|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|New IOC members with President Rogge|
|Frankie Fredericks |
The 120th IOC Session last week made some important decisions. These included the appointment of Durban in South Africa as host city for the 123rd IOC Session in 2011. This is where the host of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games will be selected. It also elected members to the IOC Executive Board (EB) and two new IOC members. Yu Zaiqing of China was elected IOC Vice-President and Nawal El Moutawakel, Olympic 400m hurdles champion at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and Minister of Youth and Sport in Morocco, became the first female from a Muslim nation to sit on the 15-member EB. Denis Oswald, Ren Fasel, Mario V zquez Ra¤a and Frank Fredericks were elected as representatives of the Olympic summer sports, winter sports, National Olympic Committees and the IOC Athletes' Commission, respectively. Richard Carri¢n, Chairman of the IOC's Finance Commission, was re-elected for another four-year term of office.
Sergey Bubka, Olympic champion and President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, and Dr Ugur Erdener, President of the International Archery Federation (FITA), were elected as new IOC members. Bubka was previously a member through his role as Chairman of the IOC Athletes' Commission, a position in which he was replaced by double Olympic silver medalist Frank Fredericks.
The IOC Athletes' Commission includes 12 members who are elected for eight years by the athletes competing in the Olympic Games. In addition, seven athletes are appointed by the IOC President. All 19 become IOC members for their term. Created in 1981, the IOC Athletes' Commission is the link between the Olympic athletes and the IOC, and serves as the athletes' voice within the Olympic Movement. In Beijing, thirty athletes from 14 sports are vying for four open spots for the summer sports on the commission. The new members will officially be introduced during the closing ceremony. Manuela di Centa (ITA), Beckie Scott (CAN), Pernilla Wiberg (SWE) and Saku Koivu (FIN) are currently the four representatives of the winter sports on the IOC Athletes' Commission.
The Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) in Alpine Skiing is about to kick off at Mt Hotham (AUS). Two giant slalom and slalom races each will be carried out there for the ladies and men from 18th-21st August. The 2008 ANC series will then continue in September in New Zealand, with Treble Cone (4th-6th September) hosting another technical weekend and Mt Hutt (9th-13th September) the finals that will include super-G and super combined events along with slalom and giant slalom competitions. Last season, the ANC men's title went to Bjoergvin Bjoergvinsson (ISL) while Jana Gantnerova of Slovakia took the ladies' honors.
It is turning out to be the season of records in both Australia and New Zealand. Several of the leading resorts have received significant snowfalls by midwinter and are reporting good to excellent conditions. A few resorts on the South Island of New Zealand are claiming the snow is as good as they have ever experienced thanks to some very unusual precipitation patterns. The only caveats have been that the weather has been a bit too wild at times especially in the north. In the Central resorts in New Zealand, such as Mt Hutt, the season has been excellent from the start and the conditions are set to continue that way. In Australia, more snow is expected to fall all week so conditions are likely to get even better. Reports from resorts such as Falls Creek indicate that it has now exceeded the 20 year average snowfall and the forecast is for more.
As Mt Hutt (NZE) enjoys its best snow season in possibly fifteen years, international teams are starting to arrive for their training camps. Racers such as overall 2007 World Champion Aksel Lund Svindal are set to arrive with the Norwegian team this week for two weeks of intense training at Australasia's only speed training facility. The resort is also planning to host the Austrian men's and ladies' Alpine teams and the Swiss ladies team during August and early September.
|Saku Suverull |
Photo: Estonian Ski Association
|Mateja Bogatec |
While the focus of the sports world is on the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, the Roller Skiing athletes are fighting for World Cup points and the Cross-Country athletes are preparing for the upcoming season.
In the 2008 FIS Roller Skiing World Cup, three stages have taken place in the last two months, beginning in Piglio (ITA) in June, followed by Markkleeberg/Leipzig (GER) and then Oroslavje (SLO) last weekend. The Italian team, led by the runner ups of the 2007 World Cup Mateja Bogatec and Emanuele Sbabo, has been the most successful team until now with a total of eight World Cup victories while the Russians with the veteran Igor Glushov claimed the top of the podium five times. Norway, France and Slovenia each have taken one victory in the eight races so far.
