FIS Congress Special 

  Just days now: 46th International Ski Congress ... more

  Candidates for 2012 Ski Flying and 2013 FIS Freestyle World Championships ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

  New season, new faces: Coach changes in Alpine Skiing ... more

  Schweinsteiger becomes GAP 2011 ambassador ... more

  IOC launches Olympic Express ... more


 Inside FIS 

  Telemark Committee in Oberhofen ... more


  FIS Congress Special  

Just days now: 46th International Ski Congress
Cape Town (RSA)

It is just a few days until more than 1000 participants will be making their way down to South Africa for the 46th International Ski Congress. The Congress week will begin with the official welcome reception on Sunday 25th May at the Hotel Westin Grand in Cape Town on invitation of the City of Cape Town. The week at the Southern end of the African continent promises to be a fantastic occasion for the worldwide skiing family.

The meetings - several dozen of official meetings of the FIS Council, Technical Committees and Working Groups (see here for the latest schedule) along with countless unofficial gatherings will take place during the Congress Week - will begin already on Sunday afternoon with meetings of the FIS Injury Surveillance System Steering Committee and the Timing Working Group.

The first official meeting of the FIS Council will take place on Monday, 28th May. The Council will continue to meet until Wednesday, reviewing the items on the program of the FIS Congress on Friday, 30th May, as well as considering various proposals from the Technical Committees that are also meeting from Monday till Wednesday, and various other topics. One of most important items on the Council's Agenda includes the confirmation of the FIS World Cup schedules for the 2008/2009 season.

Given that it is autumn time in South Africa now, the weather forecast for Cape Town for the next 10 days looks very promising. With temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius (ca. 68F) during day time and from sunny to partially cloudy skies (chance of precipitation only 5% from Sunday-Wednesday; for more see here), the travelers can hopefully look forward to a beautiful week following rainfall today and yesterday.

Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located. Cape Town is famous for its harbor as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom, including such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is often regarded as one of the world's most beautiful cities in particular because of its geography.

In light of the recent conflicts in Johannesburg: for those travelling through Johannesburg to Cape Town, no problems have been reported at the airport there. Caution is recommended for anyone who has planned to visit Johannesburg as a pre- or post-Congress tour, however, although no official travel alerts have been issued by governments according to FIS's knowledge. Please check with your consulate for up-to-date information.

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Candidates for 2012 Ski Flying and 2013 FIS Freestyle World 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 candidates for the 2012 FIS Ski Flying World Ski Champions (in alphabetical order) and 2013 FIS Freestyle World Championships. Make sure not to miss the online live stream on the FIS web site at www.fis-ski.com, among other Internet sites.

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Harrachov (CZE): Candidate for the 2013 Freestyle World Championships

It´s our turn! Harrachov is the city of Ski Flying. The best world ski jumpers have been coming here to compete for points in FIS World Cup events for almost thirty years now. The FIS Ski Flying World Championships have returned to Harrachov regularly: 1983, 1992, 2002 …. This is also the reason why Harrachov is seeking to organize the Championships in 2012.

Major changes and modernization at the Ski Jumping venue are foreseen not only for this purpose: building flood lighting at the Ski Jumping hills, renovation of the judges’ tower, new warm-up booths for athletes, new building at the outrun, but also logistics of the organization are all undergoing modifications.

In this mountain resort, with only 1600 inhabitants (but 12’000 available beds), a large team of professionals are in place, who know that to organize a top level sports competition you need not only enthusiasm but above all hard work.

The Harrachov organizers believe that they have much to offer and they will win their ‘battle,’ so that the ‘once a decade’ tradition of organizing the FIS Ski Flying Championships will remain alive. They hope that this year, when skiing in Harrachov celebrates its 100th anniversary, they will have the chance to invite all to Čertova Mountain to celebrate the Ski Flying World Champions in 2012!

For more information, visit www.skiflying-harrachov.com

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Vikersund (NOR): Candidate for the 2013 Freestyle World Championships

Vikersund - flying into the future. The athletes deliver the jumps. The crowd provides the atmosphere. Vikersund gives you the best possible framework for it all.

Since 1966, many international Ski Flying weeks and World Cup competitions have been organized in Vikersund. The hill has held two world records, and three World Championships have been successfully organized. The Ski Jumping arena consists of eight jumping hills ranging from 10 to more than 200 meters. At the heart of the venue lies the famous Ski Flying hill.

