News from the World of Skiing 

  Cross-Country: Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) and Dario Cologna (SUI) make history ... more

  Ski Jumping: Continuing dominance of the Austrian eagles ... more

  Schlierenzauer leads Nordic prize money rankings ... more

  David (FRA) and Bilodeau (CAN) clinch the overall Freestyle titles ... more

  Five globes to Austrian riders ... more

  National champs season gets underway ... more

  WCSE in Vancouver: Sports community focused on the environment ... more

  Six more days: Early bird registration for World Winter Masters Games Bled 2010 ... more

  Just a few days until the 2009 International Ski History Congress ... more

 Member News 

  75 years of Swedish Alpine Skiing celebrated in St. Anton ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

Cross-Country: Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) and Dario Cologna (SUI) make history
Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
Photo: NordicFocus
Dario Cologna (SUI)
Photo: NordicFocus

The Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country finished, for the second time, with the so-called FIS World Cup Final which this year consisted of four races; a sprint in Stockholm and three races in Falun (both SWE). In both the ladies' and men's overall rankings, the winners of the large crystal globes began to unveil on the second last day in the shortened pursuit races with intermediate bonus seconds in which Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) and Dario Cologna (SUI) both delivered excellent performances. Finishing 2nd on the day, Kowalczyk collected crucial bonus seconds and established a comfortable lead for the final stage, a handicap start distance race in free technique. Meanwhile, Dario Cologna built the basis for a total triumph by taking his first World Cup victory and built a lead of almost one minute thanks to the additional bonus seconds from the intermediate sprints. On Sunday, both World Cup Final ranking leaders could comfortably ski to the finish and secure not only victory in the Final, but in the overall FIS Cross-Country World Cup standings.

With her victory in the World Cup Final, Kowalczyk took the overall World Cup title without ever leading the overall standings all season. In the end she won by a 100 point margin over Petra Majdic (SLO), who finished 12th in the Final. By contrast, Tour de Ski winner Dario Cologna led the overall rankings for most of the season but then risked losing the title to Petter Northug who launched quite a challenge following the Worlds, but did not quite manage to maintain his late season excellent form until the end. At the same time, Cologna again showed his great overall skiing capabilities which really seem to come to the fore in the multi-stage events such as the Tour de Ski and the World Cup Final. The overall World Cup victories for Kowalczyk and Cologna also made World Cup history since no other skier from either Poland or Switzerland has ever before clinched a Cross-Country World Cup crystal globe.

Overall, 16 nations finished on the podium during the 2008/09 season. Leading the World Cup podiums table this season is Norway with 38 podium finishes. Thanks to Petra Majdic, Slovenia had eight victories and while Finland collected 20 podium places (6-8-6) against Sweden's 19 (6-7-6). Norway won the overall Nations Cup and the men's Cup while Finland was best in the ladies' overall ranking.

Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country 2008/2009 champions

Ladies Overall World Cup: Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
Ladies Distance World Cup: Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
Ladies Sprint World Cup: Petra Majdic (SLO)
Men's Overall World Cup: Dario Cologna (SUI)
Men's Distance World Cup: Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA)
Men's Sprint World Cup: Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)
Nations' Cup: Norway


Ski Jumping: Continuing dominance of Austrian eagles
Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT)
Photo: OeSV
Team Austria with medals
Photo: OeSV

Coming into last weekend's season finals, Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT) had already confirmed his title as winner of the overall FIS Ski Jumping World Cup whilst Simon Ammann (SUI) stood clear as the runner-up. In the first of two individual competitions in Planica, `Schlieri' then claimed his 13th season win - a new World Cup record; the old record was held by Janne Ahonen (FIN) who won 12 events in the 2004/05 season.
Overall, it was a historic winter for Austria's ski jumping team. After a nine-year break, an Austrian finally won the Four-Hills-Tournament thanks to the emergence of Wolfgang Loitzl on the top of the podium. Loitzl also brought Austria two gold medals home from Liberec, one from the normal hill and the other with the team, and finished third in the overall World Cup rankings. Team Austria claimed its fifth straight and total 14th win in the Nations' Cup with a new record score.

