|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|New AUT NC coach team|
Similar to Cross-Country Skiing, the changes in the coaching ranks of the FIS Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined World Cup teams have been minimal before the upcoming Olympic season. Please find below a summary of those that have come to the attention of the FIS Newsflash so far:
In Ski Jumping, former Czech Republic head coach Richard Schallert has been hired by Germany for the 2009/10 season to work with the German B team. The 45-year-old had been offered a contract by Austria as well, but in the end opted to join fellow former Austrian national jumpers Werner Schuster and Stefan Horngacher in Germany.
In Nordic Combined, the former Continental Cup coach Peter Leiner will succeed Eugen Krgel as head coach of the Swiss Nordic Combined team. Krgel had been in his role since the 2007/08 season. Torald Rein will become Leiner's assistant while Pipo Schdler will assume the role of coordinator and coach of the Nordic Combined Continental Cup team. Meanwhile, Nordic Combined Director of the Swiss Team, Hippolyt Kempf has also taken over responsibility for the Swiss Cross-Country Team. As 1988 Olympic Champion in Calgary the last time the Games took place in Canada, his goal will be for Dario Cologna, 2009 FIS World Cup and Tour de Ski winner to have the necessary support structure to be successful at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
After two World Championships without medals, the Austrian Ski Association has installed a new Nordic Combined coaching team led by Norwegian Bard Jrgen Elden. He will be assisted by Falko Krismayr and Christoph Eugen who already coached under the former head coach Alexander Diess.
At the same time, rumor increasingly has it that double Olympic champion Felix Gottwald would be planning a comeback. So far, the media reports have not officially been confirmed by either Gottwald or OeSV. According to the grapevine, the prospect of a comeback is supported by the return of his miracle coach Gnther Chromecek who already led Gottwald to many successes and is now supposed to become his personal coach, as already allegedly agreed with Elden.
Contributed by Horst Nilgen & Egon Theiner
|Planned 2014 Olympic stadium|
Under the leadership of Jean-Claude Killy and including FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, the IOC's Coordination Commission for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is visiting the Russian host city this week for its second full visit. The Commission will spend two days (13th-14th May) hearing from the Sochi Organizing Committee and its partners about their progress since the Commission's visit last year.
During the visit, the Commission will tour the planned competition sites and meet senior figures from Russia's government. This visit will also see the International Olympic Winter Federations (IFs), with FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis representing FIS, undertake venue inspections for the first time and attend part of the Coordination Commission. The participation of the IF leadership shows that sport is a key focus area for Sochi 2014 from the beginning.
One year after the initial visit, the IOC delegation will be looking for signs of significant progress on the construction front in the mountain and coastal clusters and road and rail links connecting the sites. The renewed claims of environmental issues and the impact of the global financial crisis on the various construction projects will also be discussed. The Sochi 2014 leaders are expected to offer assurances that financing is secure and construction preparations are on track. Sochi is spending some $13 billion to develop the city and Krasnodar region for the Games.
Eurosport is celebrating 20 years as a leader and pioneer in sports media entertainment this year. Launched in 1989 by the European Broadcasting Union as the first pan-European TV channel dedicated to sports, Eurosport has evolved to become Europe's leading sports entertainment group. The Eurosport group is now owned 100% by French media company TF1.
Throughout the anniversary year, Eurosport plans to roll out major digital initiatives. A special anniversary programming cycle celebrating 20 years of sport history will be featured on Eurosport's channels and multimedia platform from 16th-25th May 2009. 25th May will see the main day of special celebrations.
Eurosport was initially launched in English, Dutch and German and today the channel is broadcast simultaneously in 20 languages and 95% of the daily 22 million viewers watch Eurosport in their own language. In total it covers 120 different sports disciplines.
Meeting in Montreal (CAN) last weekend, WADA's Executive Committee, of which FIS President Gian Franco Kasper is a member, unanimously approved an enhanced version of the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information (Data Protection Standard). The original Standard took effect on 1st January, 2009. The amendments clarify the scope of the Standard application, as well as the obligations imposed on each anti-doping organization. These amendments will take effect on 1st June, 2009.
"Nothing in the Data Protection Standard required any European country to lower its level of privacy protection, as some questioned. On the contrary, the Standard provides that anti-doping organizations based in Europe must respect their national data protection laws and that those laws prevail over the Standard as long as they are as rigorous as the Standard.," stated WADA's President Fahey.
In terms of compliance with the˙WADA Code, it was reported that the five International Federations (IFs) of Olympic sports (gymnastics, handball, modern pentathlon, volleyball and wrestling) that had not implemented an out-of-competition testing program at the time of the previous compliance report in November 2008 had now done so.
The weekend's meetings also focused on advances made in the development of the Athlete Passport concept. The fundamental principle of the Athlete Passport is based on the monitoring of an athlete's biological parameters to detect abnormal variations that can reveal the effects of doping. WADA is currently finalizing an "Athlete Biological Passport Operating Guideline." A working group of experts and key parties convened by WADA including FIS will shortly meet to review these documents and provide their input prior to release to all WADA stakeholders.
FIS is pleased to announce the appointment of Sunset+Vine International to manage the global media rights to the FIS Snowboard and Freestyle World Championships for the next five years. The contract includes the FIS World Championships for 2011, Snowboard in La Molina (ESP) and Freestyle in Deer Valley (USA) and for 2013, Snowboard in Stoneham, Quebec (CAN) and Freestyle in Voss (NOR).
The UK based agency Sunset+Vine was chosen after a structured process during which several agencies showed interest in selling and distributing these media rights. In order to reach the growing youth market, there will be a special focus on using new technologies and innovative means to exploit the rights, to grow digital coverage and capture the interest of a wider demographic.
