News from the World of Skiing 

  Great start for Continental Cup Ski Jumping in Slovenia ... more

  Liberec 2009 introduces official program, TV vignette and mascot ... more

  Round Gotland Race - Victory for Swedish Alpine ladies on the Audi R8 ... more

  Snowboarders boosting troop morale in the Middle East ... more

  Call for Papers for Mammoth Lakes International Ski History Congress ... more


 Inside FIS 

  LG FIS Snowboard World Cup kicks off officially ... more

  Enhancements to mobile.fisski.com ... more


 Member News 

  Urs Lehmann takes the baton in Switzerland ... more


 In Depth 

  Athletes in Summer Training: Cross-Country Skiing ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Great start for Continental Cup Ski Jumping in Slovenia
View of Velenje
Photo: SSK Velenje
Good Slovenian showing in Velenje
Photo: SSK Velenje

The FIS Continental Cup Ski Jumping started in Velenje (SLO) with the home team's double win on Friday, 4th July. The first winner of the summer 2008 was Primoz Pikl, who beat teammate Robert Hrgota by three points. In the second competition in Velenje on Saturday, 17-year-old Pascal Bodmer of Germany won with a comfortable margin of 7 points. With one victory and four podium appearances, the two Velenje competitions represented a perfect start for the new Slovenian head coach Matjaz Zupan. Saturday's competition was even broadcast live on Slovenian Television.

"After some initial starting difficulties, we again had two good competitions in Velenje," noted FIS Continental Cup Coordinator Horst Tielmann."Bodmer's victory shows that the Germans are on the right way and that his team gold from the 2008 FIS Junior World Championships in Zakopane (POL) was no coincidence".

In the third competition on Sunday, held in Kranj (SLO), another 17-year-old, Maciej Kot from Poland, took the honors. He finished just 0.9 points ahead of teammate Stefan Hula. After three competitions, Pikl (SLO) leads the COC rankings with 220 points.

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Liberec 2009 introduces official program, TV vignette and mascot
Presentation of Libi
Photo: Liberec 2009

With 231 days remaining until the start of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (CZE), the organizing committee last week joined forces with the Czech Prime Minister to inform on the status of event preparations. Together with Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister, along with Deputy Minister of Education Jan Kocourek, FIS Council Member and President of the Czech Olympic Committee Milan Jirásek, Lord Mayor of Liberec Jiří Kittner, President of the Czech Ski Association Lukáš Sobotka, Kateřina Neumannová, President of the organizing committee, presented the official program, ticket prices and TV vignette as well as a full-sized mascot to the media.

“I would personally like to congratulate Kateřina on what she has achieved with her team for the Championship preparations. She joined the organization under complicated circumstances and put her name on a project that was in a poor shape,“ said Topolánek. “Kateřina enjoys my full confidence,” he continued. “If we had not intervened last year, we would not be here now,” he said. “I was not the one who suggested Kateřina, but I agreed to her nomination and it was the right decision,” the prime minister concluded.

The organizing committee released the World Championship vignette, the official visual appearance that millions of TV viewers will see. The short feature film/animation uses motives of Liberec, Prague and the three disciplines Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined. The mascotlion by the name LIBI - also made its first “live“ appearance in the Czech Republic.

Contributed by Liberec 2009

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Round Gotland Race - Victory for Swedish Alpine ladies on the Audi R8
Photo: SSF
Photo: SSF

After a hard fight between the Swedish Alpine men and ladies' teams, the Audi R8 crossed the finish line first in the X35 class in the Round Gotland Race last Tuesday. With this, the Alpine ladies took revenge on the men from a year ago.

This fight within the competition - between the ladies on the Audi R8 and the men on the Audi R10 - was exciting from the beginning. Right from the start, no one else in the X35 class could really threaten the two Audi boats in the lead. After the Audi R8 passed the Audi R10 on Tuesday morning, the Alpine ladies with skipper Leif Carlsson worked hard to keep the Audi R10 behind, and it worked all the way until the finish.

"It has been an amazing experience.. Sure it was a challenge but it was fun to feel how it is to sail for real," said very tired but happy Frida Hansdotter, who made her debut in sailing in the Round Gotland Race. For Maria Pietil„ Holmner and Jessica Lindell Vikarby, this year's race was more challenging than their maiden race last year. "The first part was really tough and we experienced it all from very much wind to no wind at all," Maria recalled.

