News from the World of Skiing 

  Start of the FIS Alpine World Cup season ... more

  London debuts in FIS World Cup - a spectacle at Battersea Power Station ... more

  FIS Forum Snowboard in London: The first new FIS fan website online ... more

  FIS Forum Alpinum on Friday - see you there! ... more

 Inside FIS 

  100 days to go: Val d'Isre 2009 ... more

  GAISF Council meets in Monaco ... more

  Professor Roald Bahr honored with the Prince Philip Medal ... more

  Fresh off the printer: FIS Medical Guide for 2008/09 ... more

  International Perspectives on Skiing: Part II ... more

 In Depth 

  Season Preview Alpine Skiing: Gnter Hujara & Atle Skaardal ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

Start of the FIS Alpine World Cup season
Photo: OC Slden

The 2008/09 FIS Alpine World Cup season will kick off in just three days on 25th-26th October in Slden (AUT). It will be the 11th time that Slden hosts the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup's Glacier Opening.

The official snow control for the season opening giant slalom races scheduled in Slden this Saturday and Sunday was made last Thursday, 16th October 2008. Markus Mayr, FIS Race Director - Ladies' Technical Events conducted the control and gave green light for the races regarding snow conditions.

Commenting on the situation, he said: "Overall the conditions are good regardless of the rather thin snow cover. The cold weather in the last several days and freezing temperatures at night helped our preparations. On Tuesday, Hans Pieren, FIS Race Director - Men's Technical Events, together with the organizing team completed the work on the race piste with the injection beam."

He added: "The organizers are ready and the course will be prepared up to the requirements. There might be some new snow on Wednesday and / or Thursday which will require additional work from us but will surely not hurt the competition."

For more information on the World Cup Opening in Slden, click here. After a low weather front passes on Thursday, the forecast promises an improvement as of Friday and the weekend weather is expected to be quite nice. For more details, click here


London debuts in FIS World Cup - a spectacle at Battersea Power Station
Source: OC London

The first big air of the 2009 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season will be staged at Battersea Power Station in London this Saturday, 25th October. After all the other World Cup events already kicked off their season, the opening of the ramp stars is a true highlight of this winter: for the first time, a LG Snowboard FIS World Cup will take place in the United Kingdom. Battersea Power Station - still the largest brick building in Europe - provides the venue for the huge ramp and an exceptional snowboard spectacle, which will the main act a big winter sports and music festival called "Freesports On4 Freeze". A massive ramp has been in construction since last Wednesday, reaching the height of 35 meters and length of 100 meters and featuring an in-run of 31 meters, built of 300 tons of scaffolding. Outstanding action will be delivered by the international crme de la crme of the scene in a superb atmosphere as live acts such as Cypress Hill enter the stage. For more information check out

Fittingly for the first FIS World Cup ever in London, the high class line-up is led by Danny Kass, 2006 Olympic half-pipe silver medalist, accompanied by his teammate Scotty Lago, last year's big air FIS World Cup winner Stefan Gimpl and the Finnish rippers Antti Autti, Risto Mattila, Janne Korpi and Peetu Piiroinen, just to mention a few. The fans in London will get the first chance to cheer for Dan Wakeham, Ben Kilner and Dominic Harrington on their home snow.

The London big air is also the first time the new big air format is used. All riders have to prove themselves in a qualification round to earn one of the ten spots in the one-hour-long finals where each qualified rider has three runs. But not all three jumps count for the decisive final score. The winner will be determined by the highest combined score of jump 1 or jump 2 and jump 3 which will count definitely.


FIS Forum Snowboard in London: The first new FIS fan website online
Metro Ski and Snowboard Show

The inaugural FIS Forum Snowboard was held in conjunction with the media day at the Metro Ski and Snowboard Show -allegedly the world's largest winter sports trade fair-at London Olympia today Wednesday 22nd October. The event focused on appraising the attending media of the novelties in the program of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season that launches its European outdoor season with the debut of the FIS World Cup in London and the United Kingdom.

