|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|Helene Olafsen (NOR)|
Photo: FIS/Oliver Kraus
A little more than two weeks after the half-pipe opening of the 2009/2010 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup in Cardrona (NZE), it's time for the snowboard cross aces to start their season. On September 11th and 12th 2009, Chapelco (ARG) will host the boardercrossers' World Cup opener almost exactly one year after the first ever Snowboard World Cup was held in Argentina last year. The Chapelco event is the first in a series of five qualification stops on the World Cup tour for athletes to make their national˙Olympic teams.
Unfortunately, due to constant rain a few weeks ago, the race will have to be carried out on a shortened course as opposed to the long course seen last year. But, even if the preconditions have not been the best, the world's best athletes have registered to compete. The strong starter field is led by 2006 Olympic champions Tanja Frieden (SUI) and Seth Wescott (USA). They are joined by last year's Chapelco winners Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) and Pierre Vaultier (FRA), who celebrates a comeback after a long competition break due to injury, as well as the reigning world champions Helene Olafsen (NOR) and Markus Schairer (AUT). The Olympic season promises to get a spectacular start!
The FIS Roller Skiing World Championships 2009 are taking place in the region of Piglio (ITA) from 9th-13th September. The title competitions for ladies and men˙began with a 200 m sprint in Frosinone on Wednesday evening, followed by a team sprint (6x3km respectively 4x3km) in Fiuggi Terme on Thursday. Friday will see a 5km uphill race to Serrone in classic technique as an individual start race while the competitions will be concluded with a mass start race in free technique in Piglio itself. Piglio is a municipality in the Italian region Lazio, located about 50 km east of Rome, offering a panoramic view on the valleys of the Sacco and Aniene rivers.
The favorites for the titles hail from Italy and Russia, both of which have teams including several potential medal candidates. The host nation's team will also feature such successful Cross-Country skiers as Giorgio Di Centa, Karin Moroder and Valerio Checci who is a native of the region of Lazio.
"The 2009 Roller Skiing World Championships are organized by an experienced Roller Skiing World Cup organizer with support from the Organizing Committee for FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme 2013. The courses are exciting and challenging and I expect very nice competitions with deserving winners. Besides the sports part, the OC is also making great efforts to host the teams as best as they can and has organized several side events, including a festive opening ceremony on Tuesday night," commented zkan Koyuncu chairman of the Roller Skiing Sub-Committee.
|Large hill winners|
|Atmosphere in Korea|
The men's Ski Jumping Continental Cup events provided the occasion for the opening of the new ski jumping hills in Alpensia Resort near Pyeongchang (KOR) last weekend. 12'000 enthusiastic spectators were on hand to witness victories by Stefan Hula (POL) and Hyun-Ki Kim (KOR) in the two competitions held on the normal (HS 109) and large (HS 140) hills. The complex boasts a total of five hills, ranging from HS 25 to HS 45, HS 65, HS 109 and HS 140. An impressive stadium offers seating for 10'000 people along with 5'000 standing spectators. In addition, the brand-new stadium presents an artificial waterfall.
The blockbuster success in Korea of a recent movie called "Take Off" which features ski jumpers as its heroes has given rise to real ski jumping fever in the country. Take Off is currently the third most successful cinema film in Korean history. Thanks to great atmosphere and immaculate organization the venue of Alpensia Resort provided a great showcase of its ability to host competitions at higher levels such as FIS Grand Prix or even events in the FIS World Cup.
The summer series in the men's COC in Ski Jumping will conclude in Wisla (POL) next weekend. On top of the rankings, Slovenia's Robert Kranjec enjoys a comfortable lead of 126 points over Norway's Akseli Kokkonen before the final two competitions in Poland.
|First Moscow City Parallel Slalom|
Photo: Agence Zoom
The FIS Alpine Ski Champions Cup in parallel slalom will take place in Moscow (RUS) on 21st November 2009. For the second consecutive year, the city of Moscow will host an Alpine Ski contest with participation of the world's best male and˙female skiers. Given the success of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Promotional Event last season, the event promises to attract high interest both at national and international level.
