News from the World of Skiing 

  Ricker and Vaultier win season's first snowboard cross ... more

  Italy and Russia dominate 2009 Roller Skiing Worlds ... more

  Excellent Grass Skiing Worlds in Rettenbach ... more

  Record number of racers in Alpine ANC ... more

  Innsbruck 2012 appoints new chief executive and chairman ... more

  WADA Executive to approve 2010 List ... more

 Inside FIS 

  Full week ahead during FIS Autumn Meetings in Zurich ... more

  Fresh off the press: FIS Bulletin and Directory 2009 ... more

  Future-ready: Designing Cross-Country venues ... more

  New publication on female leadership in Cross-Country Skiing ... more

 In Depth 

  Introducing Members of FIS Athletes' Commission: Karin Huttary (AUT) ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

Ricker and Vaultier win season's first snowboard cross
On Chapelco course
Photo: FIS
Men's podium
Photo: FIS

Maelle Ricker (CAN) and Pierre Vaultier (FRA) won the season's first snowboard cross competitions in the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup. The final heats in the first races of the Olympic season in Chapelco were spectacular. Besides victory and World Cup points, national qualification spots for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games 2010 were up for (first) grabs.

In the ladies final, Tanja Frieden (SUI) and Alexandra Jekova (BUL) had some trouble in the beginning of the race, to the profit of Maelle Ricker (CAN) who rode to clear victory. At the start of the men's final Markus Schairer (AUT) and Seth Wescott (USA) almost crashed after a hard tackle, of which Wescott came out best and kept up a tough duel with the winner Pierre Vaultier (FRA) until the finish line.

After the second ever Argentinean World Cup events, the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup will continue with the season's first parallel slalom which will be traditionally staged indoors in Landgraaf (NED) on 9th October 2009.


Italy and Russia dominate 2009 Roller Skiing Worlds
Racing in Piglio
Giorgio di Centa in Piglio
Photo: Pierre Teyssot

The favorites from Italy and Russia met even the highest expectations at the FIS Roller Skiing World Championships in Piglio (ITA) last week. Beginning with the opening sprint events, the two teams kept all others under control and claimed the most medals: in the end home advantage paid off and Italy topped the medals table with nine medals, including four golden ones, while Russia too collected nine medals, three of each. Altogether five nations won medals.

Both new 2009 Roller Skiing sprint champions come from Italy as Mateja Bogatec and Alessio Berlanda took the titles. In the team sprints, which were rescheduled shortly ahead of the event from Fiuggi to Ceccano to an inner city course, the favored Russians took the ladies' title ahead of Team Italy while the men's team gold went to the Italians in a narrow decision against Norway and Sweden.

The individual start race on the third competition day was initially planned as a steep uphill race in classical technique but had to be rescheduled onto another, much flatter course due to dangerously fast downhill portions on the initial route. The victories went to Lada Nesterenko of Ukraine, better known as a Cross-Country skier, and Eduard Kovyashov of Russia. In the final competition, the ladies`mass start race in free technique, the gold went to Tatjana Jambaeva (RUS), also known from many successes at various Worldloppet ski marathons. In the men's respective event, Simone Paredi of Italy managed to beat his more famous teammate Valerio Checchi in the final sprint for the title


Excellent Grass Skiing Worlds in Rettenbach
Photo: OC Rettenbach

Three beautiful days were joined by one day of rain during the FIS Grass Skiing World Championships 2009 in Rettenbach (AUT). Some 10'000 spectators attended the 16th edition of the event that lived up to its motto of `We gonna have a Good Time.' Rettenbach, a community in Southern Burgenland turned out to be a great host and the organizers led by Dr. Johann Gschwandtner delivered excellent work.

From the sports perspective, the title of the world's best grass skier at present undoubtedly belongs to Jan Nemec (CZE) who won three gold (GS, SL, SC) and one silver medal (SG). On the ladies side, Nemec's teammate Zuzanna Gardavska collected two world champion titles and a silver medal. Not surprisingly, the most successful nation was the Czech Republic with seven medals (five gold and two silver), followed by Italy with ten medals (2-3-5). Host nation Austria did not quite meet its expectations with two medals, but can be content with excellent organization of the event.


