News from the World of Skiing 

  Around the Alpine world: From Kitzbhel to Roland Garros, from Bode to Brolle ... more

  Record number of over 100'000 Worldloppet participants in 08/09 season ... more

  June snow update: Looking good in Southern hemisphere ... more

  2016 Candidate Cities present to IOC members ... more

  For sustainable, ethical and responsible sport: 2nd AISTS Seminar ... more


 Inside FIS 

  Summary of Decisions of the FIS Council in Vancouver (CAN) ... more

  Work to develop Athlete's Passport continues ... more


 In Depth 

  Introducing FIS Athletes' Commission: Sami Jauhoj„rvi (FIN) ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Around the Alpine world: From Kitzbhel to Roland Garros, from Bode to Brolle
Defago, Kr”ll & Zurbriggen at Streif start
Photo: K.S.C.
Lindsey Vonn meets Roger Federer
Photo: Lindsey Vonn

Contrary to some earlier news, Bode Miller (USA) indicates in his blog at UniversalSports.com he has not made up his mind about racing in the FIS World Cup during the upcoming season. Miller stated he was "not very happy" being around the World Cup or Olympic scene. "I need some time away, which I have this summer." He said he would definitely ski "somewhere" next season, but not necessarily in the World Cup or Olympics.

At the same time, there are others who are sure to be back next season.. Traditionally the winners of the Hahnenkamm Races in Kitzbhel (AUT) not only receive the points and prize money, but also receive gondola cabins named after them. The 2009 winners Klaus Kr”ll (AUT), Didier Defago (SUI) and Silvan Zurbriggen (SUI) became the best of the best last season and last week returned onto the Streif to inaugurate their cabins.

Walking down the race course, downhill winner Didier D‚fago was overwhelmed with the steepness of the terrain. "You don't really realize this, when you are on skis", he explained. For Silvan Zurbriggen, his first World Cup victory, in Kitzbhel no less, was an important milestone: "This is like a second prize-giving and it makes me even more determined to come back next season."

Meanwhile, during a rare day off, Lindsey Vonn (USA), who has her sights firmly set on Vancouver 2010, was seen at Roland Garros, Paris, to watch tennis hero Roger Federer win the French Open. It's no secret that Vonn is a tennis fanatic and that Federer is her favorite athlete, but it was luck that Federer sealed the French Open victory with Vonn in the audience. Vonn was planning on making it her personal mission to meet Federer at Wimbledon at the end of June, but her opportunity came early as she was able to hang out with Federer after the match. She has the photo to prove it..

At the same time from other corners of the Alpine world, news has been received that 32-year-old Johan Brolenius (SWE) has hung up his skis after 11 years in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup following one of his best seasons ever. "I have always said that I will quit when I am on top, said 'Brolle' who will be a professional poker player in the future. A change of sport is also in store for Scottland's Alain Baxter who retired from ski racing in April and is now reported to plan a comeback as track cyclist with his goal set in participation in the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London (GBR).

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Record number of over 100'000 Worldloppet participants in 08/09 season
Vasaloppet 2009

The annual general meeting (AGM) of the Worldloppet organizers was held in Gatineau, Ottawa (CAN) on 14th June 2009. The representatives of the 15 cross-country ski marathons from Europe, America, Asia and Australia that are united under the umbrella of the Worldloppet Ski Federation were pleased to hear the annual report of the Secretary General Angelo Corradini and short reports by each event.

The highlight of the meeting was that, for the first time, the total participant number in the Worldloppet races exceeded 100'000 in one season. Precisely 101'500 cross-country enthusiasts raced either the short and long distance alternatives during the 2008/2009 season.

The total number of Worldloppet passport holders currently amounts to 12'600 whilst there are 2'800 Worldloppet Masters (racers who have completed Worldloppet races in 10 different countries, at least one of them on another Continent) and 75 global Worldloppet Masters.

Additional items on the agenda included confirmation of the final calendar for the FIS Marathon Cup 2009/2010 which will again start with La Sgambeda and finish with the Birkebeinerennet. There will be ten competitions in total, six in classical technique and four in free technique. For a complete list, visit here.˙ Payment of prize money for the winners in the FIS Marathon Cup races will in the future necessitate them having a FIS code and the races will count for FIS points.

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June snow update: Looking good in Southern hemisphere
Coronet Peak in June 2009
Photo: Coronet Peak Resort

Fresh snow has fallen in the past week in the Alps, Scandinavia and the Southern hemisphere, where most resorts in Australia and New Zealand are now open with excellent early season conditions. In South America the ski slopes in Argentina and Chile are scheduled to begin opening at the weekend. South Africa's ski season is onto its second week at Tiffindell.

Slopes in France are also open again after a month of closure, starting in Les 2 Alpes, with Tignes and Val d'IsŠre set to follow this weekend. Austria continues to have the most ski areas to choose from in the Northern hemisphere with four glacier ski centres open. Italy has three ski areas open after the reopening of Val Senales last weekend, joining Passo Stelvio and the Presana glacier above Passo Tonale. In Switzerland only Zermatt is currently open.

In Scandinavia three glacier ski centers are open: Stryn, Galdhoppigen and Folgefonn which is reporting the deepest snow base anywhere at present with 450cm! In North America, only Timberline is providing lift-served skiing this week although summer skiing at the top of Blackcomb Mountain is due to open from this Saturday.

