News from the World of Skiing 

  Vonn and Grange shine at Levi ... more

  Ready, set, go: FIS Cross-Country World Cup kicks off in G„llivare ... more

  Big air returns to Stockholm ... more

  Northern season well on its way while Southern season ends ... more

  World's winter sports press in Vancouver ... more


 Inside FIS 

  Summary of FIS Council's decisions at Levi (FIN) .... more

  Polar named official FIS Timing Partner for Cross-Country Skiing and Heart Rate Training Partner for Nordic Combined ... more

  Second IF Forum collects international sports federation staff to Lausanne ... more

  FIS Committee Members: Personal information update available online ... more

  Freestyle officials ready for the season ... more


 Member News 

  Karl Schranz turns 70 ... more


 In Depth 

  Season Preview Cross-Country with Jrg Capol ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Vonn and Grange shine at Levi
Lindsay Vonn (USA)
Photo: Agence Zoom
Photo: Agence Zoom

The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup slalom opening at Levi (FIN) was held in truly wintery conditions last weekend. After the races were cancelled last year due to a lack of snow, the organizers worked especially hard this year to provide the best possible conditions for all racers regardless of their starting number.

In the ladies' slalom, defending overall World Cup champion Lindsay Vonn rekindled the slalom prowess of her youth for a spectacular, career-first World Cup slalom win on Saturday. She posted the fastest runs in both rounds despite a major mistake in the middle of the second run. Levi seems to suit Vonn well as her so-far best slalom result also was at Levi where she was 4th in 2004. Behind Vonn, Maria Pietil„-Holmner (SWE) captured her career's first World Cup podium in her father's native country while Maria Riesch (GER) took third.

In the men's race on Sunday, Jean-Baptiste Grange of France showed that he is a force to reckon with in this year's Cup. After having won some of the most respected slaloms last season, a mishap in the Grand Finals made him lose the 2008 slalom crown to Manfred Moelgg of Italy. At Levi, the Frenchman was on a mission and secured a clear victory after having posted a significant lead already after a great first run. For Grange, the perfect season start bodes well for the upcoming World Ski Championships on his home turf.

In a surprisingly solid performance, Bode Miller took second. It was his best slalom result in four years. Mario Matt of Austria finished third while Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland made a great comeback from injury by placing fourth just 0.13 seconds off the podium.

For full coverage of the Levi events, make sure to visit www.fisalpineworldcup.com.

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Ready, set, go: FIS Cross-Country World Cup kicks off in G„llivare
Ski Area Dundret

The Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Rauch will kick-off in the north of Sweden in G„llivare on the coming weekend. The town with 18'000 inhabitants is situated about 70km north of the Arctic Circle, right in the middle of Lapland, and organizes the Cross-Country World Cup for the fourth time. "All preparations are done: the tracks in the ski area Dundret are ready and cold temperatures are expected towards the weekend," said Lars-Gunnar Pettersson, chief of competition in G„llivare.

A total of 24 nations will take part in the opening of the 27th FIS Cross-Country World Cup season which features interval start competitions over 10 km (ladies) and 15 km (men) in free technique on Saturday, 22nd November, and relay races on Sunday, 23rd November. For more information, visit http://www.worldcupgellivare.com/

Contributed by Sandra Spitz

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Big air returns to Stockholm

After the kicker aces rocked London about one month ago, the second Big Air of the current LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season takes place in Stockholm (SWE) on November 22nd, 2008. For the third time in a row, the 1912 Olympic stadium is the venue for the snowboard show in which more than 70 riders from 14 nations will make the event a highlight of the in-city-contests. Also in 2008, admission to the LG Winterjam is free and the event will be shown live on TV.

In front of the spectacular backdrop, local heroes will try to challenge outstanding international competition that plans to make its way to Scandinavia. Besides the former Stockholm winners Matevz Petek (SLO, 2006) and Janne Korpi (FIN, 2007) the Finn's countrymen are among the aspirants for the 2008 victory. With Antti Autti, Risto Mattila, Peetu Piiroinen and Sami Saarenpaa four more rippers from the talented Finnish squad are ready to repeat last winter's total podium sweep. In addition, Stefan Gimpl (AUT), runner-up in London, must be taken into account for the podium candidates.

For full coverage of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup, make sure to frequent www.fissnowboardworldcup.com.

Contributed by Oliver Kraus

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Northern season well on its way while Southern season ends
Early 2008/09 season snow in Sierra Nevada

As the last ski resort closed after a highly successful winter season in the Southern hemisphere (Turoa Ski Area on Mt Ruapehu), several dozen ski resorts have already opened for the Northern winter. Bumper pre-season snow across the Northern hemisphere with areas of the Alps, Pyrenees, Scandinavia and the Rockies all receiving early snow falls have led to a number of resorts in Canada, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the US opening up to a month earlier than planned.

Livigno in Italy opened a fortnight early while in Spain the resort of Formigal - host of the 2008 FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships - celebrated its earliest opening for 15 years. Elsewhere in Europe several resorts in Austria, Switzerland and Norway & Sweden have joined others already open. In Canada, Alberta is the place to be with all three resorts at Banff now open and nearby Marmot Basin by the town of Jasper opening on the earliest date in its nearly 50 year history.

