FIS Congress Special 

  Introducing new FIS Council Members ... more

  Full list of Committee Members appointments on FIS web site ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

  Southern hemisphere snow season well on its way ... more

  GAP getting ready for three years of major events ... more

  SportAccord week culminates in GAIFS General Assembly ... more

  Grass Skiing season to launch ... more


 Member News 

  Eduardo Roldan awarded Royal Order of Merit in Sports ... more

  Dieter Posch turns 60 ... more


 FIS Congress Special 

Introducing new FIS Council Members

At its general assembly in Cape Town (RSA) on Friday, 30th May, the 46th International Ski Congress elected three new members to the FIS Council. The new Council Members are: Alain Méthiaz (FRA), Giovanni Morzenti (ITA), and Werner Wörndle (AUT). They replaced their respective countrymen, Michel Vion (FRA), Gaetano Coppi (ITA) and Peter Schröcksnadel (AUT), who did not stand for re-election. For an introduction of the new Council Members, please see below for short biographies for each of them.

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Alain Méthiaz
Alain Méthiaz
Photo: Agence Zoom

Alain Méthiaz (68) has served the sport of skiing in various roles in France since the early 1970's. As technical director of the National Nordic Skiing Center and as national technical director in the French Ski Association responsible for Nordic Skiing, he laid the groundwork for the sport's development in France. Mr. Méthiaz was appointed the first general director of the French Ski Association in 1982, a position he held until after the Olympic Winter Games in Albertville. Until his retirement he was working in the French Ministry of Sports as responsible for the ski and mountain sports matters. Upon retiring from the Ministry, he has served as president of the French Ski Association since October 2004. A native of Thonon Les Bains (Haute Savoie), Mr. Méthiaz is married with one son and lives in Sciez.

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Giovanni Morzenti
Giovanni Morzenti

Giovanni Morzenti (57) is a native of Fossano in the province of Piedmont. He is a former manager at Fiat as well as a banker and publicist. Morzenti has served in several management roles at the different levels of Italian skiing, including as President of the Alpi Occidentali regional ski association, while managing the Limone Piemonte Ski Club and Sporting Riserva Bianca. Mr. Morzenti is married and has three children. He was elected president of the Italian Ski Association in April 2007.

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Werner Wörndle
Werner Wörndle

The President of the Austrian Ski Association, Peter Schröcksnadel, stood down as candidate for re-election into the FIS Council on Thursday, 29th May, just before the election by the 46th International Ski Congress on Friday, 30th May. The Congress accepted the late nomination of Werner Wörndle as the Austrian candidate and elected him with 92 votes.

Werner Wörndle is the director of the OeSV Ski Austria Academy in St. Christoph am Arlberg, a neighboring village to St. Anton am Arlberg. This skiing competence center was born when the Austrian Ski Association assumed control of the Bundessportheim St. Christoph in 1998. It maintains a central role in skiing education in Austria, from university training to its position as the official education of skiing instructors to offering courses ranging from special technical courses to fun "guided free riding". A native of Innsbruck, Tyrol, Mr. Wörndle was the Head of Alpine Skiing at the Austrian Ski Association for nine years from 1987 until 1996. He is a recognized expert on ski training and technique and a well-known speaker and teacher of ski-related topics.

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Full list of Committee Members appointments on FIS web site

In its first meeting on Saturday 31st May, 2008, the newly-elected FIS Council appointed the new Committee members for the 2008-2010 period (the Chairmen appointments were published in the FIS Newsflash last week). The newly elected FIS Council also decided that only one representative per nation could be nominated to a Committee or Conference in line with new Rules for the FIS Committees designed to streamline Committee work and adopted by the FIS Council in November 2007.

The updated composition of all Committees will be available on the FIS home page on Monday, 16th June. Please note that this version will replace the original draft distributed with the "Short Summary of the most important decisions of the FIS Council Meetings in Cape Town (RSA)" which was found to contain a number of errors caused in the transit of the document via cyberspace! In addition, the Chairmen of the Sub-Committees for Youth & Children's Questions have been added as ex officio members in the respective discipline Committees (Cross-Country, Ski Jumping, Alpine etc) while some remarks from the National Ski Associations in regard to spelling of names have been incorporated.