Gregor Schlierenzauer had a historic season in other ways as well: in the end he netted 2083 points which is a new World Cup record. On the whole, the Austrians won 17 of 28 World Cup competitions and Schlierenzauer not only won the overall World Cup but also the Nordic Tournament and the Ski Flying World Cup, reintroduced this season. The impressive account had only one minor flaw - a Swiss, Andreas Kttel, became world champion on the large hill in Liberec.

Altogether, 92 different athletes scored World Cup points. Five nations celebrated World Cup victories while nine nations stood on the podium at least once during the season. Austria collected a total of 40 podium places compared with Switzerland's 17 and Finland's 15.

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup 2008/2009 champions

Overall: Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT)
Ski Flying: Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT)
Nations' Cup: Austria


 Schlierenzauer leads Nordic prize money rankings 

Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT)
Photo: NordicFocus

In most cases, the winners of the overall World Cup rankings in the three Nordic disciplines also lead the season's prize money rankings. The only exception is Petra Majdic (SLO)’who topped the ladies' Cross-Country earnings list with 227'000 Swiss francs thanks to her eight season victories. The runner up is the overall World Cup winner Justyna Kowalczyk who, like the Tour de Ski winner Virpi Kuitunen, both made over CHF 200'000. Unsurprisingly, the most prize money was collected by the serial winner Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT) who made over half a million Swiss francs from his 13 season victories and altogether 23 podium places. Both Simon Ammann (SUI) and Wolfgang Loitzl (AUT) collected more than the men's Cross-Country champion Dario Cologna (SUI)’with CHF 262'800. The Nordic Combined World Cup winner Anssi Koivuranta (FIN)’netted CHF 129'850.

Nordic Prize Money Rankings, in CHF

Cross-Country Ladies
1. Petra Majdic SLO 227000
2. Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) 214625
3. Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) 206450
4. Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) 196250
5. Arianna Follis (ITA) 93026

Cross-Country Men
1. Dario Cologna (SUI) 262800
2. Petter Northug (NOR) 182625
3. Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) 128750
4. Axel Teichmann (GER) 88000
5. Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA) 56750

Ski Jumping
1. Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT) 524500
2. Simon Ammann (SUI) 334000
3. Wolfgang Loitzl (AUT) 274000
4. Harri Olli (FIN) 172600
5. Dimitry Vassiliev (RUS) 95000

Nordic Combined
1. Anssi Koivuranta (FIN) 129850
2. Magnus-H. Moan (NOR) 116700
3. Bill Demong (USA) 97250


David (FRA) and Bilodeau (CAN) clinch the overall Freestyle titles
Ophelie David (FRA)
Photo: Agence Zoom
Alexandre Bilodeau (CAN)
Photo: Agence Zoom

The FIS Freestyle World Cup finals were held in La Plagne (FRA) last week. Starting with dual moguls, the Finals saw the last World Cup competitions in moguls, half-pipe and ski cross. In moguls, Canada's Alexandre Bilodeau had already confirmed his World Cup title before the Worlds in Inawashiro, but went on to also claim the overall World Cup trophy by winning the final competition in France. In Freestyle Skiing, the overall World Cup titles are awarded to the best performing athlete based on their average World Cup points per competition.

In the ladies moguls, Hannah Kearney (USA) confirmed the World Cup title by taking 9th in the final competition. The win in the event went to Margarita Marbler of Austria whilst Jennifer Heil of Canada finished 2nd in the season mogul standings.

The half-pipe season titles went to the 2009 world champions Virginie Faivre of Switzerland and Kevin Rolland of France. Rolland also won the season finale while Faivre took 2nd behind Anais Caradeux of France.

In the final ski cross event of the season, Ophelie David took her 6th season win to crown already her 6th ski cross World Cup title and her second consecutive overall Freestyle World Cup crystal globe. Katharina Gutensohn of Austria finished 2nd in the season rankings. In the men's ski cross, Czech Tomas Kraus claimed victory in the final event which secured him his fourth ski cross World Cup title. Canada's Christopher Delbosco finished 8th in La Plagne and 2nd in the season rankings. Lars Lewen of Sweden took 3rd for the season.