Source: www.skiinfo.com ˙

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World's winter sports press in Vancouver

Approximately 250 news organization representatives are in Vancouver this week attending the Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver 2010 World Press Briefing taking place from 18th-21st November, 2008. The focus of the gathering is on providing Games-time logistical planning information. The briefing also features tours of the 2010 Winter Games competition and non-competition venues, with an emphasis on facilities for the written and photographic press. Approximately 2'800 accredited representatives of the written press and photographers, non-rights holding broadcast organizations and their technical and support staff are expected to attend the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The Main Press Center (MPC) will be located at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center. Currently under expansion, it will house both the MPC and the International Broadcast Center (IBC). Combined, the two facilities on Vancouver's waterfront form the Main Media Center (MMC). Each competition venue will have a Venue Media Center with services and facilities including media workrooms, press tribunes, mixed zones, press conference rooms, photo positions, media drop-off and access points and information services. For FIS disciplines, there will be the Mountain Venues of Whistler Creekside (Alpine Skiing) and Whistler Olympic Park (Cross-Country Skiing, Nordic Combined, Ski Jumping) and the so called City Venue at Cypress Mountain (Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding).

In terms of media accreditation for 2010, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have by now received their assigned accreditation quotas which were determined by an IOC Press Commission working group in Lausanne in early February. The two-stage accreditation process began in October 2008 with the distribution of the Press by Number accreditation forms to the NOCs. The second stage of the process begins in June 2009 with the distribution of the Press by Name application forms.

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 Inside FIS 

Summary of FIS Council's decisions at Levi (FIN)

The FIS Council made several important decisions at its Autumn Meetings held in conjunction with the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup opening at Levi (FIN). For a summary of the Council's decisions, please click here; the Short Summary of the most important Council Decisions will be sent to all National Ski Associations today. For copies of the long-term calendars (until the 2012/2013 season) please click here for Cross-Country; here for Ski Jumping; here for Nordic Combined, here for Alpine Skiing; here for Freestyle Skiing; and here for Snowboard.

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Polar named official FIS Timing Partner for Cross-Country Skiing and Heart Rate Training Partner for Nordic Combined

FIS and Polar Electro Oy, the pioneer and leader of heart rate training systems, have announced a new cooperation whereby Polar will become the "Official FIS Timing Partner for Cross-Country Skiing" and the "Official Heart Rate Training Computer Partner for the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup." The agreement is effective immediately and will cover all events within these FIS disciplines during three seasons from 2008/2009 to and including 2010/2011.

Based on the positive experiences during the initial year of cooperation, the parties decided to extend the agreement. Cooperation has been deepened to contain timing partnership in Cross-Country Skiing and official heart rate training computer partner status in Nordic Combined for the three-year contract period. Through Cross-Country Skiing and Nordic Combined, FIS and Polar will bring innovative heart rate measurement to TV broadcasts, delivering deeper content for the viewers to better understand and enjoy the sports.

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Second IF Forum collects international sports federation staff to Lausanne
M”venpick Hotel in Lausanne "

The second edition of the IF Forum, the little sister of the well-established SportAccord, was held in the M”venpick Hotel in Lausanne (SUI) this week. The program of the 2008 IF Forum was wide-ranging but concentrated into two streams of study: media and leadership. Both topic areas were approached through a series of keynote addresses, presentations, workshops and case studies. Dr Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, delivered the official welcome speech to open the Forum Monday, 17th November. The keynote addresses for the two streams of study were delivered by Jean R‚veillon, Secretary General of the European Broadcasting Union, who spoke on the topic of "Federations and the future of European Sports Media," and by Philip Beard, Chairman Sport and Sponsorship, AEG Europe, who addressed "Leading your organization into the future."

The discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday, after introductory presentations on the main themes, were split into a series of Breakout Sessions designed to provide the opportunity for hands-on, interactive, focused study. The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Val d'Isere (FRA) were also represented by Patrick Lang, Organizing Committee media director, in a break-out session focused on "Taking care of press and the media at your event."

FIS was represented by Niklas Carlsson, Event and Sponsorship Manager and Sarah Lewis, the winter sport's representative in the SportAccord steering group, who commented: "The opportunity provided by the IF Forum to learn from industry experts and exchange experiences with our colleagues and counterparts in other sports federations is of great benefit for our own work at FIS."

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FIS Committee Members: Personal information update available online

At the request of a number of National Ski Associations, at its Levi meeting the FIS Council approved some amendments to FIS Committee membership for the current 2008-2010 period. A list of the amendments is available in the Short Summary of the most important Council decisions currently being sent to the NSAs, and the Committee constitution will be updated on the FIS home page shortly.