Provided by www.skiinfo.com ˙

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2016 Candidate Cities present to IOC members
IOC President Rogge
Photo: IOC/R. Juilliart

The four Candidate Cities for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games had the chance to give an in-depth briefing to the IOC Members, including FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, on 17th June in Lausanne. It was the first time that the Candidate Cities are able to inform all the voting members about the technical aspects of their bid. The briefing is a result of the candidate city evaluation reform process, and allows all the cities to compete on an equal footing. In a closed session, the IOC members had the opportunity to put questions to the cities about their candidatures before the IOC Session in Copenhagen (DEN), where, on 2nd October 2009, the host city will be elected from among Chicago (USA), Madrid (SPA), Rio de Janeiro (BRA) and Tokyo (JPN). Each Candidate City had 90 minutes to address 93 IOC at the Olympic Museum, with the first 45 minutes in a presentation, including films, and the final 45 minutes in a question-and-answer session.

On Tuesday, seven sports put forward their vision for inclusion in the Olympic Games program in a series of presentations for the IOC Executive Board. The seven sports - baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, softball and squash - are vying for two available slots at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. The IOC Session will make the final decision about the two sports recommended by the Executive Board at its next meeting in October. The assessment of sports against 33 defined criteria is part of a broader effort by the IOC to strengthen the Olympic program through a systematic review after every edition of the Games. At the time the reforms were adopted, no sport had been dropped from the program since 1936.

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For sustainable, ethical and responsible sport: 2nd AISTS Seminar

The International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) is organizing its second annual seminar focused on sustainable sport and sports events. The objectives of the two-day event on 18th-19th June in Lausanne (SUI) include: Share knowledge and experience; debate about best practices; unite the efforts of all the stakeholders around joint initiatives; develop solutions to meet environmental challenges; and ensure sustainable, ethical and responsible sport.

The interactive seminar will focus on the Sustainable Sport and Event Toolkit (SSET) that was created jointly by AISTS and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). This guide provides practical ways to create a sustainable commitment and strategy around environmental, social, and economic issues. The SSET translates the principles behind the Olympic Movement's Agenda 21 into practical guidelines, with a view to providing sports organizations and event organizers with the means to make sport more sustainable, and sustainability more relevant.

The list of seminar speakers is composed of experts recognized throughout the world in the areas of sport and of sustainable development, such as Masato Mizuno, Chairman of Mizuno and Vice-President, Japanese Olympic Committee, and Robin Cornelius, Founder and President, Switcher, along with various representatives of the Olympic Movement.

For more, click here. To access the SSET platform, click here.

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 Inside FIS 

Summary of Decisions of the FIS Council in Vancouver (CAN)
Vancouver
Photo: VANOC

At its meeting in the host city for the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 on 12th June 2009, hosted by the Canadian Snowsports Association, the FIS Council dealt with a full agenda. Amongst the items there were reports from Organizing Committees from the concluded 2009 as well as the future FIS World Championships, proposals from the FIS Technical Committees with calendar updates and developments to various rules.
For a summary of the Council's decisions, please click here; the Short Summary of the most important Council Decisions will be sent to all National Ski Associations next week.

The 2009/10 FIS World Cup calendars are available on the FIS website as follows: Cross-Country here; Ski Jumping here; Nordic Combined here; Alpine Skiing ladies here and men here; Freestyle here; and Snowboard here.

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Work to develop Athlete's Passport continues

Two main areas of focus for WADA at present include cooperation with Interpol relating to the sourcing and supply of prohibited substances, as well the development of the Athlete's Passport. A meeting of the working group developing the Passport project, of which FIS is a member, took place in Montreal (CAN) on 11th and 12th June.

The introduction of the Athlete's Passport is seen as the next step in the blood testing programs that a number of International Federations, amongst which FIS is regarded as one of the pioneers, and some National Anti-Doping Agencies have been undertaking for a number of years. The passport will monitor an athlete's blood values and can indicate abnormal parameters in relation to the athlete's personal measurements that may lead to an anti-doping rule violation after assessment by an expert panel.

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 In Depth 

Introducing FIS Athletes' Commission: Sami Jauhoj„rvi (FIN)
Sami Jauhoj„rvi
Photo: Agence Zoom
In action
Photo: NordicFocus

The members of the FIS Athletes' Commission were elected by the participating athletes at the 2009 FIS World Championships and the newly-elected Commission recently held its first meeting. Sami Jauhoj„rvi (FIN) is the representative of the male Cross-Country skiers on the FIS Athletes' Commission. The 28-year-old, known as Musti, represents the Vuokatti Ski Team Kainuu, has competed in the World Cup circus since 2001 and recently developed into a top skier. With his first World Cup victory and two medals at the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships the past season was his best yet. Likeable Sami Jauhoj„rvi, married to his wife Laura since 2008, is an easy-going athlete who speaks four languages (Finnish, English, Swedish and German).

FIS Newsflash: As a newly-elected member of the FIS Athletes' Commission, what are your goals in this role?

Sami Jauhoj„rvi: My goal is to work closely with the other athletes and FIS to solve problems and improve our sport. In the next months I will contact Cross-Country skiers from all the nations - small and big - to show them what kind of opportunities we have and let them know that together we can develop a lot.

FIS Newsflash: What was your first impression from the Athletes' Commission meeting and the FIS Committee Meetings?

Sami Jauhoj„rvi: I felt that all members of our Commission are really enthusiastic. Everybody was looking forward to working together and to making a difference. Within the Commission, we have already had a lot of email contact and ideas on how we can try to make several things better. Also I felt very welcome by the entire FIS family and I have to say it was interesting to see what is going on during the meetings.

FIS Newsflash: Besides your work for the Athletes' Commission, what will do you this summer to prepare for the Olympic season?

Sami Jauhoj„rvi: We just finished our first glacier training camp in Norway and other training camps are coming up. We are for example going to train in Ramsau on two occasions. So, we are travelling quite a lot even in the summer. For the upcoming season, the Olympics are surely the major focus. There, my main goal is the 50 km race in classical technique. But we have also adapted my training program to improve my sprint in order to finish well in the Olympic sprint event in classical technique.

Recorded by Sandra Spitz

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