New this season in the LG Snowboard World Cup is the first slopestyle FIS World Cup competition, scheduled in Bardonecchia (ITA) in February 2009. The new rules for the big air are in effect as of the London big air season opening (see article above). "FIS is excited to introduce the slopestyle World Cup this season with one competition, with a total of three to follow next season. The success of slopestyle especially among the future generations in recent years leads us to believe in this event's success at the highest level," commented Marcel Looze, FIS Race Director Snowboard.

The FIS Forum Snowboard also highlighted the launch of the first of FIS's new fan websites focused on the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup, with others to follow. These fan websites focus on telling the complete global story of the FIS World Cup series putting a special focus on featuring the athletes, the champions and stars of the Tour, their personalities, backgrounds and life behind the scenes. Phase 1 of the Snowboard fan site is now online at including news, photos and videos - make sure to check back regularly and stay tuned for new exciting features in the near future.


FIS Forum Alpinum on Friday - see you there!
Slden Freizeitarena

The FIS Forum Alpinum - the Information Session for Ski Journalists - will again take place the day before the Opening of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season 2008/09 in Slden (AUT), on Friday 24th October. It will be held in the Freizeit Arena in Slden beginning at 9:00 CET. FIS management together with leading FIS Alpine professionals will provide an update on FIS' activities and stand ready for questions and answers with the international ski media.. Presentations by the Organizing Committees of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2009 in Val d'Isre (FRA), the Alpine World Cup promotional event in Moscow (RUS) and organizers of the premiere Audi FIS World Cup event in Bansko (BUL) are also scheduled along with a team session where national head coaches / alpine directors can share their teams' latest news and season goals.


 Inside FIS 

100 days to go: Val d'Isre 2009

There are now just 100 days remaining until the start of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Val d'Isre (FRA). The organizing committee Val d'Isre 2009 organized a cocktail celebration to mark this important milestone on Tuesday 21st October at the Casino d'Aix-les-Bains. The reception also marked the start of a major communication campaign in the Rhne-Alpes region and finalization of cooperation with the event's media partners France Tlvision, Radio France, le Dauphin Libr and Eurosport. Further celebration of the Val d'Isre 2009 - 100 days to go milestone will take place in Slden (AUT) on the occasion of the start of the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup there this weekend.


GAISF Council meets in Monaco

FIS President Gian Franco Kasper participated in the meeting of the GAISF Council at the organization's headquarters in Monaco this Monday. President Kasper is the winter sports representative on the Council. The agenda of the meeting included review of the status of the various initiatives such as the Martial Arts Games, the 2009 Olympic Congress to be held in Copenhagen in thirteen months and the multi-sports video platform in development. The Council also heard reports on associated programs such as 1st Mind Sports Games that were held in Beijing (CHN) from 3rd -18th October 2008 and the 13th World Sport for All Congress which will be staged at Genting Highlands (MAL) on 3rd - 6th November 2008.
The next GAISF Council meeting as well as the 43rd GAISF General Assembly will be held in conjunction with SportAccord 2009 in Denver (USA), at the end of March 2009.


Professor Roald Bahr honored with the Prince Philip Medal
H.R.H Prince Philip & Professor Bahr
Prince Philip Medal

Professor Roald Bahr M.D., Ph.D,Chair of the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre, which is undertaking the FIS Injury Surveillance System, was presented with the with the Prince Philip Medal in Sports and Exercise Medicine by His Royal Highness The Prince Philip. The award reception was held at Buckingham Palace, London (GBR) on Wednesday 15th October.

The medal, only once previously awarded when it was launched twelve years ago, is given for an outstandingly significant and original contribution to the advancement of medical knowledge or technique in sports and exercise medicine.. Professor Bahr was especially honored for his work in founding and chairing the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre which now has an international reputation for excellence, particularly in research devoted to the prevention of sports injuries, and also oversees the FIS ISS project, generously supported by DJO. The International World Conferences on Sport Injury Prevention in Oslo (2005) and Tromso (2008) organized by the OSTRC were landmark events. In addition to holding several roles in Norwegian sports medicine, Professor Bahr is currently President of the Medical Commission of the International Volleyball Federation and was recently elected to the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission Medical and Scientific Group.


Fresh off the printer: FIS Medical Guide for 2008/09

The FIS Medical Guide for the current season is now available. The Medical Rules and Guidelines 2008 have been thoroughly reviewed and revised by the FIS Medical Committee for this season. It includes notably the revised rules and guidelines for medical and rescue services, among other updated sections. Print copies are available on request and a soft copy version can be downloaded by clicking here.


