FIS Congress Special  

  Candidates for the 2013 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

  New season, new faces: Coach changes in Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined ... more

  WADA strengthens standards for technical aspects of programs against cheating ... more

  Val d'IsŠre 2009 focused on key target groups ... more

  Ski athlete ambassadors engage for Right To Play ... more

 Inside FIS 

  FIS Council Members visit Oberhofen ... more

  Sarah Lewis to chair WADA's team of Independent Observers in Beijing ... more

  Speed Skiing Committee in the home of punting ... more

 FIS Congress Special  

Candidates for the 2013 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

Candidates for the 2013 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
The organizers of the 2012 FIS Ski Flying World Championships and the 2013 FIS Alpine, Nordic, Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships will be elected by the FIS Council on Thursday, 29th May. The announcement of the elected organizers will take place at the Westin Grand in Cape Town (RSA) at approximately 19:00 CET.

The FIS Newsflash is pleased to present below brief portraits of the five candidates for the 2013 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships (in alphabetical order). Due to the large total number of the candidates, the candidates for the 2012 Ski Flying and 2013 Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships will follow on 21st May.


Falun (SWE): Candidate for the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships

2013 is likely to be remembered as the best ever in the history of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Sweden is one of the world's best event managers - something we have demonstrated many times. Most recently with the success of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in re in 2007.

The candidate venue for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2013 is situated in Falun, Sweden. We are modifying it and adding to it. The jumping hills, of course. But also a large media center. We are developing both the finishing lines and the spectator areas.

The arena is compactly designed, allowing spectators to stay in direct and continuous touch with what is happening, while providing ideal conditions for TV coverage. The event organizers, Falun and Sweden are determined to ensure that the world can participate, too. Sweden has for decades been considered one of Europe's leading IT nations. We mean to confirm and demonstrate this in 2013.

We also enjoy a close association with the Swedish public service broadcaster - Sveriges Television (SVT) which has established a reputation as a leading light in the TV presentation of sporting events.

We are well prepared. We are experienced. We are ready to go to work. The world, FIS and the sport of skiing need truly exceptional FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2013.

For more information, visit ˙


Lahti (FIN): Candidate for the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships

The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti in 2013 would mean two weeks of winter sports excitement with high-quality organization in all aspects of the event.

All competitions are planned to take place at the Lahti Sports Center - a compact venue with all important areas and facilities. By 2013 the venue will see many significant improvements: a modernized normal hill, new courses and a service building for cross-country, extension of the exhibition center, a coaches' tower, wind nets, improved stadium set-up and a new spectator area at Karpalo etc.

All changes are made to protect the environment. Building permanent facilities decreases the need for temporary construction during the championships. This means that not only the competition conditions are at a championship level but that athletes, media, sponsors, spectators and officials will be provided with brand new facilities that do not exist elsewhere. The TV-compound, MPC and IBC are all located inside the Great Hall. In Lahti there is the capacity to serve more than 7'500 VIP's and Special Guests at the same time.

Moreover, the Athletes' Village at the Sports Institute of Finland provides the teams with common accommodation in a compact and peaceful environment with practically endless possibilities for training, relaxation and recreation. A new fast railway connection to Lahti has brought the Helsinki metropolitan area only 48 minutes away from Lahti - just one of the reasons that underline the target of 375.000 spectators on site.

For more information, visit


Oberstdorf (GER): Candidate for the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships

A wonderful reunion in Oberstdorf in 2013!

Oberstdorf is prepared to set another benchmark in the history of Nordic skiing with the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2013.

For more than 50 years, Oberstdorf has demonstrated its skill and competence through the organization of numerous World Cup events and FIS World Championships as host of large sporting events at the highest international level. Both the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 1987 and 2005 were unforgettable moments in the annals of the Nordic ski sports. It comes therefore as no surprise that, in 1987, Marc Hodler called Oberstdorf `Holmenkollen of the Alps' whilst Gian Franco Kasper named it the `Mecca of Nordic skiing' in 2005.

With its modern stadium facilities in the midst of a wonderful mountain landscape in front of the `Allg„uer Hochalpen', Oberstdorf offers a breath-taking atmosphere and setting.

A total of 750`000 spectators participated in a Nordic ski festival without frontiers in Oberstdorf in 1987 and 2005! This is the tradition that Oberstdorf 2013 has set out to continue while breaking records against its unique scenery.

Oberstdorf is ready to experience another celebration of Nordic skiing together with all the athletes, officials and large numbers of spectators in 2013.

For more information, visit here.


