|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
Since the election of Sochi (RUS) as the host of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games on 4th July 2007 in Guatemala City, preparations have been underway for the first Olympic Winter Games ever held in the subtropics. It has been busy times for the Sochi 2014 organizing committee, which has been assuming its shape and beginning work on the detailed plans for all the competition venues and the surrounding infrastructure. The first visit of the IOC Coordination Commission led by the ski legend Jean-Claude Killy to Sochi took place earlier this spring.
During the Games, scheduled to be held from 7th to 23rd February 2014, the FIS events will be taking place on the Western plane of the Caucasus Mountains just 50 km from Sochi on the Black sea. It takes some 45 minutes to get from the Adler International Airport to the mountain venues along the renovated federal express way. The mountains reaching skyward above the village of Krasnaya Polyana are the home to Russia's primary winter resorts with massive alpine terrain. The Olympic snow venues are currently under construction. The Alpine events are to be held at the resort of Rosa Khutor with the Nordic events planned at Psekhako Ridge at the other end of the same valley.
Of all the venues, the planning for the resort of Rosa Khutor is the most advanced. All in all, the area is planned to have over 1'500 meters of vertical drop, making it one of the biggest lift-served mountains in the world. The Olympic Alpine events are planned to be held on pistes that are located at an elevation of 940 m up to 2000 m. The resort is scheduled to open for leisure skiers by early 2009, with most of the infrastructure set to be ready by end of 2009, early 2010. The first FIS World Cup events and the first official Olympic test events are on schedule for February 2012.
FIS Race Directors for Alpine Skiing, Gnter Hujara, Atle Skaardal and Helmut Schmalzl, have all visited Rosa Khutor in recent weeks. "From the FIS side, we have become closely involved in the preparatory process for Sochi 2014 relatively early given that some six years still remain until the Games there," commented Hujara. "This is because the 2014 Games present both a great challenge and a wonderful opportunity for all stakeholders. There is huge potential for skiing in general in Russia, and for the resort of Rosa Khutor in Krasnaya Polyana in particular. At the same time, it is up to us to facilitate the building of the necessary know-how and the right connections to the ski world in order to ensure a positive legacy for our sports in the region. And all of this must happen quite rapidly!"
"The building of a brand new resort is a completely different situation than extending or refurbishing an established ski area for the purposes of a major event. In the case of Rosa Khutor we are also operating in the delicate vicinity of a nature reserve which provides us with certain limitations. In addition, as anywhere else, the area's specific geological profile needs to be taken into account. Already now, we are sure that we will have good courses in 2014. What's equally critical, of course, is that the surrounding infrastructure such as the roads, railways, hotels and services such as water and electricity will also be finished in time."
He concluded: "We at FIS view the project Sochi 2014 very positively. As part of this process, we are already playing an active role in promoting skiing and creating the required expertise in Russia. As a prime example, there will be an invitational men's parallel slalom event to be organized in Moscow this November which will serve as great promotion for the FIS Alpine World Cup. We expect thousands of spectators to come and see the world's best slalom skiers competing on the largest ramp ever built and that right in the middle of the city!"
|Di Centa vs. Piller Cottrer|
Photo: Mario Facchini
The dry-land training and Roller Skiing season started in earnest around Europe with the arrival of the summer. While some national races already took place, the FIS Roller Skiing World Cup 2008 will kick off tomorrow Thursday in Piglio/Frosinone, near Rome (ITA), the host city of the FIS Roller Skiing World Championships 2009. Three competitions are on schedule in Italy from 26th to 28th June, a sprint in the free technique in Frosinone, as well as an uphill race in the classical technique and a mass start uphill competition in the free technique, both in Piglio.
Not only the Roller Skiing aces will be at the start at the competitions in Piglio/Frosinone, but also some of the Cross-Country World Cup athletes such as Giorgio Di Centa, Pietro Piller Cottrer, Valerio Checci and Arianna Follis will use the possibility to test their current shape. For more information on the competitions in Piglio, please click here.
