News from the World of Skiing 

  Facts and Figures: 25 nations on FIS World Cup podium ... more

  Official end of the season ... more

  New season, new faces: Coach changes in Cross-Country Skiing ... more

  Ski season in Southern hemisphere begins five weeks early ... more

  WADA Executive Committee and Board to discuss implementation of 2009 Code ... more

 Inside FIS 

  Nine applications for candidacy for 2014/2015 FIS World Championships ... more

 Member News 

  USSA moves into new home .... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

Facts and Figures: 25 nations on FIS World Cup podium

As the season analysis continues, some interesting facts have been uncovered: During the 2008/2009 World Cup season, more than 300 FIS World Cup events were carried out around the world in the six FIS Olympic disciplines including both individual and team events. A total of 25 nations, representing four continents, made the podium at least once. During the 2007/08 season, 29 nations appeared on the podium while 27 achieved this during the 2006/07 season.

The overall podium ranking across the six disciplines is led by Austria which gathered a total of 157 podium finishes. USA ranked 2nd (83) and Switzerland 3rd (81). Norway, Canada and Finland claimed the places from 4th - 6th. Compared with the 2007/08 season, USA rose from 3rd to 2nd and Switzerland from 5th to 3rd. At the same time, Norway fell from 2nd to 4th. Only three nations - Austria, Norway and Finland - achieved podium finishes in all Olympic disciplines. For the detailed ranking, click here.

In terms of athlete participation in the FIS World Cup during the past season, 693 athletes from 35 nations raced in the Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup. At the same time, 145 men from 21 nations participated in the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup and in the DKB FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, 136 men from 17 nations took part. The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup saw 39 nations start, represented by 204 ladies and 261 men. In the Freestyle FIS World Cup, 34 nations were at start through 505 competitors, whilst in the LG Snowboard World Cup, 636 athletes from 40 nations competed.


Official end of the season

The very last entry in the FIS international calendar for the 2008/2009 season entails four FIS Freestyle ski cross competitions, originally scheduled to take place in Voss (NOR) last weekend, 2nd-3rd May, but now rescheduled until 23rd-24th May thanks to the continuing good snow conditions in the North of Europe.

The second to last event on the calendar was the traditional Fossavatn Cross-Country ski marathon that was held in Isafj”rdur in Iceland on 2nd May. It was the 60th edition of the 50 km race in classical technique. The race victory went to Oskar Sv„rd (SWE) who was more than eight minutes faster than his second-ranked countryman Ulf Tingel”f.

According to preliminary statistics, more than 24'000 athletes have started in international FIS competitions during the 2008/09 season across all nine FIS disciplines. The discipline specific figures range from 11'308 athletes from 81 nations in Alpine Skiing to 5664 cross-country athletes from 65 nations to 143 Grass Skiing athletes from 11 nations.


New season, new faces: Coach changes in Cross-Country Skiing
Changes in Team SUI
Photo: NordicFocus
Arild Monsen (NOR)

As is often the case before an Olympic season, the changes in the coaching ranks of the FIS Cross-Country World Cup teams have been minimal. Here is a summary of some that have come to the attention of the FIS Newsflash so far:

In Canada, new Senior National Team Coach will be Norwegian Inge Braten. The well-known coach Braten has helped guide some of the world's best Nordic athletes, including the legendary Bjorn Daehlie, to success. He succeeds Arild Monsen (NOR) in Canada. Meanwhile Monsen has moved to Sweden where he will be engaged as the new men's sprint coach.

In Germany, the German Ski Association announced some changes in the ladies team already before the end of the season. Ismo H„m„lainen (FIN), who left the team for personal reasons, has been succeeded by 37-year-old Janko Neuber. The former World Cup athlete Neuber was previously responsible for the training base in Oberwiesenthal and will also continue to serve as the personal coach for Ren‚ Sommerfeldt and Tom Reichelt.

Adriano Iseppi, Chief of Cross-Country, will be leaving Swiss Ski at the end of July. The coaching staff around Head Coach Markus Cramer will remain unchanged. In Sweden, Gunde Svan, currently Chief of Cross-Country, will leave his position as he considers to have reached his goals of re-structuring the team and establishing a sound economical foundation for it.