Val di Fiemme (ITA): Candidate for the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships

After the successful experience of 1991 and 2003, Val di Fiemme presents its candidacy to organize the World Championships for the third time. The 1991 World Championships can be considered a real milestone, as the event was organized south of the Alps for the first time in the history of Nordic skiing. It was an unforgettable debut, followed by another world experience for Val di Fiemme in 2003. The 2003 championship was a "sunny" event from every point of view, as FIS President Gian Franco Kasper stated during the FIS Congress in Miami in 2004 when the "final report" on Fiemme 2003 was presented. "There were no clouds in Val di Fiemme from 18th February 18th to 1st March, neither in the sky nor on the organization".

On the basis of those words and the successful event, Val di Fiemme is now looking for another new prestigious appointment, betting on its organizational skills, a team of qualified volunteers and the famous hospitality tradition of the valley and of the Trentino region as a whole. Val di Fiemme is the Italian cross-country skiing capital and a world renowned tourist destination in the heart of the Dolomites. The cross-country skiing centre at Lago di Tesero and the ski jumping stadium in Predazzo are the main "monuments" of a valley that has had and continues to have great skiing talents such as Franco Nones, Giorgio Vanzetta and Cristian Zorzi.

For more information, visit


Zakopane (POL): Candidate for the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships

The first FIS World Ski Championships took place in Zakopane in 1929, followed by 1939 and 1962. We have been waiting for the opportunity to host another championships for over fifty years now. In the meantime, Zakopane has proved that it is capable of organizing even the most prestigious sporting events, such as the FIS World Cup in Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined, and the FIS Junior World Championships.

Zakopane has a special location on the map of Europe. It is here that the devotees of winter sports from the European Union member states meet with the ones from the countries only striving for its membership. It is us who open Europe to the east; it is us who say that there are no border lines for people joined by common passion and dreams! In Zakopane, one frequently hears English, German, Russian and Ukrainian spoken on the ski slopes and in caf‚s.

We believe that granting the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2013 to Zakopane will be the crowning achievement of the efforts for a common Europe. The road from Zakopane will lead further, straight to Sochi, to the Olympic Winter Games in 2014. Should the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2013 take place in Zakopane? We have no doubt they should. Zakopane is the city of athletes and people fascinated with sport where each child skis and many families boast beautiful competitors' traditions.

Poland has been a member of the European Union for four years. It is a continuously developing country, modern and friendly. Such is also Zakopane. Our city is situated in one of the wealthiest and fastest developing regions of Poland. Whatever winter sports enthusiasts associate with Chamonix, Aspen or Val di Fiemme, they will also find in Zakopane. Modern ski infrastructure, immaculately clean snow from November to May and many sunny days a year are a guarantee of successful FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Zakopane in 2013. Come and see for yourselves. You're invited!

For more information, visit˙here.


 News from the World of Skiing 

New season, new faces: Coach changes in Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined
Werner Schuster
Janne V„„t„inen & Kimmo Savolainen

Most teams are already in the process of starting preparations for the 2008/2009 season. Overall relatively few changes have taken place in the coaching ranks in the e.on ruhrgas FIS World Cup Ski Jumping and the Warsteiner FIS World Cup Nordic Combined. Here is a summary of those that have come to the attention of the FIS Newsflash:

After a long phase of analysis and assessment, the German Ski Association managed to hire Werner Schuster as the new head coach for the German jumping team. Schuster previously trained the Swiss team for one season. His Austrian compatriot Stefan Horngacher replaced Heinz Kuttin as the coach of the B team while former head coach Peter Rohwein will be working with the young talents at the training base in Oberstdorf. In Switzerland, Schuster will be replaced by 28-year-old Martin Künzle who previously trained the Swiss Continental Cup team and assisted Schuster on the World Cup level.

In Finland, the long-time coach Tommi Nikunen retired and Janne Väätäinen has been named as the new head coach leading the Finnish team into the World Championship season, the first one without Janne Ahonen who has ended his spectacular career. In Poland, Hannu Lepistö has been replaced after two years by Łukasz Kruczek while in Slovenia, Ari-Pekka Nikkola’s successor is local native Matjaz Zupan, himself a former jumper like Nikkola. Yet another former jumper, three-time Olympic silver medalist Martin Höllwarth has been hired as head coach of the Estonian ski jumping team following his retirement from active competition after the past season.

In Austria, the World Cup team leadership will remain the same and be led by head coach Alexander Pointner, who has signed a contract until Vancouver 2010. The following nations are said to continue with the existing coaching teams, too: Norway (with Mika Kojonkoski), Italy (with Roberto Cecon), and France (with Pekka Niemelä).