In total, this year's FIS Roller Skiing World Cup will consist of seven World Cup weekends in five different countries. After Italy, the circus will continue in Markkleeberg (GER) with a sprint, a prologue and a pursuit competition on 4th-6th July. During the second competition period in August, Oroslavje (CRO) and Schmallenberg (GER) are on the schedule. The 2008 FIS World Cup will conclude with the third period consisting of races in the Cesena/Sestriere/Pragelato/Torino region (ITA), La Tremblade (FRA) and the finals in Thessaloniki (GRE). Please click here to see the detailed calendar.
The defending overall World Cup winners are Igor Glushkov (RUS) and Maria Magnusson (SWE). Their toughest challengers in this year's World Cup will likely come from Italy and Russia.
Contributed by Sandra Spitz
|Dr. Rogge and Mr Schmid|
On Monday, 23rd June, it was time for the long awaited opening of the so-called Pavilion, the newest addition to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at Lausanne-Vidy, a stone's throw from the shores of Lake Geneva. The festive unveiling of the new building was attended by the leadership of the Olympic and international sports movement, where FIS was represented by President Gian Franco Kasper and Secretary General Sarah Lewis. The new building was officially inaugurated by IOC President Jacques Rogge together with the Swiss minister responsible for sports, Samuel Schmid.
The Pavilion has been designed as a multipurpose facility with a number of conference rooms and a restaurant. The elegant, yet practical building will serve as a place to received guests and members, meet the international media and hold press conferences in a beautiful setting. Because the IOC Executive Board will meet in the Pavilion in the future, it will also come to symbolize the place of decision-making within the IOC. Situated between the Chteau de Vidy, where the IOC President's offices are located, and the administrative offices, the Pavilion will also serve as the meeting place, the real nerve center of the IOC in Lausanne. A large part of the building was built underground which minimizes its visual impact on the surroundings.
Along with the administrative center at Vidy, the IOC buildings in Lausanne include the Olympic Museum in Ouchy. The seat of the International Olympic Committee has been located in Lausanne since Baron Pierre de Coubertin chose Lausanne as the home of the Olympic movement in the early 20th century.
For more information on the IOC buildings please visit the second-to-last issue of the Olympic Review, IOC's quarterly magazine.
To prepare for the 13th Olympic Congress to be held in Copenhagen (DEN) in October 2009, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched the so-called virtual Olympic Congress which is an important component of the preparatory process leading up to the event. Improvements in technology have made it possible to canvass a wide spectrum of people for their views and opinions on different aspects of Olympism. Since its launch, the virtual Olympic Congress has already received great interest from members of the Olympic family and the public-at-large. In the context of the overall purpose of the Congress - to take the pulse of the Olympic Movement and the general public - one of the five themes that the IOC is asking the public-at-large to comment are the Olympic Games themselves.
Within this major topic area, the three sub-themes that can be commented are: how to keep the Games as a premier event; the Olympic values; and universality and developing countries. The specific issues being debated include questions such as what initiatives are necessary in order to ensure that future Games continue to be viewed as a premier event; whether the Olympic Games are still in the service of the philosophy of Olympism; and what the notion of the "universality of the Olympic Games" actually means.
Submissions from the Olympic family and the general public will be accepted until 31st December 2008. The submissions from the Olympic family will be analyzed to provide a set of draft recommendations for discussion in Copenhagen. A statistical analysis of the public's contributions will be available on the IOC's website in 2009, and selected contributions included in the Congress' proceedings. More information on the Congress Regulations and the Call for Contributions can be found at www.2009congress.olympic.org. Each individual may contribute two comments of up to 1000 words. Registration is required.
|Prof. Peter Schrcksnadel |
Photo: Erich Spiess
At the 73rd General Assembly of the Austrian Ski Association held in St. Johann in Pongau near Salzburg, former FIS Council Member, Prof. Peter Schrcksnadel was unanimously re-elected as the President of the Association until 2011.
