News from the World of Skiing 

New world speed records as highlights of Speed Skiing season
Philippe May (SUI)
Verbier Speed Skiing Piste

This season's Speed Skiing calendar had a new look: it consisted of two races at Sun Peaks (CAN), one each at Orsa (SWE) and Hundfjallet (SWE), and the fifth and final race in Verbier (SUI) - the most impressive race of the series. In addition, most competitors also participated in the Pro Mondial races in Les Arcs and Verbier.˙For the first time in years, there were no Austrian races and Leysin (SUI)˙was unable to participate as well. The penultimate event, planned for Cervinia (ITA), unfortunately had to be cancelled due to unseasonable warming.

In the men's World Cup competition, Simone Origone (ITA) proved to be invincible, winning all five World Cup events to earn a `perfect' 500 points. The competition for the next six places remained open right to the last race, with only 5 points between Philippe May (SUI) and Roger Wickman (SWE), which is the way they remained to the end, albeit with some last minute challenges from John (Mad Cow) Hemble (USA) and Jonathon Moret (SUI).

For the ladies, the reigning champion - Tracie Max Sachs (USA) - gained and retained an early lead, before rivals Kati Mets„pelto (FIN), Elena Banfo (ITA) and Sanna Tidstrand (SWE) in this order. Sanna's performance was all the more remarkable because she only competed in two World Cup races, getting podium places in both.

Origone and Tidstrand can also be proud of the season for their world speed records set in Les Arcs (FRA) on 19 April 2006: 251.40 kph and 242.59 kph, respectively. In the same race, Michael Milton (AUS) broke not only the Australian speed record, but - as he has only one leg - the record for the fastest disabled skier, with a speed of 213.65 kph. GBR also had something to celebrate when Kevin Alderton - a blind ex-soldier - set a new record of 100.94 miles per hour (~162 kph)!

The year was a success for junior skiers as well as in the Production category, where especially the renewed support of France must be recognized. Finland and Austria also had active junior programs. The FIS Speed Skiing Committee is again growing, with new representatives from Switzerland, France and Sweden during the year. Finally, there is the prospect of World Championships in both Verbier (2007) and Les Arcs (2009), so we can look forward to another dynamic season with new junior racers emerging to challenge the `Speed Gods'.

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 Inside FIS 

Preparations on schedule for re 2007

The last Coordination Group meeting before the final inspection in September, held on April 24th - 25th, was well prepared by the re 2007 Organizing Committee. The agenda focused on the lessons learned from the FIS World Cup Finals, whilst looking ahead to the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships presented by Carlsberg.

Logistical matters are progressing according to schedule with accommodation, accreditation and security - the police are particularly confident after handling a NATO meeting last year in re with 1,700 police officers! Transportation will receive special attention in the coming months, notably in trying to deal with the transportation of luggage through Stockholm airport.

The main challenge, and the focus of the Organizing Committee's upcoming efforts, is to attract as many spectators as possible to create a real championships ambiance for the best athletes in the world. Numerous initiatives were presented to offer an exciting, vibrant side program as well as special initiatives for ski clubs and local youngsters.

One particular aspect to mention is the strong support of the community and of the mayor herself with the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in re being the main focus of all activities and development in the town.

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FIS Tour de Ski: 251 days to go!
Tour de Ski Organizers

With the start of the FIS Tour de Ski 2006-2007 just 251 days away, the detailed planning and organization are coming to full speed. Representatives of the Tour's three hosting National Ski Associations (Czech Republic, Germany, and Italy), local organizing committees from Nove Mesto (CZE), Oberstdorf (GER), Asiago and Val di Fiemme (both ITA), and FIS met in Munich on Friday, 21st April, 2006 for a detailed status review. The agenda included thorough discussions and next steps for the Tour's marketing, several logistical issues, event production and milestone planning, among other areas.

"We are quite pleased to host the opening stages of the first-ever FIS Tour de Ski in Nove Mesto on 29th and 30th December, 2006. Based on our experience in the previous years, we can guarantee the event a great start before an enthusiastic and traditionally very large audience," Petr Honzl, General Secretary of the Nove Mesto organizing committee commented. Petr Lamplot, the representative of the Czech Ski Association on the Tour Board, added: "Following the success of the Czech cross-country skiers at the Torino Olympic Winter Games, where we won three medals, the FIS Tour de Ski is a great opportunity to showcase Cross-Country Skiing in the Czech Republic."

Jrg Capol, FIS Race Director for Cross-Country concluded: "We still need to reach an agreement on where the best organizational synergies can be found. However, I'm very happy about the spirit and openness to discussion we have in the organizing group. The basic direction is clear, although some details have to be worked out. But I'm sure that we can handle that and look forward to an exciting time ahead of us."

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Weight of Success - JOSKA Crystal Globes
Raich with the World Cup Trophy

The JOSKA crystal globe trophy is known world-wide as the most valuable prize in the FIS Cross-Country, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Alpine Skiing, Freestyle and Snowboard World Cups. Produced by JOSKA Kristall headquartered in Bodenmais (GER), the FIS World Cup trophy is a unique prize produced for the exclusive use of FIS and reserved for a single purpose: honoring the best athletes in a FIS World Cup discipline. In addition to the design, the uniqueness of these full lead crystal trophies is based on the diamond cut techniques used in the glass refinement process as well as the high quality criteria set for the final product.

A FIS Partner and the exclusive producer of the FIS World Cup trophies for 15 years, JOSKA Kristall produced ten large and 29 small trophies for the 2005-2006 World Cup season. Given the weight of the trophies - 9 kg for the large and 3.5 kg for the small trophy - JOSKA therefore delivered a total of 191.5 kg of crystal trophies for the FIS World Cups.

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FIS Academy Management Modules at FIS Congress

The FIS Academy will be delivering a series of education modules as part of its Management Education Program at the FIS Congress in Portugal next month. The Congress participants are encouraged to attend to refresh their business skills, interact with industry leaders and gain extra benefits from their time in Vilamoura. Supported by Manchester Business School and Patrick Nally, founder of West Nally, this is a unique opportunity available for the FIS family only.

The modules to be offered at the 2006 FIS Congress are:

Sponsorship Procurement - Monday 22nd May, 10.00 am

Sponsoring is a key element of the marketing plan, critical for securing much needed revenue and raising the organization, sporting team or event's profile.

Finance & Budgeting - Tuesday 23rd May, 9.00 am

With finance and budgeting being central management functions, this module will enable participants to be more dynamic in their day-to-day and strategic business operations.

Governance & Stakeholder Relations - Tuesday 23rd May, 11.00 am

This session will review the key principles for establishing and maintaining responsible governance and stakeholder relations, a key challenge in the sports industry.

The modules will also provide an opportunity to discuss the issues and projects currently underway within your own organization. The total cost for all three sessions is _250. Each participant receives a certificate of completion from the FIS Academy and Manchester Business School.

To download the application form, click here˙ or e-mail˙info@wasec.mbs.ac.uk for more information

Scholarships for 6-Day Program

Don't forget to apply for a scholarship for the 6-Day Program at Manchester Business School from 30th May - 4th June. More information here

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