International Perspectives on Skiing: Part II
Cape Town (RSA)
Photo: SA Tourism

In the second part of the series entitled "International Perspectives on Skiing," another three video interviews conducted on the occasion of the 46th International Ski Congress in Cape Town (RSA) are now available. These feature Vegard Ulvang (NOR), Chairman of the FIS Cross-Country Committee, Luis Alberto Santa Cruz, President of the Chilean Ski Association and Jari Piirainen, Secretary General of the Finnish Ski Association all of whom shared their thoughts on various aspects of our sport. Click here to view the videos.


 In Depth 

Season Preview Alpine Skiing: Gnter Hujara & Atle Skaardal
Gnter Hujara
Photo: Race Ski Magazine

With the start of the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season, we begin the series of brief interviews with the FIS Race Directors looking forward to the new season. First up: Chief Race Directors for Alpine Skiing, Gnter Hujara (men) and Atle Skaardal (ladies).

FIS Newsflash: What do you expect from this season?

Gnter Hujara: "My greatest wish for this season is that there is wide-spread acceptance and recognition for the broad spectrum of measures that we undertake to provide the safest possible conditions for the athletes competing on the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup tour. This work has been underway for several years now and will continue unabated this season. The safety measures in place have reached an unforeseen level in recent years thanks to the detailed work done by FIS together with the race organizers. This aspect must remain to be a focus for all of us, from the jury to the organizers and athletes - all parties must be aware of their roles and responsibilities and work relentlessly to contribute their part. Even so, there will be a remainder of risk that all of us will carry and must be aware of in race situations.

We on the FIS side are always happy to enter into a dialogue to address needs for further improvement but cannot be expected to act on a whim. Consequently I hope that this season will be one marked by no serious injuries. On a more positive note, I also hope for a season in which new talents emerge to challenge the old champions already at the national level in the qualification races for the most important races such as this season's title events."

Atle Skaardal: "It is my fourth season and I am looking forward to a very good season. The signs are positive all around, even from the weather gods from what my sources tell me. The World Cup remains an important goal even in the title years - for many winning the overall World Cup is a sign of continuous top level performance all season long so we can expect a great battle both on the Tour as well as in the Worlds in Val d'Isere.

I hope that the established racers will continue at the high level they have been competing in the past but it is always good for a sport and the public interest to have some newcomers. Let's see what the season brings!"


Atle Skaardal

FIS Newsflash: Is there something particular this season?

Gnter Hujara: "Of course, the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup promotional event in Moscow (RUS) represents a special season highlight. It is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate World Cup level athletic performances in the middle of a metropolitan city. And we cannot underestimate this event's importance in launching the promotion of Alpine Skiing and the specific preparations for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. I believe it is these kinds of events, along with the athletic excellence, that will allow us to demonstrate the strength of our sport against the competition from other sports wowing our viewers and fan interest.
Of course, the World Championships in Val d'Isere will be particular, not just because of the special challenges of the courses on the infamous Face.. We have, together with the organizing committee, taken all possible precautions and prepared back-up plans given various weather challenges and can now say that we are well-prepared. Now we just have to hope for the best in terms of meteorological streams and also that the OC is successful in its attempts to attract good crowds of spectators to provide championship-worthy atmosphere on site."

FIS Newsflash: What is new for this season?

Gnter Hujara: "On the men's circuit, we do not have any new venues on this season's calendar but instead can rely on the experience of many classical organizers. However, we will see a few changes to established World Cup courses such as the new downhill course in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the new finish stretch on the Kitzbhel slalom course, the revised finish in Wengen and the adjusted courses for the finals in Are, just to mention a few. In all these changes our main focus has been on delivering enhanced racer safety in the long-term perspective."

Atle Skaardal: "On the ladies' side, we have two new venues on the schedule: La Molina (SPA) and Bansko (BUL). I have visited both several times during the summer and fall and am very confident that they will fulfill our requirements while collecting some valuable experiences.

There are no major rule changes for this season so otherwise it is business as usual: great events week after week, spectacular racing and hopefully very few injuries!"