The world's best alpine skiers have been invited by the Local Organizing Committee to participate: the top-14 male and top-7 female athletes along with three promising Russian athletes (two men and a lady) who will be granted wild cards for the contest.
This year, a brand new location awaits the stars and fans of Alpine Skiing. Although not far from the last event's venue at Moscow State University Square, the new ramp area will offer a wider range of facilities for all participants. Well-developed infrastructure is planned to be built on the territory of the Moscow State Palace of Children's and Youth's Creativity, with the huge alpine ski ramp as the main sporting facility. The new venue will be known as the Moscow Grand Ramp Arena. This year's ramp will be 60 meters high and 35 meters wide, with the total length of the slope about 200 meters! Compared to last year's ramp with height of 56 meters and length of the slope at about 170 meters, the construction for this season is a challenging venture indeed.
All participating athletes (men and ladies) will receive a start fee of USD 10'000. The winners will receive additional prize money of USD 60'000 for the men and USD 45'000 for the ladies.
Contributed by OC Moscow
|The new Ylls Hall|
At the end of August, the first indoor skiing facility opened in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. With 7'000 cubic meters of snow covering 18'500 square meters the facility called Ylls-Halli offers conditions for a wide range of different winter sports activities such as Biathlon, Curling, Ice Skating and Ice Climbing. The main attraction, however, is the 1.2 km long Cross-Country Skiing loop which follows variable terrain in winter surroundings.
The goal of Ylls-Halli is not only to provide top athletes with excellent training and competition conditions but also to offer families and tourists a touch of the Finnish arctic regions another 1000 km further North. To create a more genuine atmosphere and to make the experience more appealing, natural trees have been planted in the snow cover and walls are covered with big images of Finnish Lapland. There is also a special area where children can learn to ski.
Even in Finland which has been a forerunner in the development of indoor facilities for Cross-Country Skiing, this facility is unique being the first Cross-Country indoor arena in a metropolitan area easily accessible for a larger public. Yet another feature of this new attraction is the environmentally friendly profile. Ylls-Halli uses both solar panels and wind power in order to minimize energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In a year, a third of the consumed energy will be produced on-site.
Further information can be found on http://www.yllas-halli.fi ˙
Contributed by Erik Sandstrm
|Discussing the progress on Holmenkollen|
Photo: NSF/Oslo 2011
|The new hill|
Photo: NSF/Oslo 2011
During their autumn meeting on Thursday and Friday last week, the members of the Coordination Group for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Oslo 2011 had a chance to bear witness to the construction progress at Holmenkollen where massive work has been underway all summer. The group saw the advances with the two new jumping hills - the new large hill Holmenkollbakken and the new normal hill at Midtstuen - as well as with the renovation of the Cross-Country stadium and tracks, and building of a new snow-making system. Compared with early April, when the previous meeting took place, the project had made notable strides. And based on current status, the FIS World Cup events scheduled for March 2010 will be able to take place in the new arena and serve as a test for the 2011 Championships, even if parts will still be reminiscent of a construction site.
"With two modern hills and ski stadium, the new Holmenkollen will be a truly iconic venue. As one of the most visited touristic destinations in Northern Europe, it has been and will continue to be a spectacular landmark of the city and one of the most comprehensive Nordic ski facilities in the world. The new arena will serve thousands of athletes and spectators with modern infrastructure and facilities for decades to come," commented Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General. "Clearly, a lot of work still remains to be done and we will stay vigilant until the first jumper takes off and the first cross-country skier finishes their loops. What we were most pleased about, however, was the great support and a strong basis for cooperation that has developed among the city of Oslo, the organizing committee, the Norwegian Ski Association, the Skiforeningen and other stakeholders to ensure that the project is progressing according to the plan."
In the other areas of preparation, the Oslo 2011 team is advancing well, too. With a current staff of 20 people, it is in the process of moving from the detailed planning phase to the operational mode for the test events in mid-March. Ticket sales for those will start in October 2009. The undisputed highlight of the meeting were the highly detailed plans of the host broadcaster NRK that is taking advantage of the latest 3-D models for confirming camera positions and ensuring stunning images in 18 months' time. For more information and updates, make sure to visit www.oslo2011.no.
|2nd Coordination Group for Schladming 2013|
The second Coordination Group meeting for the 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming (AUT) took place on 8th September 2009. The Coordination Group members led by Secretary General Sarah Lewis met with the representatives of the Austrian Ski Association, the Local Organizing Committee, the federal state of Styria, the municipality of Schladming, the rights holder European Broadcasting Union and its marketing partner Tridem Sports, as well as the host broadcaster ORF.