The last World Cup in Vikersund was held in January, 2007. More than 36'000 spectators made the event an international festival. This great Ski Jumping festival was judged by the Norwegian Ski Federation to be the best World Cup event in Norway.

Every year, 50'000-60'000 ski jumps are made at the arena. The performers are world record holders as well as freshmen who have barely unpacked their brand new skis. The international championships organized at the Ski Flying hill give Vikersund both the spirit and the financial muscle that enables Vikersund to breed the champions of tomorrow.

As a candidate for organizing the World Championship in Ski Flying in 2012, we look forward to memorable days in Vikersund. World-class athletes, together with dedicated spectators, will create a great sport festival in a modern arena that includes several new facilities.

Our aim will always have a vision for the future, with a strong focus on organizational quality, atmosphere and the environment. Welcome, as we are flying into the future!

For more information, visit here.

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Voss (NOR): Candidate for the 2013 Freestyle World Championships

Voss has long traditions when it comes to organizing large scale international competitions, both summer and winter. Thanks to our natural surroundings, Voss has become a home for activity seeking enthusiasts. The town hosts the annual Extreme Sports Week, featuring competitions within the extreme sports and a music festival, attracting competitors and spectators from all over the world. In 2007 Voss hosted WC Freestyle for the seventh time. Voss has also been the host of four FIS Alpine World Cup events and the FIS Junior World Alpine Championships in 1995.

In partnership, the Norwegian Ski Federation, Voss Municipal Authority and Voss Freestyleklubb are behind Voss's Candidacy for the FIS Freestyle World Championships 2013. There are development plans for new constructions of competition sites that are to be located in the areas of Myrkdalen (SX and HP) and Bavallen (MO and AE).

The FIS Freestyle World Championships 2013 in Voss will be a public celebration of the Freestyle sports, where athletes are to experience brilliant conditions facilitating "personal best" performances. We wish to give the spectators and visitors an extraordinary experience and give a display of the diversity of the Freestyle disciplines.

For more than 200 years we have enjoyed welcoming tourists who are seeking something out of the ordinary. We welcome you to Voss in 2013.

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 News from the World of Skiing 

New season, new faces: Coach changes in Alpine Skiing
Anders Sundqvist
Patrick Riml with Lindsey Vonn

As teams and athletes continue to test equipment and recharge their batteries for the new season, there have been some changes in the coaching ranks of Alpine national teams. Here is a summary of some that have come to the attention of the FIS Newsflash:

In Sweden, Anders Sundqvist, who worked as sports director for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2007 in Are (SWE) from 2003-07, has been named the new Alpine Director, responsible for sports, marketing, and the media. He previously worked with the Swedish ladies team from 1994-99. Thomas Stauffer continues to serve in the role of the Alpine head coach he assumed last year. Ulf Emilsson, previously one of the coaches for Aksel Lund Svindal in Norway, has returned home to Sweden to replace Stephan Kurz with the ladies' speed team. Also, Anders Karlsson, another Swede who previously coached in Norway, who will be working with the Swedish men's giant slalom and slalom teams. Kurz himself is moving to Germany to guide one of the German men's training groups with Thomas Braun under the guidance of Alpine Director Wolfgang Maier and the existing German head coaches.

Overseas in Canada, Patrick Riml, who coached the U.S. ladies' team in the past five seasons culminating in Lindsey Vonn's overall and downhill globes this season, has been named manager of Canada's ladies team. Moreover, the Canadian team has added veteran leadership to their World Cup coaching staff, with Jim Pollock and Mark Sharp rejoining the ladies team while Dusan Grasic will reassume control of the men's technical team after working as Alpine Director with Alpine Canada Alpin since 2006.

In the USA, veteran coach Jim Tracy is returning to the team as ladies' head coach. Tracy will replace Patrick Riml in that role. Furthermore, former Swedish Ski Team coach Rudi Soulard and former U.S. coach Trevor Wagner have been named as new head men's and ladies' technical coaches respectively. Soulard, a native of France, has been working as a technical coach in Sweden for nearly 12 years. Wagner, a Seattle native, was with the Norwegian ladies' team last season after several years with the US team before that. The coaching team for Bode Miller, who will continue to race and train independent of the national team, is being led by Forest Carey and includes Swiss Fritz Zger.

