News from the World of Skiing 

  Looking good for Southern Cross-Country season ... more

  Right To Play athlete ambassadors active in many ways ... more


 Inside FIS 

  Registration opens for FIS Autumn Meetings, 2010 FIS Congress ... more

  Detailed review of Vancouver 2010 ORIS concludes ... more

  Great A&P Ski Jumping camp in Villach ... more

  FIS joins WADA Athlete Outreach in Pescara ... more


 In Depth 

  Introducing Members of FIS Athletes' Commission: Kilian Albrecht (BUL) ... more


 News from the World of Skiing 

Looking good for Southern Cross-Country season
Esther Bottomley racing at Falls Creek
Photo: Finn Marsland
AUS Junior team at Falls Creek
Photo: Finn Marsland

Snow conditions in Australia and New Zealand are extremely good at the moment. Following early snow falls in June, the major Cross-Country Skiing resorts in the two countries have been grooming tracks regularly for over a month now. There is a base of over half a meter of snow in both countries. In Australia club competitions have been held the last two weekends at Falls Creek and at Perisher Valley, while at the Snow Farm in New Zealand, there have been winter triathlon events.

The Australian Cross-Country Team just finished two weeks of training camps at the National Team Training Center at Falls Creek; the first week with nearly the entire junior and open teams and the second week with just the World Cup Team and prospective athletes aiming for Vancouver 2010. Australia's goals for next season are to have athletes finish in the top 30 in Vancouver, including in the finals of the Classic Sprint event.

On 25th-26th July the Australia - New Zealand Cup (ANC) begins at Perisher Valley in Australia, with subsequent events at Falls Creek and at the Snow Farm. In addition to athletes from Australia and New Zealand, entries have been accepted from Switzerland, Japan and Korea, and also from India and Venezuela. The toughest competition of the season will come at the New Zealand Winter Games competitions at the Snow Farm from 23rd-25th August, where the entire Canadian World Cup team is entered, including World Cup podium finishers Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey, and 2006 Olympic champion Chandra Crawford.

The ANC finishes with the Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek on 29th August, the opening event of the 2009-2010 Worldloppet series. Details of all events throughout the Southern hemisphere winter can be followed at www.hoppet.com.au/xc

Contributed by Finn Marsland

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Right To Play athlete ambassadors active in many ways
Markus Zberg Charity Classic
Photo: Right To Play
Julia Mancuso (USA)
Photo: Right To Play

The summer months are an excellent time for the Right To Play athlete ambassadors to engage for the benefit of the FIS Partner organization. Right To Play is an athlete-driven, international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as a tool for development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Right To Play believes that when children play, the world wins.

One of the RTP Athlete Ambassadors, professional cyclist Markus Zberg is a FIS neighbor in Oberhofen (SUI) and, consequently, managed to attract a good ski representation for the 2nd edition of his Markus Zberg Charity Classic bike tour around the beautiful Lake Thun. The event saw Andreas Wenzel, former Alpine champion and current President of the Liechtenstein Ski Association and Managing Director of Right to Play Switzerland as well as FrĄnzi MĄgert-Kohli, Snowboard world champion in parallel slalom complete the 50 km tour, whilst Secretary General Sarah Lewis supported the cause too. The proceeds of a prize lottery which boasted new BMC bikes and a whirlpool among other things go in their entirety to benefit RTP programs.

The recent three-day Gigathlon 2009 also again saw three RTP teams complete the 448km long adventure race. The ski participants competing to help 25'000 children in Pakistan through RTP programs included Hippolyt Kempf, Olympic champion and Head of Cross-Country and Nordic Combined at Swiss Ski, as well as World Cup Cross-Country skiers Doris Trachsel and Flurina Bachmann, just to mention a few.

Meanwhile, Julia Mancuso (USA), who last year climbed Kilimanjaro for RTP; again auctioned off some of her ski memorabilia through her website and will donate USD 4'000 to Right To Play as proceeds. And finally, happy news was received from Right To Play athlete ambassador, FIS Athletes Commission member and reigning world champion Andreas KĀttel (SUI) who married his girlfriend Dorota, nowhere else but of course at the Einsiedeln jumping hill last Thursday.