The newly-elected Presidium now includes Franz Patscheider who replaced Eugen Stark as a Vice-President. The other Vice-Presidents remain Hannes Trinkl, Anton Leikam and Franz Schellhorn. Secretary-General Klaus Leistner continues to serve as the executive committee's secretary and Dr. Peter Mennel as treasurer. Dr. Klaus Pekarek, President of the Ski Association of Krnten was named Honorary President, the highest title awarded by the Austrian Ski Association.
The General Assembly also honored Matthias Lanzinger, who was seriously injured in a tragic accident during the World Cup super-G race in Kvittfjell (NOR). The 27-year-old athlete was greeted with a standing ovation and applause lasting for several minutes. President Schrcksnadel praised Lanzinger's amazing demonstration of strength and ability to overcome such a great challenge, making him a role model for all of us. Lanzinger, who is currently building a house in Salzburg, himself thanked his entire surroundings for their great care and support in the past months and years.
Includes contributions by OeSV
Based on long-term, structured anti-doping efforts, including the FIS Blood Profiling Program that was introduced as of the 2001/2002 season, FIS is increasingly in a position to conduct targeted testing. In line with this focus, FIS last season performed as many as 375 out-of-competition tests, including both blood tests and urine (normal screen and EPO analysis) along with blood transfusion and insulin tests. This is almost five times as many as the season before when 80 out-of-competition controls were performed by FIS. In addition, WADA conducted another 228 out-of-competition tests on FIS athletes. WADA's out-of-competition testing included blood and urine controls.
In total, there were 1'739 in- and out-of-competition doping controls carried out in all FIS Olympic disciplines by FIS during the 2007/2008 season.
All in all, 1367 in-competition tests were completed, including regular urine tests, urine EPO controls, blood tests, HBOC (haemoglobin based oxygen carrier) and blood transfusion controls. The large majority of in-competition tests, 898, were blood tests, in addition to urine (293) and HBOC (170) tests. Among the FIS disciplines, the Cross-Country athletes were most often subject to testing as 1009 in-competition tests were performed on them, followed by Nordic Combined with 117 in-competition controls.
In line with the directives of WADA the emphasis on the testing program is focused on targeted out-of-competition testing. The number of tests alone do not tell the whole story, despite being the main statistic contained in various reports. It is relatively easy to collect high numbers of `easy' tests at team training camps for teams that have well-structured programs in easily reachable locations. But it is quite another task to carry out testing on athletes at very specific periods in the preparation cycle, at distant inaccessible locations - and this is the challenge that FIS is now undertaking with the strong support of WADA, in order to make the testing as effective as possible.
As a consequence of the focus on out-of-competition testing by FIS, the in-competition testing regime at FIS World Cup events has been complimented by a large number of National Anti-Doping Agencies conducting tests, with whom FIS is collaborating closely.
During the 2006/2007 season, a total of 1'469 in-competition doping controls were carried out. Additionally 1'133 doping controls were carried out at the four FIS World Championships (including Junior World Championships) where the number of athletes subject to post-competition doping controls included the top four plus two at random, as per FIS Rules.
With the 46th International Ski Congress in Cape Town (RSA) and the outstanding hotel and meeting facilities still fresh in everyone's memories, applications are now welcome to host the 2012 FIS Congress. The 2010 FIS Congress will be held in Antalya (TUR).
Interested National Ski Associations are requested to consult the information on the requirements of hosting an International Ski Congress. Updated questionnaire and information sheet can be downloaded from here.
Official applications should be sent to the Secretary General at the FIS Headquarters by latest 1st September 2008 with details of the venue, location, facilities, etc. Depending on the number of candidates, the FIS Council may draw up a short list, and if necessary inspections will be carried out before a final decision will be made.
|Pat Deneen in Arapahoe Basin |
To provide a glimpse into how the various national teams and athletes are preparing for the new competition season, the FIS Newsflash will publish a series of articles under the heading `Athletes in Summer Training' over the course of the next couple of months. An overview of the Freestyle athletes' summer plans opens the series.