In each event, several FIS Cross-Country World Cup athletes such as Pietro Piller Cottrer, Arianna Follis (both ITA), Seraina Mischol (SUI) or Dusan Kozisek (CZE), competed to support their national teams and to prepare for the 2008/2009 winter season.
There are ten races left in the 2008 Roller Skiing World Cup during three competition weekends. The series will continue in Schmallenberg (GER) the upcoming weekend followed by competitions in the Italian region of Cesana/Sestriere/Pragelato/Turin and the finals in Thessaloniki (GRE).
On 16th August, the famous Saku Suverull competitions will be carried out in the traditional World Cup town of Otep in Estonia. This invitational Roller Skiing event will feature both 2007/2008 overall World Cup winners Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and Lukas Bauer (CZE) as well as several other top names and former champions. The weekend will include a sprint and an interval start race. Over 60 men and more than 30 women from 14 nations will test their shape at this summer highlight event. Please click here for more information.
Contributed by Sandra Spitz
Photo: Inawashiro 2009
|200 days to go|
Photo: Inawashiro 2009
The FIS Freestyle World Championships 2009 will be held in Inawashiro in March 2009. On 4th-5th August, FIS Freestyle Coordinator Joe Fitzgerald inspected the three sites that will stage the competitions and reviewed the detailed plans for organization. Separate meetings were held with teams from the race office, accreditation, accommodation, transportation, ceremonies, medical affairs and promotion.
The ski cross competitions will be held at Snow Paradise Inawashiro ski resort, The half-pipe events will be staged at Alts Bandai while moguls, dual moguls and aerials competitions will be carried out at Listel Ski Fantasia. Test competitions have been held at each site in the past two years. The World Championship course and venue plans have been prepared on the basis of these experiences.
"I am very pleased about the preparations for the 2009 event. The organizers have created detailed plans for each venue. While we still need to consider some open issues, 80% of the work has been completed. We greatly appreciate the work done so far by the Ski Association of Japan, all the local people and the organizing committee." He added: "Athletes who succeed on these difficult courses - especially the moguls and dual moguls courses are said to be the hardest courses in the world - will be key contenders at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games."
On Thursday, 14th August the Inawashiro 2009 organizers will celebrate the milestone of 200 days remaining until the event. The celebrations began a week before with the sowing of Soba seeds to be served to the athletes during the Championships, at a field ownedÿacross the street from the Inawashiro Town Community Center. 30 children from the Inawashiro Nursery School were chosen as the "Troop of Soba seeding to offer our hospitality during the Championships." On Thursday, the organizers will announce the championship slogan, selected from among more than 400 submissions from all over Japan. A special countdown clock will also be revealed along with other ceremonies.
For more information, visit www.inawashiro2009.jp
As a follow-up to the two earlier FIS Forums, 'The Culture of Skiing' and 'Skiing in the Visual Arts', the third FIS Forum will take place on Mainau Island from 22nd to 23rd September 2008. The 2008 Forum will concentrate on the topic of sustainability and is entitled "On the Sustainability of Snow Sports."
Sustainability has always been of major concern for FIS. Given the early effects of a climate change and the ensuing global discussion, this topic has become even more pertinent. The goal of the 3rd FIS Forum, organized by FIS and the Marc Hodler Foundation, is to explore the available scientific facts together with recent experiences from related fields such as industry, trade and tourism. This objective assessment of current information will provide the foundation for reflection, any necessary refinements and a future course of action.
Invitations to the Forum will be sent by FIS. The language of the FIS Forums on Mainau is German.
|Zaugg technology at work|
FIS and Zaugg AG Eggiwil, a world-wide leader in the development and production of snow clearing and ski-run preparation machines, have announced a new cooperation whereby Zaugg will become an official FIS Partner. The agreement is effective immediately and covers the FIS Snowboard World Cup events and FIS Snowboard World Championships.
Under the agreement, Zaugg as manufacturer of specialized snow blower equipment will make available its experience and technical know-how in planning and building FIS Snowboard half-pipe competition sites to FIS event organizers. Zaugg will work to promote highest quality solutions tailored to the organizers' and FIS's needs in line with the latest standards and regulations. Special focus will be paid to further developing the competition venues and snow clearing and preparation techniques, and thereby the sport of snowboarding.