A FIS partner since 2005, Right To Play has existing partnerships with the Worldloppet organizers of ski marathons, many FIS World Cup events and the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo (NOR), with others currently in discussion. To find out more about Right To Play and skiing visit www.righttoplay-ski.com

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 Inside FIS 

Registration opens for FIS Autumn Meetings, 2010 FIS Congress
Antalya will host 2010 FIS Congress

The registration for the Autumn Meetings of the various FIS Technical Committees, Sub-Committees and Working Groups in Zurich (SUI) from 23rd - 27th September 2009 is now open. The deadline for registrations is 24th August 2009. As in the past years, the meetings will take place at the Hotel Hilton Zurich Airport. For more information such as the meeting timetable, please click here. News just in is that the Swiss Ski Association will kindly host all participants at a cocktail on Thursday 24th September, at the conclusion of the day's meetings.

Registration is also now open for the 47th International Ski Congress in Antalya (TUR). The meetings of the Technical Committees, the Council as well as the General Assembly will take place The Sheraton Voyager Antalya Hotel, Resort & Spa from 30th May until 5th June 2010. It will be the second time, 22 years after the 36th International Ski Congress was held in Istanbul, that the FIS Congress will be held in the successor state to the Ottoman Empire in southeastern Europe. Antalya is known as the pearl of the Turkish Riviera; popular with tourists for the unique scenery including beaches for every taste, waterfalls and national parks. The Congress registrations are due by 31st January 2010 to FIS Travel Service. For more details click here. Make sure not to miss the exciting pre- or post-Congress tour options - check out more details here and contact FIS Travel Service for reservations.

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Detailed review of Vancouver 2010 ORIS concludes
Freestyle ORIS review in action

Recording, verifying, displaying and distributing results will be one of the most vital aspects of the competitions during the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. This summer, the Olympic Results Information Service (ORIS) has been thoroughly reviewed and tested during individual sessions for each of the six FIS Olympic disciplines in Vancouver since early June. During the week-long sessions, FIS professionals and IT experts have made sure that the very latest version of the International Competition Rules for each FIS discipline is correctly reflected in the Vancouver version of ORIS, thereby ensuring that the Olympic competitions results and information services will be according to the valid rules.

The ORIS system is based on a consultative process between the IOC, the respective IFs and the Olympic Local Organizing Committee (VANOC for Vancouver 2010). After initially being launched as the Infotech Summer project, it was first used at the XVIII Olympic Winter Games in 1998 in Nagano under the name of ORIS. Each edition of the Games since then has seen important innovations in the provision of timely results and Games information especially geared to meet the needs of the global media broadcasting and reporting from the Games.

At the 2010 Olympic Games, results for all seven winter sports will be entered into the central IT system, Info2010. This system will use hundreds of servers and thousands of PCs to join together all the competition venues across the Vancouver/Whistler area and provide real-time results and information about all events and athletes at the Vancouver 2010 Games. As well as all results and scoring information, Info2010 will include information about the venues, athletes, flash quotes, press conference highlights and race reports.

FIS ORIS Project Manager Francesco Cattaneo commented following the conclusion of the six-week review: "The past weeks of ORIS sessions represent the final important review of this critical element of Olympic organization. After the official Olympic test events where the VANOC ORIS underwent a 100% dry run, we are now sure that the competitions in the FIS disciplines will be held according to the latest regulations."

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Great A&P Ski Jumping camp in Villach
FIS Cup podium
Photo: OC Villach

The Ski Jumping Training Camp under the umbrella of the FIS Aid&Promotion program was held in Villach (AUT) from 6th - 9th July 2009. Strategically held between the FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup events in Slovenia and Villach, the camp saw the participation of more than 40 athletes and their coaches from nine nations.

"It was a great week of training. Villach provides us with an ideal location for the A&P camp. With the three jumping hills in different sizes we could tailor the hill training very flexibly to the particular needs of the athletes," commented Sepp Gratzer, FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup Coordinator. He added: "Many participants also took the chance to conclude the week of training by competing in the FIS Cup event on Friday, which they are not often able to do due to the lack of financial resources for travel. Thanks to the excellent scheduling, we saw 20 participating nations which is sensational."

One of the camp participants, Korea's Heung-Chul Choi delivered a career top performance to win the FIS Cup competition on Friday. Victories in both of the two Continental Cup Ski Jumping events on the weekend were claimed by Slovenia's Robert Kranjec who also leads the current COC standings.

After the common summer camp, in the early winter and winter time the A&P nations benefit from individually organized training camps per nation, at locations where the snow conditions and hill preparation are the best.

