News from the World of Skiing 

  More than 1.1 billion watch 2009 FIS World Ski Championships ... more

  Falun, Willingen and Schonach selected as most media friendly sites ... more

  A Revolution: Handcycling Mt. Kilimanjaro ... more

 Inside FIS 

  Great progress and enthusiasm in Val di Fiemme 2013 ... more

  Schladming 2013: Focus on accommodation and sustainability .... more

  FIS Calendar Conference in Cavtat-Dubrovnik (CRO): Round-up ... more

 Member News 

  Tragic death of Karine Ruby ... more

  Council Member Jirasek receives Olympic Order ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

More than 1.1 billion watch 2009 FIS World Ski Championships

Based on a recent report from the European Broadcasting Union, the TV and marketing rights holder for this year's FIS World Ski Championships, the FIS World Ski Championships 2009 were seen by more than 1.1 billion viewers worldwide. While more than 478 million cumulative viewers watched the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships from Val d'IsŠre (FRA), the multi-faceted (live, delayed, news or highlights) coverage from Liberec (CZE) was enjoyed by almost 666 million global TV viewers.

22 and 17 national broadcasters broadcasted the action from Val d'IsŠre (FRA) and Liberec (CZE), respectively, along with the 69 Eurosport and Eurosport Asia-Pacific nations. The top Val d'IsŠre events in terms of live audience in a single market were the men's and ladies' slaloms broadcast by ZDF: while the men's second run was seen by 3.57 million German viewers, the first run recorded 3.07 million viewers and the ladies' second slalom run collected just short of 3 million fans in front of their TVs. The top Liberec events with the greatest national live audience were the men's normal and large hill Ski Jumping events on Poland's TVP1 with almost 5.0 and 4.4 million viewers, respectively, followed by the men's large hill event on Germany's ZDF with 4.0 million fans.

The top market share for any live programs from Val d'Isere was the men's downhill race in Switzerland where SF2 posted 74% market share closely followed by the same race on Austrian ORF1 with 73.7% market share. The best market share ratings for any Liberec events were seen by Finland's YLE which recorded market shares between 82.8% and 81.3% for the top three cross-country events with the ladies' 10km classical leading the way.

The 665 million total cumulative viewers seen by Val d'IsŠre 2009 represent the highest viewer total on record, and this with the cancellation of the Nations' Team Event which helped enhance the viewer numbers for the 2005 and 2007 championships. 20.5% of the viewers watched the live broadcasts. The total broadcasting time transmitted from the 2009 Alpine World Ski Championships was also a new record, again despite the Nations' Team Event cancellation, with more than 1038 hours of coverage.

The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (CZE) also saw the highest number of live viewers ever recorded, even compared to Oberstdorf 2005 and Lahti 2001. With a total of twenty medal events, Liberec 2009 posted a new record cumulative broadcast duration with more than 771 hours of coverage of which 70.3% was shown live and 25.9% delayed.


Falun, Willingen and Schonach selected as most media friendly sites
Falun stadium
Photo: NordicFocus

The Nordic media representatives within the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) have again selected the most media-friendly organizers of FIS World Cup events in Cross-Country Ski Jumping, and Nordic Combined as well as Biathlon during the 2008/09 season.

The Joska crystal trophy for the best venue in media service in Cross-Country will be awarded to the team in Falun (SWE), led by Anki Haugen, which organized the highly successful and exciting FIS World Cup Final over three days. Falun was followed by the Lahti Ski Games (FIN) and the Tour de Ski venue of Prague (CZE).

In Ski Jumping, the FIS Team Tour venue of Willingen (GER) clearly beat its Four-Hills-Tournament challengers in Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (both GER) in terms of providing the best service to the media.

The Schonach˙(GER)˙team around Heidi Spitz came out on top amongst the Nordic Combined organizers, again followed by Lahti together with the Austrian venue of Ramsau.


A Revolution: Handcycling Mt. Kilimanjaro
Chris Waddell

As a college student, Chris Waddell was a promising alpine ski racer. Then in 1988, he was involved in a skiing accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He went on to spend 11 years on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team and won 12 Paralympic medals over four years.

Waddell is now planning a trip to Africa to handcycle to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, scheduled for August 2009. If successful, he will become the first paraplegic to summit Kilimanjaro unassisted. He recently broke a record by handcycling the 170 km White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park in less than three days. The previous record was six days. For Waddell, this ride was a training exercise: The White Rim Trail ride ended with a 20km-long uphill during which he gained almost 500m in elevation.

Waddell has dedicated his life to defying the conventional wisdom of what a paraplegic can and cannot do. His motto for the expedition and his life is One Revolution. He says: "One revolution means so many things to me. One revolution of the handcycle, one revolution of the earth, one lifetime, one moment, one chance to make a difference."

For more information on Waddell's plan to climb Kilimanjaro and donate handcycles while there, visit


 Inside FIS 

Great progress and enthusiasm in Val di Fiemme 2013
Piero De Godenz & Sarah Lewis
Photo: Mario Facchini

The second Coordination Group meeting for the 2013 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme (ITA) was held on Wednesday 3rd June 2009, exactly one year after the Italian venue was elected by the FIS Council as host of the championships. A team combining decades of experience with enthusiastic young new talent presented its remarkable progress in the first 365 days.