The complete list of Committee Members for the period 2008 - 2010 with their contact details will be published in a new edition of the FIS Directory in the coming months.

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 News from the World of Skiing 

Southern hemisphere snow season well on its way
Coronet Peak

Following a remarkable Northern hemisphere winter, you may have wondered what the weather gods have in store for the Southern season. Early indicators for the Southern season pick up where the Northern one left off and are from good to excellent. In Australia, the autumn delivered unusually cold and windy weather and there were heavy pre-season snowfalls at the ski resorts. Sadly, the most recent precipitation has been all rain, but with man-made snow, enough cover exists for resorts in Australia to get off to an early start in fair conditions. The meteorological consensus is that Australia might expect a better than average ski season and that the recent mild spell is just a blip.

New Zealand does best in strong El Nino conditions which favor the NZ side of the Tasman. Though El Nino may be late or not at all this winter, most resorts received good snow three weeks ago. South Island saw the best of it and Coronet Peak has approx. 50cm base that is part natural and part man-made. These are the best conditions for the time of year on record and certainly the pick of Australasia. However, all resorts in New Zealand are scheduled to open by the first weekend in July.

In terms of South America, there has been a fantastic season start in the Andes with Chile as the place to be. Most resorts are opening early for great early season conditions.

For those unable to travel south, there is still some skiing in the Northern hemisphere, too. For example snow has still been falling at Timberline in Oregon (USA) while summer and winter skiing are set to overlap at Whistler (CAN). In the Alps, the glacier resorts are enjoying the legacy of a long and snowy winter in the form of deep bases (6.4m at Dachstein) and a lower snowline than usual for the season. Some glacier resorts are closed right now in preparation for the summer ski season yet others are still operating along with some places in Scandinavia. Basically it is your pick!

Includes contributions from www.snow-forecast.com

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GAP getting ready for three years of major events
Kandahar inspection
Photo: GAP 2011
Günter Hujara
Photo: GAP 2011

Upon return from the FIS Congress in Cape Town, the FIS Race Directors for Alpine Skiing visited the host of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2011 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER). GAP is busily getting ready for the series of events that will culminate in the championships in 3 years: the `2009 Big Event' with two ladies' and men's FIS Alpine World Cup races each at the end of January, the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in March 2009, the FIS World Cup Finals in 2010 and the Worlds in February 2011.

The purpose of the inspection visit was to review the contouring and construction activities that are in full swing on the legendary Kandahar slope. Günter Hujara, FIS Chief Race Director for the men was pleased with the current status: "The works are well underway and it looks very promising. I am particularly pleased about the new final section on the men's course which will allow the spectators to see the entire stretch. This will definitely add value to the total event experience!" As a next step, the local team led by Peter Fischer will work together with Helmut Schmalzl to define the course concept including possible lines, placement of the safety installations and start positions.

"Ski racing in Garmisch has long traditions. Both the speed races on the Kandahar and the technical events on the Gudiberg can be classified amongst the most difficult on the FIS Alpine World Cup calendar. After the remodeling work, these classical pistes will surely put the racers to a test worthy of the World Champion title. I am very much looking forward to the first races on the new courses," commented Hujara for the GAP 2011 team.

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SportAccord week culminates in GAISF General Assembly

The General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) held its 42nd Statutory General Assembly last Friday in Athens (GRE), the last day of the 2008 SportAccord. Among a total of 83 International Federations (IFs) and other organizations, FIS was represented by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, who is member of the GAIFS Council, and Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General.