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FIS joins WADA Athlete Outreach in Pescara
Photo: Sarah Fussek
Photo: Sarah Fussek

The Athlete Outreach program is one of the main ways that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) seeks to interact with athletes around the world. It provides a platform to generate interest and excitement about the global fight against cheating in sport and educate the athletes about anti-doping. Through tools such as the Anti-Doping Quiz that has now been translated into 19 languages athletes all around can gain insight into the topical issues in anti-doping. The WADA Athlete Outreach model is a turn-key program with ready-made tools and templates, available at close to no cost to IFs, National Associations or other organizations.

As recognition for the pioneering role of FIS in the global anti-doping fight, WADA invited FIS to assist and experience the Athlete Outreach program at the XVI Mediterranean Games that were held in Pescara (ITA) from 26th June - 5th July 2009 and Sarah Fussek, who is handling much of FIS's day to day anti-doping work, undertook this role. The goal of the inclusion of key WADA stakeholders there was to share experiences between the summer and winter sports, and gain new ideas for further programs especially focused on the younger generations. The Pescara outreach team consistent of four persons who met with hundreds of athletes to discuss their anti-doping rights and obligations and to offer athletes, coaches and team medical staff a platform to raise any practical questions or concerns. As a result, both sides were able to benefit from the exchanges.

FIS Secretary General Saraw Lewis underlined: "The WADA Athlete Outreach model really makes it simple to start and run a structured program of communication and education. We at FIS will be leveraging the Best Practice examples from WADA together with our own experiences and continue to develop our program in the coming season as part of our key events. With the obligations of the new WADA Code, we have seen that nothing can replace proactive information delivery."

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 In Depth 

Introducing Members of FIS Athletes' Commission: Kilian Albrecht (BUL)
Kilian Albrecht (BUL)
At Val d'Isere
Photo: Agence Zoom

Kilian Albrecht (BUL) is one of the male Alpine Skiing representatives on the FIS Athletes' Commission and was recently elected Chair of the Commission by its members. The 36-year-old slalom specialist made his World Cup debut in December 1994 in Tignes (FRA). His career highlights include 4th place finish in the Olympic slalom in 2002 in Salt Lake City (USA), along with two World Cup podium and 18 top ten finishes during his long career. Kilian is currently training for his second Olympic Games in Vancouver in February 2010.

FIS Newsflash: What does it mean to you to have been elected on the FIS Athletes Commission and, most recently, as its Chair for the 2009-13 period?

Kilian Albrecht: It was an honor for me to receive this vote of approval from my peers. I hope that I will be able to lead this group in a very positive and constructive way. I know that I have the support of the other Commission members and I really hope that we, together with FIS, ski industry, World Cup organizers, media, officials and so on, will all pull on the same rope. Our goal is to develop the sport together with the governing body of our sport to be better recognized worldwide.

FIS Newsflash: What are your goals with the Athletes Commission?

Kilian Albrecht: The main goal is to be there for the athletes. When they have problems they should be able to approach us and we should be able to help them.. That is why we first need to establish the ways to influence and make sure the athletes' voice is heard which so far is not really the case but it is our job to change that. We want to make sure that the athletes can do their job in decent conditions. We also want to promote our sport and work together with the other stakeholders to lift our sport on a higher level.

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

Kilian Albrecht: I was very happy to see that all 12 athletes representative were present, even those from New Zealand, Alaska and Canada. Our meeting was really inspiring and it was interesting to see that we all are facing the same problems and have the same issues across the disciplines. Unfortunately four hours of discussion were not enough and we already had another two-hour conference call just last week where we could continue to work on our issues and discuss the different topics which are important to us. Another conference call is scheduled for September.

Besides our meeting I was able to attend the Alpine World Cup Sub-Committee meeting in Croatia. Honestly I was a little bit surprised about that but it seems that most of the decisions are made in pre-meetings respectively other preparatory discussions. So it was interesting to see it from the inside.

FIS Newsflash: Beside your work in the Athletes Commission how are you preparing for the Olympic season?

Kilian Albrecht: I have been skiing in Kaunertal (AUT) for 6 days and at the Snowdome in Wittenburg (GER) for 4 days. In addition I have done lots of dry land training with focus on strength and coordination. I will head to the Southern hemisphere next month and will also do some races in Australia and New Zealand.

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