In Nordic Combined, most teams seem to rely on existing coaching teams for success in the upcoming title event seasons. This is the case for example in Austria (Alexander Diess/Christoph Eugen), Germany (Hermann Weinbuch/Andreas Bauer), and France (Etienne Gouy, Julien Eybert-Guillon). In Finland, Kimmo Savolainen was named as the new head coach, replacing Jouko Karjalainen, whilst in Norway, Kjetil Strandbråten has replaced Bård Jørgen Elden as the head of Nordic combined. He will be supported by Morten Solem, himself a former jumper, as ski jumping coach and, as before, Kristian Hammer as cross-country coach. In Italy, Romed Moroder, formerly the coach of the junior team that boasts the 2008 junior World Champion, now has the task of leading the national team. The former head coach of the successful US team, Lasse Ottesen has returned to his native Norway to assist Mika Kojonkoski with the ski jumping national team. Dave Jarrett has been named as his successor in the head of the US team, and will be supported by Chris Gilbertson.


WADA strengthens standards for technical aspects of programs against cheating

FIS President Gian Franco Kasper participated in the annual May meetings of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Executive Committee and Foundation Board in Montreal (CAN) last weekend. These meetings were the first held under the presidency of the Hon. John Fahey since the commencement of his term as WADA President on January 1, 2008.

One of the main topics of discussion was the importance of investigations and cooperation with law enforcement agencies in increasing the effectiveness of the fight against doping. This strategy is based on the recognition that doping controls alone do not catch all cheaters. A joint research project with UNESCO was announced for the collection of legislation which outlaw the manufacture, distribution and possession of performance enhancing substances. This is expected to help countries lacking adequate enforcement mechanisms update their laws. The Executive Committee also approved a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed with Interpol for the two organizations to work together in combating the trafficking of performance-enhancing drugs.

The Executive Committee also discussed the implementation of the revised World Anti-Doping Code and approved the revised International Standard for Testing (IST), which defines a standardized approach for anti-doping organizations (ADOs) to plan effective testing and to maintain the integrity and identity of the samples. The revised IST expands on the requirements for ADOs for establishing registered testing pools and collecting athlete whereabouts information. In addition, the revised International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions was approved. The new standards are mandatory for Code signatories and will come into force on January 1, 2009, along with the revised Code.

Among other topics, the Executive Committee recommended the continuation of WADA's strategy in relation to the Athlete's Passport involving research, harmonization of various technical and practical elements, and monitoring compliance with the Code.


Val d'IsŠre 2009 focused on key target groups

The end of April was a busy time for the organizers of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2009 in Val d'IsŠre (FRA). As part of the project dubbed "Your school in Val d'IsŠre 2009", 300 young students from nine Savoyard secondary schools visited Val d'IsŠre during two days to learn about the preparations for the 2009 championships. Initiated by the General Council in Savoie, the project's mission is to increase awareness among Savoie's 20'000 secondary school students, and to undertake an educational project related to the event. The conclusions from the work carried out by the students aged between 11-15 who came to Val d'IsŠre will be distributed to all 35 secondary schools in Savoie. The themes being studied relate to the preparations for 2009, the environment, sport, safety, catering, planning preparations, and careers in the mountains. The project will continue throughout the run-up to the championships, as well as during and after the event. During the fortnight of the actual event, daily trips are planned for the students to attend the competitions.

The students' visit came right on the heels of a visit by 85 journalists from 36 different countries from around the world that also visited the site of the 2009 event. Organized jointly by the Maison de la France, the Regional Council, the General Council, the 2009 Organizing Committee and the resort of Val d'IsŠre, this gathering, nine months before the Championships, allowed the international reporters to explore the competition site and in particular the economic implications of such an event. "The resort of Val d'IsŠre is clearly actively getting ready for this great event, and we couldn't wait to discover this extraordinary place," commented Alfredo Medinon, correspondent for el Mundo, a Spanish daily.


Ski athlete ambassadors engage for Right To Play
Julia Mancuso & Chemmy Alcott
Bruno Kernen & Andreas Kttel visit RTP

The athlete ambassadors are one of the most important ways for Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization, to demonstrate the power of sport to change lives of children affected by war, poverty, disease and illness. The partnership between Right To Play and Athlete Ambassadors not only helps reinforce the ideals of the organization but is also a great forum for athletes to give back.

As part of Right To Play's ever increasing involvement with skiing in general and with Austrian skiing in particular, Right To Play has recently announced Olympic and World Champion Michaela Dorfmeister as a new athlete ambassador. Michaela, who retired after the Olympic Winter Games in Turin in 2006, is an excellent representative since she won pretty much every honor in the sport during her long career. "Sport has given me so much in life. My involvement with Right To Play will allow me to give back to children in disadvantaged areas of the world some of the joy that sport has given to me," she noted.