The margin for the victory ended up being 16 minutes. Oscar Andersson and Mattias Hargin, too, commented on the tough conditions." It was more physical this year; we sat on the rail and were freezing most of the time." For Hans Olsson, who made his debut in the Race, it was a thrilling fight with the ladies from the start."It was constant excitement since we had each other within reach almost all the time. It was a really close battle."

The Round Gotland Race is carried out in cooperation between Sune Carlsson's Boatyard and Audi Sweden. The Audi-sponsored boats - R8 and R10 - are named after the successful Audi cars that have won the legendary Le Mans 24 h race a total of eight times.

Contributed by SSF

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Snowboarders boosting troop morale in the Middle East
Kass & Holland in Afghanistan
Photo: Courtesy of Nate Holland

The Arosa 2007 bronze medalist in snowboard cross, Nate Holland (USA) recently embarked on one of the most adventurous trips of his life to the Middle East. Holland, along with two-time Olympic half-pipe silver medalist Danny Kass and another snowboarder Grete Eliassen (NOR) spent ten days in Qatar and Afghanistan with U.S. Troops. Upon his return home, Holland commented:"I've never been exposed to military life, and I've certainly never been in a combat zone until last week, as I spent 10 days of my summer vacation in Afghanistan."

The trio's mission was to boost the Troops' morale. Starting in Qatar, the trip involved visits to military bases. The Qatar base is a so-called rest and relaxation base where the soldiers can get out of the combat zones in Iraq or Afghanistan for four days every six months. The trip then continued to Afghanistan.

"I went over to Afghanistan with an open mind, to see firsthand what was going on and how the troops were doing. I came back humbled and with a true understanding of sacrifice. I mean, I know how trying "the road" can be, but giving yourself for 15 months of your life, away from family and friends is one hell of a sacrifice and a test of a true patriot in my book," Holland wrote in his trip account.

"Although our trip was short and sweet, I think I got a pretty basic taste of military life in a war torn country. The highs of hanging out with the gung-ho soldiers and their weapons, to the lows of visiting a four-year-old girl who lost a leg from a land mine are just two extreme emotions I felt in one week."

Contributed by USSA

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Call for Papers for Mammoth Lakes International Ski History Congress

The next International Ski History Congress is scheduled to take place at Mammoth Lakes (USA)˙from 29th March - 3rd April 2009. The 2009 Congress has been entitled "From Skiing to Snow-Sport: Cultures, Images, and Adventures."

The Call for Papers has been published and abstracts of papers are due by 15th September 2008. The 25 minute presentations can discuss topics related to the cultures, images, and adventures of different eras of skiing and snow-sports, including but not limited to film, photography, journalism, literature, poetry, ski areas, individuals, history, competition, fashion, economy, events, snow science, and so forth.

For more details visit here.

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 Inside FIS 

LG FIS Snowboard World Cup kicks off officially
Click to enlarge

The official kick-off meeting for the first LG FIS Snowboard World Cup season took place last week. More than 60 representatives of LG Electronics of Korea and its local subsidiaries in the 2008/2009 World Cup countries along with delegations from the local organizing committees and FIS partners for staging the global series spent three days with their sleeves rolled up in the Swissotel Zrich (SUI).

LG Electronics of Korea will become the title sponsor of the FIS Snowboard World Cup tour as of this season. The competitions will launch in Cardrona (NZE) with a half-pipe event on 6th-7th September, to be followed by snowboard cross events in Chapelco (ARG) on 12th-13th September.

The purpose of the workshop was for the various parties to meet, to receive information on the upcoming season and to start sharing details on the global sponsorship and the local organizers' specific plans for promotion, event production and sponsorship activation, among other things.

Marcel Looze, FIS Race Director Snowboard, commented: "This three-day workshop turned out to be a great way for us to launch the cooperation for this new partnership. There is an excellent˙match between the two brands, the FIS Snowboard World Cup and LG Electronics of Korea, for making this a mutually beneficial program. I was very pleased to see how well the interaction kicked off and to witness the emergence of many new ideas that will help us bring the LG FIS Snowboard World Cup series into a totally new level."

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Enhancements to mobile.fisski.com

With the summer competition season getting underway, enhancements have been made to the FIS web site's mobile version at mobile.fisski.com. For the road warriors among us and for those who do not want to wait a second to find out the latest developments in the FIS sports, the results are available through the mobile platform as soon as they have been sent by the respective providers to the FIS database. This applies to the Ski Jumping Continental Cup, the FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined, just to mention a few of the upcoming summer highlights. The competition calendar can˙also be accessed via the same mobile platform. Happy mobile˙surfing!