The organizing committee led by Piero De Godenz and Angelo Corradini has made great strides with an upgrade plan for the facilities in the established competition venues for Ski Jumping in Predazzo and the Cross-Country stadium at Lago di Tesero, but particularly in the area of marketing and promotion. In close cooperation with the local communities and supported by the region of Trentino, it has drawn up detailed plans for new infrastructure at both venues, with the planned completion in time for the 2012 test events. Legacy use and sustainability as key principles guiding both stadium upgrade projects.

In marketing, work will shortly get underway with the newly-appointed EBU partner agency Tridem Sports AG to define the approach to sponsoring, while detailed plans have already been prepared to attract new spectators to create a true festival and ensure great atmosphere on and off the field of play during the entire twelve-day event. Along with a fresh new corporate identity, innovative concepts have been initiated for promotion, VIP hospitality, transportation and side events, just to mention a few areas.

Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General summarized: "FIS fully stands behind the new vision of the Val di Fiemme 2013 organizing committee to take on an innovative leadership role among the Nordic organizers. We see a great opportunity here building on the stable base and the wonderful experience collected from organizing 99 World Cups and two FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme so far."


Schladming 2013: Focus on accommodation and sustainability
The Night Race in Schladming

The preparations for the 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are also progressing. The state of Styria has announced its own support program to ensure that visitors to the Schladming event will enjoy the best quality accommodation possible. Styria together with the Austrian government has made up to 130 million Euro available for hoteliers to upgrade their infrastructure in time for the event. This assistance is available to both existing and new lodging institutions in the region of Liezen up until the end of 2012.

Besides the tourism quality program, the region hosting Schladming 2013 is also putting great emphasis on sustainability and event legacy. This will be seen in the energy efficiency planning for any new construction among other initiatives. According to the state leadership, the 2013 event shall go down in history as the greenest FIS World Ski Championships ever held. The plans also call for a high degree of involvement by the local population in realizing the sustainability of the event. Overall, the Dachstein-Tauern region is planning to invest up to 700 million Euro in projects related to the 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.


FIS Calendar Conference in Cavtat-Dubrovnik (CRO): Round-up
Cavtat-Dubrovnik (CRO)

Following on from last week's reports in the FIS Newsflash from the Technical Committees of the six Olympic disciplines and the World Cup Organizers' Seminar, many other FIS Committees and working groups convened during the FIS Calendar Conference and their reports have been making their way to the editorial inbox of the Newsflash.

The PR and Mass Media Committee chaired by Tom Kelly (USA) reported on a constructive meeting with much focus given to the discussions of its media services working group that is updating guidelines and directives to improve event services and working conditions for the media at events. The Committee for Advertising Matters under the leadership of Howard Peterson (USA) is concentrating on a thorough revision of the advertising regulations in line with current practices in time for the 2010/11 season, with a few immediate measures submitted to the FIS Council for consideration. Newly-elected chairman Jos‚ Luis Marco (ARG) led the Legal Committee meeting that reviewed rules for sanctions and notably collaborated with the Medical Committee, chaired by Hubert Hoerterer (GER), in proposing updates to the medical rules and guidelines for event organizers. Rasmus Damsgaard, (DEN) FIS Anti-Doping Expert gave the Medical, Cross-Country and other Committees' members an insight into the FIS anti-doping program.

Back to the sports committees, both the Speed Skiing chairman Dick Taplin (GBR) and the Telemark chairman Antony Favre (FRA) submitted reports with a positive review of the season and ideas to further assist the sport's development. Steve Podborski (CAN), chair of the sub-committee for disabled skiing, reported on developments in relation to activities and programs underway in the National Ski Associations for disabled skiers. The Roller Skiing Sub-Committee under the leadership of ™zkan Koyuncu (TUR) mainly looked ahead to the summer's program of competitions during their meeting as did the Grass Skiing Committee led by Jiri Russwurm (CZE). Finally, to conclude the reports that have filtered through, the Equipment Committee chaired by Aki Murasato (JPN) was highly satisfied with the well-prepared input from the members regarding equipment regulations.

From next week, interviews with members of the FIS Athletes Commission will be published in the FIS Newsflash.


 Member News 

Tragic death of Karine Ruby
Karine Ruby

FIS sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Karine Ruby (FRA), who died in a tragic mountaineering accident in the Mont Blanc Massif near Chamonix on Friday, 29th May. She was 31.

Karine Ruby became one of snowboarding's first stars when she won the first gold medal awarded for the sport at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games when Snowboarding made its debut on the program. She was the most decorated female snowboarder in history, with two Olympic medals, six FIS World Championship titles and record 67 FIS Snowboard World Cup victories.

Since retiring after the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games, Ruby had devoted herself to her passion for climbing and mountaineering. She grew up in the mountainous region of Haute-Savoie, and the Alps were always her backyard. She was training to be a certified guide, which takes anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

"We regret this tragic loss of a true icon of our sport," said FIS Snowboard Race Director Marcel Looze. "Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time."


Council Member Jirasek receives Olympic Order
Milan Jirasek

Milan Jirasek, FIS Council Member and President of the Czech Olympic Committee, has received the Olympic Order, the highest individual decoration from the International Olympic Committee, on the 110th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee of the Czech Republic's foundation.

The Olympic Order, a chain with Olympic circles flanked with an olive branch, has been awarded since 1974 for distinguished contribution to sports and the Olympic movement.

Mr. Jirasek has served as COC President since 1996. He is also a member of the board of the Association of Skiers of the Czech Republic and has been a FIS Council Member since 1990.