Two of the Swiss athlete ambassadors from the world of skiing, alpine skier Bruno Kernen and ski jumper Andreas Kttel, just returned from a visit to a Right To Play project in Tanzania late last week. They visited the refugee camp Lugufu in Kigoma where they participated in Right To Play's sport and play program. "I was very touched by the engagement of the RTP coaches and the great excitement and joy of the youngsters participating in the program despite the incredible poverty they live in," commented Kernen on his return. "It is impressive what a difference the various games can make to promote the physical and personal development of the participating children. The positive power of sport can really make the lives of these children more bearable by providing some hope, courage and confidence to them," Kttel added. The RTP project in Kigoma is the focus of all activities and donations collected through the partnership with FIS.

Alpine skiers Julia Mancuso (USA)˙and Chemmy Alcott (GBR)˙are yet another two Right To Play athlete ambassadors who are getting ready to travel to Africa at the end of May. The main purpose of their trip is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a RTP fundraising project that has the goal of collecting $40'000 for the organization. After the climb, Mancuso and Alcott will be visiting the RTP project in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. To donate, click here.
For more information on Right To Play and Skiing, visit here.


 Inside FIS 

FIS Council Members visit Oberhofen
Yoshiro Ito
Eduardo Roldan

The FIS President Gian Franco Kasper has received visits at the FIS Office in Oberhofen (SUI) within the last week from FIS Council Member Eduardo Roldan of Spain as well as FIS's longest serving Council Member, Yoshiro Ito of Japan.

Looking back at the successful FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Formigal in March, Spain is getting ready to organize ladies' FIS Alpine World Cup races in La Molina in December 2008, as well as the steps towards hosting the FIS Snowboard World Championships in 2011. The discussions between FIS President and Mr. Roldan understandably centered on the future development of the various FIS disciplines in Spain.

Japan is focusing on yet another major event after the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championship in Sapporo, with the 2009 FIS Freestyle World Championships in Inawashiro and the Japan Ski Association has made great strides in their preparation.


Sarah Lewis to chair WADA's team of Independent Observers in Beijing
Sarah Lewis

FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis has been appointed as chair of the team of WADA's Independent Observers (IOs) at the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing (CHN) this August. Vice-chair is head of the US Anti-Doping Agency Travis Tygart. The Independent Observers' mission is to monitor the doping control process throughout the Beijing 2008 Games. Sarah Lewis has long played a key role in FIS's anti-doping work and most recently has also contributed to different WADA working groups including the International Standards for Testing and the Investigatory Powers of Anti-Doping Organizations. "This appointment recognizes the committed anti-doping work we strive to undertake at FIS and it is satisfying that WADA acknowledges this," she commented.

The Beijing Olympic Games will be the fifth time WADA, established in November 1999, will play a role in the Olympic Games. WADA sent its first team of Independent Observers (IOs) to the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, launching the program that has since expanded and operated in more than two dozen other major international sporting events. In 2002, the IO program was staged at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City for the first time. The IO program now works together with WADA's Athlete Outreach Program - set up to educate athletes and their entourage about the fight against doping in sport - and the IOC-WADA pre-Games testing task force charged with implementing a coordinated global pre-Games doping control program. In Turin 2006, this collaboration led to targeted testing and coordinated anti-doping action, such as the actions taken by the IOC and the Italian law enforcement authorities to investigate and expose anti-doping rule violations based on evidence gathered by the task force.

The latest edition of WADA's˙publication Play True previews the Games in Beijing, see here.˙˙


Speed Skiing Committee in the home of punting
Downing College

Because of the costs involved in travel to RSA, Dick Taplin, Chairman of the FIS Speed Skiing Committee hosted a 'European Pre-meeting' of the Committee at Downing College, Cambridge (GBR) last weekend. The delegates, from five European nations, wrestled with the difficult questions of how to make the sport of Speed Skiing˙safer and more media-friendly, the program for next year's World Cup circuit and World Championships (due to be held in Vars (FRA), as well as ways of opening up the sport to racers and organizers without creating undue expense. After discussions in the academic surroundings - which will be used to advise the formal meeting during the FIS Congress in Cape Town - the pre-meeting finished with a High Table candle-lit dinner within the hallowed surrounds of the Senior Parlour of the famous University. Some of the delegates even had a chance to follow the traditional Cambridge sport of punting.

Downing College at Cambridge was founded in 1800, and was the world's first 'campus', providing education, feeding and accommodation all in one purpose-built location. For more information on the College and Cambridge, please see˙here or on punting here.

Contributed by Dick Taplin