News from the World of Skiing 

  Daniel Albrecht returns to ski training ... more

  Start of Grass Skiing season ... more


 Inside FIS 

  EBU to broadcast FIS Ski Flying World Championships 2010 and 2012 ... more

  FIS Council to meet in Vancouver (CAN) ... more

  2009-13 FIS Athletes Commission elected ... more

  FIS records another fourfold increase in targeted out-of-competition doping testing ... more

  Staff changes at FIS ... more


 In Depth 

  Presenting FIS partners: Viessmann

Interview with Torsten Stark ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Daniel Albrecht returns to ski training
Daniel Albrecht
Photo: Sven Thomann/Blick
On the way back
Photo: Sven Thomann/Blick

For most snow athletes, summer training has now started in earnest and the great majority is focused on the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010, which are scheduled to begin in just 247 days. Among them are the Swiss Freestyle aerialists Andreas Isoz and Thomas Lambert who have started a new project entitled Road to Vancouver (www.roadtovancouver.ch) with the goal of providing fans, partners and the media with˙an innovative˙way to follow them on their way towards winning a medal at the 2010 Games.

Winning a medal in Vancouver is not a current goal for Daniel Albrecht (SUI). But, 18 weeks after his terrible crash during a training run in Kitzbuehel (AUT), Daniel Albrecht has made his way back to skiing. Following a training camp with his Swiss teammates on the Spanish island of Mallorca in May, Albrecht returned to the ski training slopes just a month after being released from the hospital. Together with teammates Sandro Viletta, Marc Gini and Beat Feuz, and Coaches Sepp Brunner and J”rg Rothen, he held his first slalom work-out sessions since the accident for three days last week on the Austrian glacier of Kaunertal. As reported by Blick, his coaches were impressed: "It is a sensation - Dani is doing better run after run." The athlete himself agreed: "For me it is almost like a fairytale. So far I have made a step forward every single day. But I am realistic enough to know that the time will come when this stops and I will also regress."

Whether or not Daniel Albrecht will be able to return to ski racing is unknown at present. According to media reports he himself has a two-year plan for a possible comeback. His rehabilitation and training is carefully tailored for his current state of fitness and continues to be monitored by the Swiss team's doctors led by Hans Spring. This week Daniel Albrecht is training with Tom J„ger in Parpan.

Includes contributions by Marcel W Perren/Blick

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Start of Grass Skiing season
Photo: OeSV

The Grass Skiing season began last weekend in Wilhelmsburg (AUT). This World Cup weekend represented the start of the FIS World Championship summer. The season's main highlight events will be the FIS Grass Skiing World Championships in Rettenbach (AUT) from 1st-6th September and the Junior World Championships in Horni Lhota/Ostrava (CZE) from 29th July-2nd August 2009.

After the season opening in Austria, the World Cup will next visit the Grass Skiing center of Cenkovice in the Czech Republic in early July and Dizn in Iran in early August. In mid-August, Switzerland will host the best racers in Marbachegg before the tour returns to Austria, Gugging bei Wien, at the end of August. The World Cup Finals will again be staged at the Italian resort of Forni di Sopra, this year in mid-September.

Not to forget are a series of youth competitions and an international youth camp. The youth category and especially the camps have gained considerable popularity in the last several years, offering a positive future perspective.

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 Inside FIS 

EBU to broadcast FIS Ski Flying World Championships 2010 and 2012

FIS is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) concerning the broadcast rights (TV and radio) to the 2010 and 2012 FIS Ski Flying World Championships. The 2010 Championships will be held in Planica (SLO) from 19th to 21st March while the 2012 Championships take place in Vikersund (NOR) from 17th to 19th February.

The agreement guarantees that viewers in countries including Germany, Poland, Austria, Russia, Norway, Czech Republic, Finland and Slovenia will be able to watch these championships on free-to-air channels while a Pan-European audience will enjoy watching the championships on Eurosport. This concept provides the event with widest possible exposure.