In several countries, negotiations are still underway and the new appointments will be announced shortly. Teams continuing with their current staff into the season 2009/2010 include Finland (head coach: Magnar Dalen), Slovenia (head coach: Ivan Hudac) and France (head coach: Pierre Mignerey).

Contributed by Sandra Spitz


Ski season in Southern hemisphere begins five weeks early
Mt Hutt opens early
Photo: Mt Hutt Resort

As the long 2008/09 ski season finally winds down in the Northern hemisphere, heavy snow in both Australia and New Zealand has led to the Southern hemisphere's ski season beginning five weeks early last weekend. Mt Buller decided to run its ski lifts and open to the public at the weekend with an unprecedented 35cm snowfall. "It's the best snow we've had this early since we opened in 1964," Mt Buller commented.

The snow arrived soon afterwards in New Zealand where enthusiasts dug out their gear and hiked up to the top of Canterbury's Mt Hutt over the weekend to also enjoy `first tracks' of the season. The ski area is officially scheduled to open and start running its lifts in just over five weeks on 13th June.

Meanwhile there are still dozens of ski areas open in North America and in Europe, where the summer ski season is just starting off for 2009.

Source: ˙


WADA Executive Committee and Board to discuss implementation of 2009 Code

WADA's Executive Committee and Foundation Board, of which FIS President Gian Franco Kasper is member, will meet on 9th-10th May in Montreal (CAN) for the first time this year.
The meeting will discuss topics such as implementation and enforcement of the amended World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards, which went into effect on 1st January this year. Also on the agenda is the recent advisory opinion released by the European Union's Article 29 Working Party on Data Protection, which examined WADA's International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information (Data Protection Standard), as well as a number of anti-doping rules and practices.

The advisory opinion recognized the proportionality and legitimacy of the current whereabouts regime for top-level elite athletes, as well as the significant advances made in relation to athletes' data protection in the global anti-doping system through the implementation of the Data Protection Standard.

In addition, the meetings will allow the members to consider recent advances in anti-doping and to be updated on some of the WADA's key activities.. These include doping prevention, athlete education, anti-doping development, science, the Athlete Passport Program, cooperation with law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies, ratification of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport by individual countries, as well as issues related to recent doping cases and investigations.


 Inside FIS 

Nine applications for candidacy for 2014/2015 FIS World Championships

FIS is pleased to announce the receipt of nine applications for candidacy for the organization of FIS World Championships in 2014 and 2015. By the May 1st 2009 deadline, FIS received one application for the 2014 FIS Ski Flying World Championships submitted by Harrachov (CZE). For the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, there were three applications, submitted by Cortina d'Ampezzo (ITA), St. Moritz (SUI) and Vail/Beaver Creek (USA). For the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, there were four applications, submitted by Falun (SWE), Lahti (FIN), Oberstdorf (GER), and Zakopane (POL). Finally, Kreischberg (AUT) applied as candidate to host combined 2015 FIS Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships.

"I am delighted to see that despite the current economical climate we have received applications as candidates for the 2014/2015 FIS World Championships in all disciplines. For us this underlines the continuing strength of our flagship events and their appeal to global audiences," commented FIS President Gian Franco Kasper.

The FIS Council will elect the organizers of the 2014/2015 FIS World Championships during the 2010 Congress week in Antalya (TUR) on 3rd June 2010. For more information on the election procedure, click here.


 Member News 

USSA moves into new home
New Center of Exellence
Photo: USSA

The United States Ski and Snowboard Association˙(USSA) has moved into its brand new home, the so-called Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah. Last Friday, Olympic champions Ted Ligety and Julia Mancuso were among the first athletes to make their way into the new state-of-the-art training and education facility. The center opened its doors just in time for preparation for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver only nine months away.

The Center is the USSA's new domicile for athletes and employees alike. It features a large athletic training area, an aerials and snowboard ramps and tramps area, gymnasium, sports medicine recovery and rehab room, nutrition center, equipment and sport science lab.

While staff moved boxes into the new Center, athletes began to arrive for training and testing - anxious to check out their new home on Thursday. Julia Mancuso was among the first athletes to train and was stunned by the new athletic training facility during her annual athletic testing. "It's probably the nicest gym I have ever been to. It's much different. The old training center wasn't a place where you wanted to hang out. I think it's awesome," she said.

The USSA Center of Excellence is officially open for operation, but a public opening will be held in July.