The focus of the preparations so far has been construction and modifications to the slopes which are progressing very rapidly. A video showing the works assured the attendees and showed details of projects such as ski bridges, broadening of slopes, installation of new snow-making machines, which will mostly be completed by end of October 2009. The ladies' Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup last visited Schladming in November 1988, so the ladies slopes will be properly inspected for safety and tested in competitions at different levels ranging from FIS to European Cup races before the final test events, the FIS Alpine World Cup Finals 2012.
Planning of the multi-use sports complex, which will accommodate the main press center and sports management facilities is well underway, and construction is supposed to begin in spring 2010.˙
In line with the vision `Short ways - White games,' the organizers have so far paid special attention to the areas of environment and waste management. .
Tridem Sports, the recently appointed marketing partner of EBU for the FIS World Championships 2011 and 2013, presented its concept for the Championships with a special focus on sponsor packages, hospitality and a licensing program.
Contributed by Sarah Fussek
|NC TDs in Whistler Olympic Park|
The biannual Technical Delegates Seminar for Nordic Combined took place from 3rd - 5th September in Whistler, host to the Nordic disciplines during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Callaghan Valley. 25 TDs, 4 candidates and several officials from the Organizing Committee of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games (VANOC) learned much about the latest rule changes and took the chance to exchange experiences collected during the last two years. Thanks to VANOC, the TDs and candidates could conduct the practical work sessions in the newly-built venues in Whistler Olympic Park, where final preparations are in full swing.
In addition to the three days' of training, the TDs took a test with questions on rules, statistics and general FIS issues, while the four candidates from Germany, Italy, Russia and Sweden passed their TD examinations.
"The work of the TDs is getting more and more extensive because of the increasing professionalism of the sport, growing TV requirements and wishes of the public, along with the recent climate changes that challenge preparations. As a result, it is very important that our TDs remain very well-educated," said Uli Wehling, FIS Race Director for Nordic Combined and leader of the seminar.
The culmination of the seminar was the traditional Viking evening, which was organized by John Heilig, one of the Viking Club members and Venue Manager for Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping in Callaghan Valley. The Viking Club, which was founded 1991, consists of Nordic Combined TDs and has the task of supporting the discipline of Nordic Combined in all its aspects. After the training session, a memorable social evening with an `entry examination' of the four newly-baked TDs took place. Many thanks to John and his team for the memorable Viking evening and great support for the 2009 TD Seminar in Whistler!
Contributed by Sandra Spitz
On 7th September the starting times for all FIS Olympic disciplines for the season 2009/10 have been published on the FIS website. While minor changes can still be expected, this list represents the main planning document for the season. To review the list please click here
|Levi slalom venue|
FIS Travel Service has organized a non-stop charter flight from Zrich (SUI) to Kittil (Levi, FIN) for the slalom opening of the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on 14-15th November 2009. The flight will leave from Zrich on 12th November and return after the race on 15th November.
Interested teams and media representatives can request for more information and make their booking for the flight by contacting Caroline Ris of FIS Travel Service at ris(at)fisski.com. The deadline for bookings is 22nd September.
|Skiing in Georgia|
The Congress of the Georgian Ski Federation (GSF) has elected new leadership for the organization. New President-elect is George Ramishvili who will take charge supported by his team consisting of Vice-Presidents Zaza Targamazde, George Gugunishvili and Vakhtang Mikeladze. George Tsagareli has been appointed as the new Secretary General.
GSF plans to continue working closely with FIS and intends to participate in various FIS programs, especially the programs involving children to raise a new generation of Georgian skiers. It has also moved to new offices in Tbilisi. The organization is being rebranded and will soon have a new logo and website at www.gsf.ge (still under construction)