Canada was again the strongest Freestyle nation with 43 podiums including 13 wins. Also with 13 wins and 26 total podiums, France followed in 2nd place, ahead of USA with 20 (7-6-7) and Austria with 19 (4-6-9), all except 5 of which were in ski cross. A total of 15 nations made podium appearances, 12 of whom won at least once.

Freestyle FIS World Cup 2008/2009 champions

Ladies overall: Ophelie David (FRA)
Men's overall: Alexandre Bilodeau (CAN)
Ladies moguls: Hannah Kearney (USA)
Men's moguls: Alexandre Bilodeau (CAN)
Ladies aerials: Lydia Lassila (AUS)
Men's aerials: Steve Omischl (CAN)
Ladies ski cross: Ophelie David (FRA)
Men's ski cross: Tomas Kraus (CZE)
Ladies half-pipe: Virginie Faivre (SUI)
Men's half-pipe: Kevin Rolland (FRA)
Nations' Cup: Canada


Five globes to Austrian riders
Doris Gnther (AUT)
Photo: Oliver Kraus/FIS
Siegfried Grabner (AUT)
Photo: Oliver Kraus/FIS

The season finals in the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup 2008/09 were again held in Valmalenco (ITA). In possibly the most exciting finals in history, the winners of the overall World Cups were decided on the very last day in the season's last parallel races. In the end, the large crystal globes went to two Austrians, Doris Gnther and Siegfried Grabner, who also won the men's parallel title. The small globe for the ladies' parallel World Cup was won by Amelie Kober (GER) thanks to her end of season run of four consecutive victories.

The ladies' snowboardcross title went to Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) who could not start in the final event in Valmalenco due to injury. The 2009 men's snowboard cross world champion Markus Schairer (AUT) also clinched the small globe despite missing the last competition following surgery on Sunday before.

In half-pipe, both the ladies' and men's titles went to Asia. On the men's side, Ryoh Aono (JPN) secured his career's second crystal globe after winning the title in 2007. In the ladies' rankings, Jiayu Liu secured the first Snowboard World Cup globe for a Chinese rider. The 19-year-old rider was the stand-out performer of the 2009 season by standing on the podium five times in six starts and winning three times. In addition, Liu also won gold at the World Championships in Gangwon (KOR) and at the Universiade in Harbin (CHN). The only rider able to defend his title this year, Stefan Gimpl of Austria had secured the big air title - his third - in Moscow a few weeks earlier.

19 nations celebrated podium finishes this season, the first sponsored by LG Electronics. With a total of 34 top three appearances including 16 wins, Austria was the most successful nation, followed by USA (10-7-10), Canada (6-7-10), and France (5-2-3).

LG Snowboard FIS World Cup 2008/2009 champions

Overall ladies: Doris Gnther (AUT)
Overall men: Siegfried Grabner (AUT)
Parallel ladies: Amelie Kober (GER)
Parallel men: Siegfried Grabner (AUT)
Snowboardcross ladies: Lindsey Jacobellis (USA)
Snowboardcross men: Markus Schairer (AUT)
Half-pipe ladies: Jiayu Liu (CHN)
Half-pipe men: Ryah Aono (JPN)
Big air men: Stefan Gimpl (AUT)


National champs season gets underway
The Swiss held their championships in St Moritz
Photo: Swiss Ski

With the end of the FIS World Cup season for all disciplines other than Speed Skiing, it is a busy time for national championships around the world: While the Swiss alpine racers competed last week in St Moritz, the Austrian alpine nationals in the technical events were staged in Lackenhof while the speed events are underway in Saalbach. The Canadians raced at Le Massif and Mont Ste Anne in Quebec whilst the French were competing in MegŠve and the Norwegians in Oppdal.

