in the Alpine Skier written by Ryan Oughtred (CAN), former Canadian team member and certified Naturopath, is available. This paper discusses the importance of prevention given the susceptibility of the spine to wear-and-tear damage, or degeneration `from the inside out.' It lists the five most important preventive measures that athletes and support staff can take to prevent back problems.

To read or download the complete article, please click here.