FIS President Gian Franco Kasper expressed his satisfaction: "We are pleased to expand our long-term partnership with the EBU to integrate the FIS Ski Flying World Championships. The EBU has been a loyal supporter of ski sports for decades and this agreement shows the continuing strength of our relationship."

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FIS Council to meet in Vancouver (CAN)
Vancouver

On invitation of the Canadian Snow Sports Federation, the FIS Council is holding its spring meeting in Vancouver, the site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, starting on Friday, 12th June 2009. The Council Meeting also includes visits to the Olympic competition sites for all six FIS disciplines at Cypress Mountain, Whistler Creekside and Whistler Olympic Park.

The FIS Council's agenda will include, among other things, review of the FIS World Cup calendars for the upcoming season 2009/2010 following minor modifications proposed by the respective Technical Committees, after their approval last November. The Council will review a variety of rule proposals by the Technical Committees, including some significant proposals concerning Ski Jumping and, by default, the Ski Jumping part of Nordic Combined. It will receive progress reports on the preparation of various FIS World Championships and on ongoing projects such as the FIS Campaign "Bring Children to the Snow". Importantly, the Council will also review the latest report from the FIS Finance Commission and discuss concerns expressed by the Ski Racing Suppliers' Association regarding the global costs of competition organization for all stakeholders, as well as FIS's future approach to marketing and sponsoring. The decisions of the Council will be communicated after the conclusion of the meeting (Vancouver time!).

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2009-13 FIS Athletes' Commission elected
FIS Athletes' Commission

The elections for the FIS Athletes' Commission were held during the FIS World Championships 2009. A total of 27 candidates in the six disciplines stood for election and athletes participating in any of the four FIS World Championships (Gangwon, Val d'IsŠre, Liberec and Inawashiro) had the chance to elect the representative(s) in their own discipline. The FIS Athletes' Commission has a total of 12 members and was elected for a four-year period from 2009-2013.. Introduced by the 40th International Ski Congress in the spring 1996, the first elections took place during the 1997 FIS World Championships.

Those elected by the athletes in 2009 are:

Cross-Country ladies - Kikkan Randall (USA)
Cross-Country men - Sami Jauhoj„rvi (FIN)
Ski Jumping - Andreas Kttel (SUI)
Nordic Combined - Jan Schmid (NOR)
Alpine Skiing ladies - Anja P„rson (SWE)
Alpine Skiing ladies - Marie Marchand-Arvier (FRA)
Alpine Skiing men -˙Kilian Albrecht (BUL)
Alpine Skiing men - Ivica Kostelic (CRO)
Freestyle ladies - Karin Huttary (AUT)
Freestyle men - Ryan Blais (CAN)
Snowboard ladies - Juliane Bray (NZE)
Snowboard men - Mateusz Ligocki (POL)

The FIS Council is expected to confirm the composition of the Commission in its meeting on Friday, 12th June. It held its first meeting with the full membership attending during the FIS Calendar Conference in Cavtat-Dubrovnik (CRO) on 22nd May, 2009.

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FIS records another fourfold increase in targeted out-of-competition doping testing

Structured out-of-competition doping controls are a mandatory requirement on all International Federations under the new World Anti-Doping Code that became effective as of 1st January 2009. This emphasis is also reflected in the final statistics for the FIS testing program during the 2008/09 season. In the course of the past season, FIS performed as many as 1581 out-of-competition tests, both blood tests and urine (including EPO analysis). This is more than four times as many as the season before when 375 out-of-competition controls were performed by FIS. In addition, WADA conducted another 181 out-of-competition tests on FIS athletes during the FIS 2008/09 competition season. WADA's out-of-competition testing included blood and urine controls.

Additionally 635 in-competition tests were completed by FIS, including regular urine tests, urine EPO controls, blood tests, and blood transfusion controls. This includes doping controls carried out at the 2009 FIS World Championships (including Junior World Championships) where the number of athletes subject to post-competition doping controls included the top four plus two at random, as per FIS Rules. Overall this represents a decrease over the figures in the 2007/08 season when 1'367 in-competition tests were conducted. This is because experience shows that˙focused out-of-competition testing is more successful in finding athletes who may be doping than recording high numbers of in-competition tests. Effective testing is a question of using intelligent information to conduct doping controls at the right time and place.