"FIS is paying increasing attention to the quality of organization both on the field of play and beyond. We are proud to partner with Zaugg that is well-known for its technical expertise and experience in building and shaping Snowboard half-pipe competition venues," stated FIS Race Director Marcel Looze. "The Zaugg partnership will enable our organizers to use the latest technology in snow clearing and blowing to prepare the best possible competition conditions for the riders."
Club 5+'s general assembly took place in Cape Town (RSA) on 27th May, 2008. The agenda included the election of its board. By acclamation, Victor Gertsch (Wengen) was confirmed as President, Srecko Medven (Kranjska Gora) and Edmund Dellago (Grden) as Vice Presidents and Hannes Huter (Kitzbhel) as General Manager.
Club 5+, an umbrella organization for the organizers of the FIS Alpine World Cup events, currently comprises 13 organizers around the world. It aims to ensure and optimize the quality of event organization.
By Ulrika Svensson
After a few weeks on vacation, sne Havnelid, CEO of Oslo 2011, is back in the office, wearing a construction helmet. The normal hill on Holmenkollen has been dismantled and ground work will start this month. The demolition of the large hill and judges' tower will start in the autumn. There was much discussion about the development and reconstruction of Holmenkollen. Now, the hills and cross-country stadium are under construction as the final decision concerning both the large K120 hill and the smaller K95 one was finally taken which makes the Oslo 2011 team happy.
"All reconstruction will take place during 2008 - 2009, which means no competitions on Holmenkollen during that time. The plan is that the stadium will be ready for the pre-Championships in February/March 2010," explains sne.
sne has significant background in competitive sports in Norway; she was the leader for the Norwegian athletes at five Olympic Games, and has also been involved in several World Championships. Most recently, she served as Vice President, Cabin Operations at SAS, with special responsibility for this area for SAS Braathens / SAS Norway, after the merger and integration of the two companies.
"Working with Oslo 2011 was a sign of great trust and a wonderful opportunity for me. It is a very exciting project that engages many competent people in Norway. Being able to combine business with sports is both fantastic and challenging," she notes. Finding the energy to invest much effort and work for several years for an event that only lasts two weeks is not easy. According to sne, she derives her engagement from around her, from the surrounding community, business, sports and especially the inhabitants of Oslo that serve as great motivators. The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo constitute a large event. In fact, the recruitment for the required 3000 volunteers already started last May.
Currently, Oslo 2011 is still a small organization, with only 5 « full-time employees. However, there are many other entities already working on related projects. "Right now, we are working with the community of Oslo, as well as with the politics, police and national defense to solve logistical questions for the competition days. Transportation for spectators from Oslo to Holmenkollen is one of the important questions," sne states. The official goal for the 12 competition days is 400'000 visitors. It only takes 15 minutes from the center of Oslo to Holmenkollen with public transportation.
The Oslo 2011 organizing committee has attended several sports events to gather experiences. For example, they visited re last winter and have a good relationship with both Oberstdorf and Liberec to learn from them. Given sne' background in several sports, the team has also searched for inspiration at events such as the FIVB Beach Volley World Tour.
"Of course you have to respect other arrangements when you are out there to study. At your own event, you are dependent on your team. Everyone on the team is equally important and my function is just to motivate them to do their best. We try to work systematically and practice the things we want to do," explains sne her ideology.
The Nordic festival arrangements will be located in downtown Oslo including an extensive cultural offering. The intention is to make the activities in town as attractive as the competitions on Holmenkollen.
At present, the focus is on construction. At the same time, the team is also working on the visual identity for Oslo 2011. "This identity will characterize everything we do," says sne. The vision for Oslo 2011 has been defined as: "Inspiring and spreading the joy of winter". This has been combined with a strategy focused on the environment, youth and culture.
The Oslo 2011 organizing committee has been set up as a corporation with an own board, and it is owned by the Norwegian Ski Federation together with The Federation for Promotion of Skiing (Skiforeningen). A small share of any proceeds will belong to the owners, while the most of any profit will go to developing sport, training, competition, children's and youth activities as legacy of Oslo 2011 and the ski arena that will last many years after the event.
For more information, visit Oslo 2011 homepage here.