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Rufener & Ansermoz
Jim Tracy

After a very successful season, Switzerland is mostly relying on the existing coaching staff. Ladies head coach Hugues Ansermoz and men's head coach Martin Rufener have made only small alignments. The men's team will have four rather than six training groups. Betrand Dubuis (so far European Cup) and Franz Heinzer (so far World Cup) are swapping places. Jrg Roten is moving to men's World Cup from coaching the ladies C team in the past. The EC team will be led by Andi Puelacher, an Austrian native. The ladies World Cup team will be able to count on the support of Ueli Hsler while the European Cup team will be supported by former athlete Katja Jossi.

After an equally successful season, Italy, too, is staying put with the team of Claudio Ravetto (head coach men) and Michael `Much' Mair (head coach ladies). As a new team member, Cesare Pastore is joining as slalom assistant coach under Max Carca (SLO) and Matteo Guadagnini (GS). The European Cup team will also continue to be led by Raimund Plancker.

In Norway, Egil Eliassen is a new coach and therapist with the men's World Cup team while another two positions are still open. With the Norwegian men's team, Burkhard Schaffer has joined as men's coach under the guidance of Marius Arnesen who continues as men's head coach for another two seasons. On the ladies' side, Manuel Gamper and Ernst Hochstaffel will be training the European Cup team.

Just months before the home FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Val d'Isre, Yves Dimier will remain Alpine Director in France while Gilles Brenier will continue to manage the men's team and Jean Philippe Vulliet the ladies' team.

Back in the North, both of the Finnish head coaches - Janez Slivnik for the ladies and Christian Leitner for the men - are continuing in their roles. Leitner has this spring extended his contract until 2010. Another Slovene, Klemen Bergant has been hired to assist Leitner with the men's team. Meanwhile in Slovenia proper, the new Alpine Director is called Bozo Jaklin, who worked for several years with the Finnish men's European Cup team and last year with the Canadian ladies' World Cup team. Rasto Aznoh, formerly the Athletic Director in Slovenia, is reported to join the British team.

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Schweinsteiger becomes GAP 2011 ambassador

Bastian Schweinsteiger, one of the young stars on the German football team getting ready for the Euro 2008 tournament (held in Switzerland and Austria as of 7th June), has become Ambassador for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2011 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER).

Schweinsteiger, midfield player with FC Bayern, used to ski race with one of the greatest German hopes for the 2011 event, Felix Neureuther, in their youth. His involvement with the 2011 championships is a result of the cooperation between the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball Bund - DFB) and the organizing committee in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Schweinsteiger is the first non-ski related ambassador for GAP 2011 - the leading ski Ambassador being Rosi Mittermaier - but promises not to be the last since public figures from various areas and countries are being considered.

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IOC launches Olympic Express

The International Olympic Committee has just launched Olympic Express, the first Olympic Games "e-journal" for young people from all over the world. Olympic Express is interactive, contains various animated features and provides a lot of information related to the Olympic Games.

Olympic Express will be published twice a week. From May until 8th August, it will provide features on the 35 different sports that are currently part of the Olympic program. It will also feature reports on individual stars, teams and technical details about specific sports. During the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, Olympic Express will become an e-daily, bringing news of all the competition events as well as stories the world's greatest summer athletes.

Click here to review the first issue of Olympic Express.

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 Inside FIS 

Telemark Committee in Oberhofen

On May 8th-9th 2008, the FIS Telemark Committee held its spring meeting at the FIS Headquarters in Oberhofen (SUI). Chairman Anthony Favre and Vice-Chairman Trond Gunleiksrud together with Treasurer Hans Peter Birchler, Secretary James Stein, Mads Christensen, Christian Leicht, and FIS Assistant Geertje Richter were in attendance.

The group spent two days reviewing and establishing safety, competition and sponsorship guidelines as well as finalizing the 2009 World Cup and 2009 Telemark World Ski Championships details. The FIS Telemark World Cup is coming off of a highly successful seven nation, 16 event season and is very excited for an even more successful 2009 schedule.

Rjukan (NOR) has applied to organize the FIS Telemark World Ski Championships 2011. The Telemark Committee decided to request the FIS Council to appoint Rjukan as host of the 2011 championships. Rjukan has organized first class Telemark World Cup races during five seasons and has had TV coverage for their event on the main national network during three years.

The FIS Telemark Committee is also planning to test a new event for the 2009 Finals in Bjorli (NOR). After the last official competition, a Telemark Classic, the athletes will be invited to a typical Norwegian mountain Telemark race. This means that the athletes have to walk for 3 hours up to start, well away from lifts and groomed slopes.

Contributed by James Stein

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