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 Member News 

Urs Lehmann takes the baton in Switzerland
Lehmann receives baton from Bezzola
Photo: Swiss-Ski/Keystone
The new suit design
Photo: Swiss-Ski/Keystone

The 104th General Assembly of the Swiss Ski Association - Swiss-Ski - was held on Saturday, 5th July, in Saas-Fee (SUI). One of the most significant items on the agenda included the election of the 39-year-old former ski racer and world champion Urs Lehmann as successor of Duri Bezzola as President of the Association. As the only candidate for the position, Lehmann was appointed unanimously for a four-year term. Urs Winkler from the Sport Gymnasium Davos took Lehmann's place in the Presidium, along with the other new members Pirmin Zurbriggen, Johny Weissmller and Roger Fehr. Jean-Philippe Rochat and Eloi Rossier were re-elected.

The delegates also selected St. Moritz as the Swiss candidate for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2015, 2017 and 2019 against Crans-Montana with 1766 to 908 votes. Moreover, the General Assembly nominated both the retiring President Bezzola and the retired ski racer Bruno Kernen as honorary members of Swiss-Ski. The accounts were approved, with a positive balance of CHF 200'000. Moreover, the new design for the Swiss team's racing suits was unveiled.

The General Assembly was organized by Snow Sport Club Allalin Saas-Fee in recognition of its 100th anniversary this year.

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 In Depth 

Athletes in Summer Training: Cross-Country Skiing
Swiss training in Les Diablerets
Photo: Reto Bachmann
Sabina Valbusa in Piglio
Photo: Newspower.it

by Sandra Spitz

While the masses are enjoying their summer holidays, Cross-Country skiers remain hard at work to be in top shape for the upcoming season which will include three highlights: the 3rd FIS Tour de Ski, the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (CZE) and the FIS World Cup Final in Sweden.

Several athletes from Norway, Sweden, Germany and the US travelled to Whistler after the end of the Cross-Country season, to inspect and train on the Olympic courses in Callaghan Valley/Whistler Nordic Park. "The better you know the terrain, the better you can perform on it. It's a matter of pacing yourself and learning the distances and the altitudes," explained the U.S. Cross-Country Head Coach Pete Vordenberg.

The official summer training kicked-off for most nations in early May. Several teams started with endurance and strength training on foot and bike, while others sought to extend the snow season. The Finnish team, including the overall World Cup winner Virpi Kuitunen, held its first ever training camp in Copenhagen (DAN) in May. At the beginning of June, they went to the famous Sognefjellet (NOR) for on-snow training and then headed, last week, to Vuokatti, for their first camp on home terrain.

The Czech team, including the FIS Tour de Ski and overall World Cup winner Lukas Bauer, started their training at Passo Tonale (ITA), while some Swedish athletes were on the island of Crete (GRE) and the Russian team travelled to Turkey. The Germans started training in the different training groups where for example cycling camps in the Allg„u region and in Tuscany (ITA) were on the schedule.

Several teams opted to stay close to home rather than earn some more frequent flyer miles. The Swiss started their preparations in Magglingen (SUI) and continued with on-snow glacier training in Les Diablerets (SUI). The Austrians, led by Head Coach Bernd Raupach, held their first camp on the Dachstein (AUT) glacier while the French had their official training camps in La RosiŠre/Col du Petit St. Bernhard and Tignes (FRA). The Norwegians had a training camp organized by "Olympiatoppen" in Steinkjer (NOR) together with Biathlon, Nordic Combined and Speed Skating disciplines, followed by a get-together in Oslo and an on-snow training camp in Sognefjellet (NOR). The Italians were at Passo Stelvio, later in June in Fiuggi (not far from Rome) and at the Roller Skiing World Cup in Piglio.

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Team AUS training downunder
Photo: Finn Marsland

For the Australian Cross-Country Team, the situation is different as there the winter season is in full swing. The team just completed an on-snow training camp at Falls Creek, where skiing conditions have been excellent. The Cross-Country competition series in the southern hemisphere, the FIS Australia - New Zealand Cup (ANC) begins in August, with three events in New Zealand and four in Australia before concluding at the traditional Kangaroo Hoppet ski marathon at Falls Creek on 30th August.

In the northern hemisphere dry land training will continue. Some athletes will be adding some roller skiing and running events such as the Saku Suverull in Otep„„ (EST) on 15th-16th August. More on-snow training is on schedule in September/October on the glaciers or in the indoor ski tunnels.

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