In total, there were 2'216 in- and out-of-competition doping controls carried out in all FIS Olympic disciplines by FIS during the 2008/2009 season including the FIS World Ski Championships. This is˙474 tests more than during the 2007/2008 season.

The above figures do not include a large number of tests conducted by National Anti-Doping Organizations both in and out-of-competition which compliment the testing by FIS and WADA.

The overall investment by FIS in its Anti-Doping program during the 2008/2009 season amounted to approximately CHF 1.5 million (compared with CHF 1 million in 2007/2008). This included both the in- and out-of-competition testing programs and various preventive, informational and educational efforts.

For more information and statistics from previous seasons, click here.

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Staff changes at FIS
Pinja Ojanen

Pinja Ojanen (24) has joined FIS on 1st June as Event & Sponsorship Project Manager supporting FIS Event and Sponsorship Manager Niklas Carlsson. She is carrying out an international degree program in Sports and Leisure Management at Vierum„ki Sports Institute and the Haaga-Helia Institute (FIN). This degree program is actively supported by our winter sports colleagues at the International Ice Hockey Federation and normally the students do their work placement related to Ice Hockey. However since Pinja has been an active competitor in Cross-Country Skiing, she will complete her 12-18 month internship at FIS. Besides Finnish, Pinja speaks English, Swedish and German well as well as basic French, Italian and Russian.

At the same time, Barbara Sp”rri has moved from FIS Marketing to support the FIS Anti-Doping program where increased workload has resulted from the new World Anti-Doping Code, compliance with which is obligatory on all International Federations.

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 Inside FIS 

Presenting FIS partners: Viessmann
Torsten Stark

Interview with Torsten Stark

During the summer months, the FIS Newsflash will present in a series of interviews some of the most important FIS partners, many of whom have engaged to the benefit of ski sports for many years. In the first interview, Torsten Stark, responsible for sport sponsoring at Viessmann, elaborates on his company's involvement in skiing. Viessmann (www.viessmann.com) is one of the leading international manufacturers of heating systems and the title sponsor of the Viessman FIS Cross-Country World Cup and presenting sponsor of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup.

FIS Newsflash: What kind of a role does sport sponsoring play in the marketing and communication strategy of Viessmann and what is the relationship between Viessmann and ski sports?

Viessmann: The engagement in sport sponsoring is an important part of our international marketing concept. There are many good reasons for such a strong involvement in winter sports including support for Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Biathlon, and Luge. These include:

FIS Newsflash: Viessmann has supported ski sports for several years. Besides being the title and presenting sponsor of FIS World Cup series, you also sponsor individual athletes?

Viessmann: We have been engaged in winter sports since the 1993/94 season as partner of several national and international federations and different World Cup series. Our goal is, besides increasing our brand awareness, to use sponsoring to create and enhance a positive brand image. This is why athlete sponsoring plays an important role for us in addition to event sponsoring.

Our athlete sponsoring is based on supporting athletes who are not only successful but also especially likeable. That is how the sponsor can benefit from the image of a successful and pleasant athlete.

FIS Newsflash: From the perspective of a sponsor, what should ski sport pay attention to their future development?

Viessmann: We have seen as positive the development of making ski sports more TV friendly through exciting competitions such as the mass start and team sprint in Cross-Country Skiing. It is however important to ensure that the competitions remain easily understandable for TV viewers. This also applies to e.g. the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski where further steps are still needed to increase the transparency and to make sure that the TV viewer is always able to follow for example the overall standings at any point in time.

FIS Newsflash: What was your personal highlight last season and what do you expect from the coming season?

Viessmann: The main highlight was surely the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec which were critically approached by many but in the end were acclaimed as a historical milestone even by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper himself. The Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski has developed further year on year and has already established itself as an indispensable part of the winter sports calendar.

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