Looking forward to this new cooperation, FIS President Gian Franco Kasper stated: "Sunset & Vine International is a new partner for FIS with substantial experience in creative production and distribution activities. The fact that their innovative concept for managing these rights could be chosen from several high-level applicants underscores the popularity and value of the FIS World Championships in these youth-oriented disciplines."
Jeff Foulser, Chairman, Sunset+Vine, added: "We are delighted to be working with FIS on these prestigious World Championships. Both Snowboarding and Freestyle Skiing have grown in popularity as television sports over the past few years and we look forward to broadening their appeal even further."
The FIS Calendar Conference 2009 will take place in Cavtat-Dubrovnik (CRO) starting on Wednesday, 20th May. The schedule features the spring meetings of the various FIS technical committees (for full schedule see here); the FIS World Cup Organizers' Seminar; as well as a briefing with the Candidates for the 2014 and 2015 FIS World Ski Championships in order to review the steps and procedures until the election of the organizers by the FIS Council during the 47th International Ski Congress in Antalya (TUR) in the spring of 2010.
The response to the first-ever FIS World Cup Organizers' Seminar for the Olympic disciplines has exceeded expectations with over 200 representatives of various organizing committees signed up for the two-day meeting. The first day will feature presentations on change management, leadership and marketing imperatives in the current time of global financial crisis while the second day will see separate meetings for each discipline. The topics for the different disciplines vary in some areas, but the main goal is to share experiences between the organizers, evaluate last season and discuss specific areas for improvement, such as accreditation, side events, TV data analysis, promotion and so forth.
Please note that given the national holiday in Switzerland on Thursday, the FIS Office in Oberhofen will be closed both on Thursday and Friday 21st-22nd May during the Calendar Conference. To contact FIS during those days, please note the following telephone numbers:
FIS Office Dubrovnik +385 20 475 358
FIS Travel Office Dubrovnik: +385 20 475 892
|Intense work at TV Expert Seminar|
Photo: Sandra Spitz
A small but highly engaged group of TV experts gathered in Zurich (SUI) this Tuesday and Wednesday to review the draft TV Broadcasters' Manual for Cross-Country Skiing. Ola Fagerheim and Odd Kaldefoss from NRK of Norway, Johan Bernhagen from SVT of Sweden, Tapani Parm from YLE of Finland, Peter Minder from Swiss Television and Nello Isola of Infront Sports&Media joined representatives of FIS and its partners Swiss Timing and Infront Sports&Media for a detailed appraisal of the concepts elaborated in the more than 100-page manual. Infront TV Consultant Bren Hester coordinated the discussion ranging from the planning process and division of obligations among the parties to differences in TV broadcasting philosophy and the use of graphics. Looking forward to next season, the group discussed specific need for support in order to ensure a constant production quality weekend after weekend during the Olympic season. After incorporation of the feedback over the summer, a Cross-Country Broadcasters' Meeting is planned to take place in the autumn to present the final manual to all broadcasters as well as the FIS World Cup organizing committees.
"It has been a very successful and important step for us to develop our TV production. I must thank all our TV experts and Bren who have done a great job with the new broadcasting manual. I am really looking forward to seeing the final version and to its implementation as from next season," commented Vegard Ulvang, Chairman of the FIS Cross-Country Committee.
|Rider presentation at Giro|
Photo: Sandra Spitz
On Thursday, 7th May, a small observer group from the Tour de Ski team led by FIS Cross-Country Race Director Jrg Capol visited the official Giro d'Italia presentation in Venice (ITA) in order to gain new impulses for the upcoming edition of the Tour de Ski. The participating teams of the centennial Giro d'Italia were presented to a large on-site crowd as well as live to RAI TV viewers from the famous Piazza San Marco. After this spectacle the group, which also included representatives of the Tour venue in Val di Fiemme, had a chance to inspect the Giro facilities, attend a Press Conference and meet with Giro Director Angelo Zomegnan and his staff.
"The Giro exists since 1909 and is surely one of the most popular sports events in Europe. The Tour de Ski, which is fundamentally a similar kind of competition series, can learn a lot from such successful events," explained Capol. "The Tour is still a young event and we have much to do to develop the Tour, we can learn from other sports and events about how they are doing it. The visit at the Giro was very fruitful for all of us and gave birth to some new ideas in our minds."
Contributed by Sandra Spitz
The organizers of the inaugural Winter Games New Zealand invite the FIS family to the 2009 Winter Games that will be held primarily in the Southern Lakes area of New Zealand from 21st to 30th August 2009. The venues will be Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Snow Farm, as well as Naseby and Dunedin.
Competitors will participate in 26 snow sports disciplines ranging from Alpine Skiing to Curling, Snowboarding to Figure Skating and Ice Hockey, as well as a full Paralympic skiing program.
The alpine ski events will be calendared as part of the ANC Continental Cup series, with a SG, GS and SL races scheduled. The cross-country events will also be calendared as Continental Cup and will feature a sprint, 10 km and 15 km interval start in classical technique and 5 km/10 km interval start in free technique. The Snowboarding events, too, will be part of the ANC Continental Cup and will include slopestyle, half- pipe, big air and snowboard cross. The Freestyle ski cross will also be at Continental Cup level.
All athletes and coaching staff will get free race entry, lift passes and venue access on competition days.
In addition to the high standard of competition on the snow and ice venues, there will be regular off-snow activities for spectators and athletes with live music and entertainment in downtown Queenstown and Wanaka. Experienced volunteers from Canada, Australia and other nations will be coming to assist the New Zealand course crews in achieving a high standard for the Winter Games.
For further information, visit www.wintergamesnz.com
Contributed by David Howden