A highlight of the 2008 General Assembly was the Spirit of Sport Award ceremony. The Spirit of Sport award recognizes those who, through their unique commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made an exceptional and lasting contribution to the pursuit of sports excellence, sportsmanship and sport participation. The 2008 GAISF Award was presented by Florencio Campomanes, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Honorary President, Jahangir Khan, the World Squash Federation (WSF) President and Patricia Wade, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President of the Acrobatic Gymnastics Technical Committee.

Among the most important agenda items, the Assembly adopted amendments to the GAIFS Statutes, including new conditions and criteria for Associate Membership. The plans for the inaugural Martial Arts & Combat Sports Games were reviewed. The bid process is currently in progress and the host city for the first Games, scheduled for 2010, should be revealed by next autumn. The initiatives delivered through `Generations for Peace' (formerly Peace Through Sport) and `Peace and Sport' Associations were also discussed along with receiving reports from the upcoming major Games.

The next GAISF General Assembly will take place in conjunction with the 7th edition of SportAccord scheduled in Denver (USA) from 23rd-27th March, 2009

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Aksel Lund Svindal - 2007 World Cup champion

Aksel Lund Svindal in the first ever Athletes Panel at SportAccord

Winner of the overll FIS Alpine World Cup in 2006/07, Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) participated in a panel of champion athletes at SportAccord entitled "Building and managing an athlete's long-term career". Alongside three Olympic champions and many-time championship winners, Nawal El Moutawakel (400 meter hurdles, MOR), Sergei Bubka (pole vault, UKR), Jonathan Edwards (triple jump), Aksel flew the flag for the winter sports. Coming back from a serious injury suffered last November at the World Cup in Beaver Creek, he contributed his perspective to several key issues facing athletes in the difficult career choices to be made.

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Grass Skiing season to launch

A mountainside turning from white to green is also a sign of the upcoming Grass Skiing season: the new season is upon us.

The FIS Grass Skiing World Cup season will begin with a weekend in Rettenbach (AUT) this Saturday. The World Cup will then continue in Cenkovice (CZE) in the beginning of July before the tour moves to the Middle East, Iran, for a weekend in Dizin in early August. The so-called Swiss Tour will be held in Hochstuckli and Marbachegg (SUI) in mid-August. Switzerland will also host the annual FIS Junior World Championships in Grass Skiing in Rieden from 30th July until 3rd August. Some ten nations are expected to participate. The World Cup Grande Finale will again be staged at the Italian resort of Forni di Sopra, this year in the beginning of September.

Not to forget are a series of youth competitions and an international youth camp. The youth category and especially the camps have gained considerable popularity in the last several years, offering a positive future perspective.

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 Member News 

Eduardo Roldan awarded Royal Order of Merit in Sports
Eduardo Roldan

FIS Council Member and President of the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Association Eduardo Roldan was bestowed with the honor of the Royal Order of Merit in Sports in the silver medal category by the President of the Sports High Council in recognition of his enormous contribution to sport in Spain. He has actively promoted Spanish skiing and campaigned to bring major events to the country, including the 1996 (originally 1995) FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Sierra Nevada at which he served as chief of race for the men's events.

Recently under Roldan's leadership, Spain hosted the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships 2008 in Formigal and now looks forward to the ladies FIS Alpine World Cup events in La Molina at the end of the year. Freestyle and Snowboarding also play an important role in the Association's activities with regular World Cup events and the 2011 FIS Snowboard World Championships serving as the focal point. Eduardo Roldan is also President of the Spanish Ski Instructors Association and plays a leading role in the international organization.

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Dieter Posch turns 60
Dieter Posch
Photo: OeSV

FIS wishes to extend its best wishes to Dieter Posch (AUT) who turned 60 last week. Dieter Posch has worked for the Austrian Ski Association (OeSV) for 30 years. Since 1989 he is the director of the department for elite sport. Prior to that, he served as OeSV Race Secretary. A passionate sailor and cyclist, Dieter Posch has served as Chairman of the FIS Sub-Committee for European Cup for more than 10 years, acting as a driving force behind this important competition series for the future stars and champions. In addition he is an accomplished FIS Technical Delegate for Alpine Skiing.

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