The US Alpine national champs are in progress this week in Alyeska, Alaska and the German nationals are underway in Austrian Pitztal. Meanwhile the Slovenians are competing in Kope, the Czechs in Splinderuv Mlyn, the Spaniards in La Molina and the Italians in Val di Fiemme (S. Pellegrino, Pampeago, Alpe Cermis), just to mention a few. The national championship season will continue until the weekend after Easter: according to the FIS calendar, the last nationals are the Italian mogul title events currently scheduled for 18th April in Livigno (ITA) and the Norwegian giant slalom champs in Aal on 18th-19th April.


WCSE in Vancouver: Sports community focused on the environment

The 8th World Conference on Sport and the Environment will take place from 29th to 31st March 2009 in Vancouver, host of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Organized jointly by the IOC and VANOC, the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee, in close partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Conference will bring together representatives of governmental and non-governmental institutions dealing with sport and the environment, the United Nations system, universities and the Olympic family.
Under the main theme, "Innovation and Inspiration", the 2009 World Conference on Sport and the Environment will focus on two key areas: Sport for Environmental Solutions and Sport for Sustainable Living. In addition to the Conference, an "Innovation and Inspiration" exhibition will showcase best practices by sports organizations, event organizers, host and bid cities, corporate sponsors and NGOs, all of which promote sustainable living and development through sport.

"The environment is an important part of the work of the Olympic Movement, and we recognize there can be many opportunities for sport and the Olympic Games to provide sustainable environmental legacies," said IOC President Jacques Rogge. FIS will be represented by Erwin Lauterwasser, FIS Environmental Expert, in Vancouver. For more details visit here.


Six more days: Early bird registration for World Winter Masters Games Bled 2010

Early bird registration for the first World Winter Masters Games 2010 will close on 31st March, 2009. Registrations by the deadline will benefit from a promotional registration fee in each discipline.. The World Winter Masters Games will be held from 25th-31st January 2010 in Bled (SLO) and will allow masters athletes to have their own "Olympic-style" experience with a festive multi-sports event.

Several former top athletes have already confirmed their participation. Those include the Slovenian Olympic slalom bronze medal winner from Lillehammer Jure Kosir and Urska Hrovat (SLO), winner of five FIS World Cup races, along with two-time Olympic bronze medalist Christian Mayer of Austria.

For more information click here.


Just a few days until the 2009 International Ski History Congress
Photo: Skiing Heritage

Scheduled from 29th March - 2nd April 2009, the 2009 International Ski History Congress will be held at Mammoth Lakes, California (USA). The 2009 congress is only the second United States-based ski history congress ever; the first one took place at Park City, Utah in 2002.

Entitled "The Spirit of Skiing" - From Skiing to Snowsports: Cultures, Images & Adventures, the program also includes a meeting of ski museums, a meeting of ski history graduate students, presentations by international keynote speakers and ski historians in academic sessions for « of each day, including an on-snow demonstration of the early California longboard ski races, aprŠs ski, and evening events. Furthermore, the International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is staging its 2009 Skiing Heritage Week at the same time. The ISHA members include prominent ski history patrons, ski journalists, and skiing legends, is a leading force in documenting and preserving ski history.

For more information, check out the event home page here.


 Member News 

75 years of Swedish Alpine Skiing celebrated in St. Anton
Sigge Bergman & Olle Rimfors

It has been exactly 75 years since two Swedes, Sigge Bergman, former Secretary General of FIS, and Olle Rimfors came to Hannes Schneider's legendary ski school in St. Anton am Arlberg. After two months of training in Arlberg, they returned to Sweden ready to introduce Swedes to alpine skiing.

This week, from 21st-28th March, Anders Bergman (grandson of Sigge Bergman) and Fabian Rimfors (great-grandson of Olle Rimfors) are in St. Anton to celebrate the jubilee. Both are researchers of Swedish skiing history and last autumn, Bergman published his grandfather's biography.

On Thursday, 26th March, they will present Ski Club Arlberg with an official recognition for having taught the Swedes how to alpine ski and lay the foundation for successes of Ingemark Stenmark, Anja P„rson and the likes. Representatives from the Austrian Ski Association, Skischule Arlberg and the Swedish embassy will also be present.