In the 2007/2008 FIS Freestyle World Cup season, Team Canada took the Nations Cup trophy home for the third straight time. The team's accomplishments included the overall FIS Freestyle World Cup title for Steve Omischl who dominated the FIS Aerials World Cup by winning six of nine competitions and the aerials title. Sixteen-year-old Chlo Dufour-Lapointe was named Female Rookie of the Year for her breakout year on the FIS mogul circuit while Sarah Burke and Matthew Hayward both won the FIS World Cup titles in half-pipe. In all, the Canadian team collected 25 World Cup podiums in moguls and aerials; nine in half-pipe; and another six in ski cross.
With the home Olympics less than two years away, the Canadian team has set high goals. The expectations are already great for the 2009 World Championship season, as the team will be defending five medals, including three golden ones (not including half-pipe which had to be cancelled).
After the successful season, several of the Canadian athletes have not only taken some time off to recharge their batteries for the new season, but have also engaged in charitable activities. Warren Tanner, who claimed his career-first World Cup victory last season in Lake Placid (USA), is the first freestyle skier to go carbon-neutral thanks to David Suzuki's `Play it Cool' program. 'Play It Cool' is an innovative environmental program that teams high profile summer and winter athletes concerned about global warming with the David Suzuki Foundation. These athletes are committed to making changes in their lives to reduce their climate impact, and to inspiring others to do the same. Going carbon neutral is a way to address the remaining footprint, by purchasing carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are simply credits for reductions in the carbon dioxide (CO2) achieved elsewhere by projects such as wind farms or solar installations. For more information, visit www.playitcool.ca.
Meanwhile, World Cup winner Steve Omischl joined other three Canadian Right To Play athlete ambassadors - Clara Hughes, Emily Brydon and Mellisa Hollingsworth - on a visit to Ghana. The group spent five days visiting schools, community centers, and a Liberian refugee camp in the capital city of Accra, joining the children while they participated in games that taught them about things like malaria and HIV to name a few. These games were also helping the kids build self esteem, social skills and enhance their physical development. He commented: "I have been to lots of schools in my time and played lots of games with children of all ages but these kids were something else. The enthusiasm and joy I saw in the children were like nothing I've ever seen. The pure fun within sport really shone through. When asked what they had for breakfast, some replied rice, others didn't reply. But, when the games started they ran, chased, jumped and sang like they ate Sunday brunch at the Hilton."
Also this spring, Kristi Richards, 2007 FIS World Champion in ladies' moguls, who founded the `Supporting the Dream Legacy Fund' last fall, was able to award the first grants to six athletes to help them with their training and competition costs. These athletes from her native Okanagan are new talents in Speed Skating, Triathlon, Luge, Road Cycling, Cross-Country and Freestyle Skiing.
In terms of summer training, following an annual conditioning camp at Whistler, the Canadian aerial team will be spending most of the summer dry-land season at the Acrobatx water ramp facility in Lac Beauport, Quebec (CAN). The mogul team will be training in Whistler (CAN) and at Mount Hood (USA) both on snow and on water ramps from May to August. At the end of August - early September, it will be heading to South America for training.
The destination of the Canadian men's team will be Ushuaia - Cerro Castor (ARG) which is near Tierra del Fuego or 'the end of the world.' A new favorite destination for many ski teams (both Alpine and Freestyle), they will be training there along with at least the French and Swedish mogul teams. Thanks to good snow conditions up in Scandinavia, the Swedes were able to extend their on-snow season until the snow melted in Are. The Finnish mogul team just completed their last winter training session in Ruka a week ago. They plan to return to on-snow training in the Folgefonna summer ski center in Norway, early July. A new water ramp is opening in Folgefonna by end of June, to add another facility to the existing ones at Fderlach in Austria, Jumpin in Switzerland, and Lake Placid (USA), just to mention a few. In addition to regular physical training and time on snow and the ramps, the Freestyle teams are spending time on the trampoline, in the gym, and surfing to develop their coordination and strength.