FIS Committee Members are requested to ensure that FIS always has their up-to-date personal information (address, phone numbers etc.). Each Committee Member, as each FIS TD, can directly update their personal details on the FIS website by logging into the FIS Member Section. The personal access details can be requested by email by clicking on their own name in a Committee Member listing on the FIS website (Inside FIS => FIS Committees). If the email address on file at FIS is no longer valid, please contact FIS IT department directly at mail@fisski.com

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Freestyle officials ready for the season
Freestyle TDs train new ski cross start procedures
Bruce Robinson presents in Park City

With the last officials' clinic finishing on the weekend in Schliersee (GER), the FIS Freestyle Skiing educational system has completed its most comprehensive program ever. A total of 148 judges from 20 nations attended different seminars in Russia, China, Finland, USA, Switzerland and Germany.

Extensive video material featuring competition runs from last season were presented during the three-day clinics. Group discussions focused on the scoring of these runs and in each clinic there was a scoring test on all the different aspects of the sport.

In Beijing (CHI), the first full freestyle officials program was held with the participation of over 30 judges along with the coaches and members of the Chinese Freestyle team. China has a strong interest in expanding Freestyle beyond the aerial event and hopes to be running moguls and ski cross competitions in the coming seasons.

A record number of nations attended the FIS Freestyle Technical Delegate seminars. One seminar with 33 participants was held in Park City and another in Gnadenwald (AUT), attracting 31 delegates. Internet technology played a large role in the development of these TD clinics. The so-called, `Freestyle Online Training' or FOT at www.fot.ch was used to coordinate the video and testing material. The `FIS Wiki' also contributed to the coordination and operation of the clinics. The Freestyle Skiing ICR have been digitized and uploaded as the basis for the educational materials presented. See here for the outline of the program and links to various different presentations and materials. Several other regional and national clinics will leverage these materials in the future.

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 Member News 

Karl Schranz turns 70
Karl Schranz

FIS wishes to extend its best wishes to Karl Schranz who turned 70 on 18th November. One of the best-known names in Alpine ski racing, Schranz captured three World Championship titles and two overall World Cup wins as career highlights. He already collected his first international titles before the establishment of the FIS World Cup in the late-1950's, followed by a total of 11 World Cup wins between 1968-1972. A four-time Olympian from 1960-1972, he won Olympic silver in giant slalom in 1964 and ended his career after being excluded from the Sapporo Olympic Winter Games in 1972 due to sporting advertising on his clothing. He received the Olympic Medal of Honor from the IOC in 1988 and was elected the Athlete of the Year in his native Austria three times: 1959, 1962 and 1970. A hotel owner in his native St. Anton am Arlberg, Schranz played a key role in the organization of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2001 there.

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 In Depth 

Season Preview Cross-Country with Jrg Capol
Jrg Capol
Photo: NordicFocus

With the start of the Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup season, it's time for Jrg Capol, FIS Race Director Cross-Country to look forward to the new season.

FIS Newsflash: What do you expect from this season?

Jrg Capol: "First of all, I hope for snow which means that winter activities can be undertaken and that people enjoy the winter. At the same time, it means that our World Cup organizers are able to carry out their competitions and have back-up options. Of course, the season's highlight is the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec (CZE). Since it will be the first time in the independent Czech Republic, the Championships in Liberec will attract a lot of people. On the World Cup level I believe that we will have an open fight for the titles until the end of the season. Especially with the World Cup final, which will include four competitions for the first time, there are still a large number of World Cup points that can be won during the last three World Cup weekends. Moreover, I expect a number of "youngsters" coming up, ready to fight to win, whilst the "oldies" try to remain successful. Last year, we had record of 19 nations on the podium; I don't think that we want to have fewer this season."

FIS Newsflash: Is there something particular this season?

Jrg Capol: Many of our World Cup organizers now offer unique experiences and that feels so good that new partners would like to be more strongly involved. I think Cross-Country will take another step forward this season: just think how we are right in the middle of developments that emphasize themes such as the environment, hybrid cars, health, and fitness. All these elements fit optimally to the sport of Cross-Country, and offer us the chance to develop the discipline further. We have created highlights taking place throughout the season and this will help Cross-Country get a larger audience and more media attention.

FIS Newsflash: What is new for this season?

Jrg Capol: "At the World Cup level, the Tour de Ski will finally be carried out in three nations of the Czech Republic, Italy and Germany where Oberhof (GER) is a newcomer to the Tour and the entire region of supports the Tour opening 100 %. This cooperation is already set to until at least the 2012/13 season. We did some fine-tuning on the World Cup and Tour de Ski rules and the World Cup final rules are 100 % based on the Tour rules. What is new this season are the bonus World Cup points in Trondheim (NOR), during the mass start long distance races over 30 km (ladies) and 50 km (men). At approximately each 8 km, the top three athletes can win World Cup points (15 points -10 points - 5 points) which means that the one day maximum for the men could be 175 World Cup points for one person."

FIS Newsflash: How does the future look for Cross-Country?

Jrg Capol: "We will continue with our long-term World Cup planning, which includes the integration of the Rocky Mountains starting by 2012 with a new highlight event dubbed the Rocky Mountain Challenge. This will entail all the teams travelling by train from Calgary to Vancouver and carrying out competitions along the way. The Cross-Country World Cup branding will get a new focus with new elements which will make it attractive. On the other hand, we have to draft an overall Cross-Country strategy to motivate people to ski. The time is right to start this by combining the influence of all related partners and key individuals."

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