Record number of racers in Alpine ANC
Jervis and Griffin with their ANC winner bibs
Photo: Mt Hutt

A record number of 63 ladies and 100 men, representing some 20 countries, scored points in this year's Australian New Zealand Cup (ANC) in Alpine Skiing. Despite the challenging weather, all the races scheduled as part of the season's ANC were carried out, even if not quite according to schedule. A slalom race for both ladies and men was rescheduled from Mt Hotham (AUS) to Mt Hutt (NZE). Besides the technical events, the series included four super-G races and two super combined competitions for both genders.

In the ladies' final overall rankings, 21-year-old Agnieszka Gasienica Daniel and 26-year-old Katarzyna Karasinska took a double victory for Poland, ahead of France's 18-year-old Florine de Leymarie. The best ANC skier in the final rankings was Sarah Jervis of New Zealand in 5th position.

On the men's side, Sweden's Niklas Rainer (26) claimed the overall title in front of teammate Magnus Andersson and Monaco's Olivier Jenot. Benjamin Griffin (NZE) in ninth place was the best local racer.

In South-America, competitions in the SAC are still underway with the finals being held in Antillanca (ARG) for most of this week.


Innsbruck 2012 appoints new chief executive and chairman

The new leadership of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck 2012 consists of Peter Bayer who has been named permanent chief executive and Richard Rubatscher who will take over as chairman of the supervisory board.

Bayer had taken over from Martin Schnitzer as an interim chief executive together with Juergen Steinberger in July and was picked from 43 candidates to lead the organization. Certified accountant Rubatscher will be focused on the finances and controlling. Bayer is a marketing professional and winter sports enthusiast who is particularly well known in the Tyrol region for organizing successful youth events.


WADA Executive to approve 2010 List

The World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Executive Committee, of which FIS President Gian Franco Kasper is member, will meet on Saturday 19th September 2009 at the Agency's headquarters in Montreal (CAN).

As it is traditionally the case at the September meeting, the Executive Committee will consider the 2010 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List) for approval. The Prohibited List is revised annually through a highly consultative process, beginning with the circulation of a draft List among more than 1,700 stakeholders. The approved 2010 List will be published by 1st October 2009, and will come into force on 1st January 2010.

Another major topic to be addressed at the meeting is the approval of scientific research projects for funding. WADA's Scientific Research Grant Program is dedicated to developing new and improved means for detecting performance-enhancing substances and methods. Since 2001, WADA has committed more than US$ 44 million to advancing the science of anti-doping.

WADA will celebrate its 10th anniversary on 1st December 2009 with festivities and a special meeting and of the Executive Board in Stockholm (SWE).


 Inside FIS 

Full week ahead during FIS Autumn Meetings in Zurich
Hotel Hilton Zurich Airport

The FIS Autumn Meetings will again take place at the Hotel Hilton Zurich Airport (SUI) beginning next Wednesday 23rd September 2009. Besides hundreds of hours of regular meetings of the various Committees, Sub-Committees and Working Groups during the four full days of meetings until Saturday 26th September, numerous other formal and informal meetings will be taking place among some 500 members of the extended ski family.

Next week's schedule also includes the 7th FIS Youth and Children's Seminar scheduled for 23rd September. Entitled `Financing youth sports through sponsoring,' the seminar will feature high level keynote presentations along with several case studies focused on retaining children and young athletes on snow. Afternoon working groups will allow more in-depth discussion and exchange of experiences among the 50+ participants.

For the first time, the candidate applicants for the FIS World Ski Championships will meet with the FIS Inspection Group at the start of the FIS Autumn Meetings. Instead of visiting each of the candidates as group, all nine candidate applicants for the 2014 and 2015 championships which are well-known leading World Cup sites have submitted comprehensive details about their project and plans and will be reviewing these with the FIS Inspection Group.

For more information on the Zurich meetings, including the latest version of the meeting schedule, please click here.

Note: The Symposium on Development of Alpine Ski Sport which will take place on Saturday, 26th September 2009 is on invitation˙only and requires prior registration/confirmation of attendance for entry.


Fresh off the press: FIS Bulletin and Directory 2009

The 2009 editions of the FIS Bulletin and FIS Directory are now fresh off the press. Copies of the FIS Bulletin have already been sent to all Member National Ski Associations and FIS Committee Members. For the first time, the FIS Bulletin is also available as an online magazine. Check out the new feature on the FIS website by clicking here.

Copies of the latest version of the FIS World Statistics will be available at the FIS Autumn Meetings in Zrich next week. Happy reading!


Future-ready: Designing Cross-Country venues
Homologation seminar team

A FIS Cross-Country homologation seminar led by Hermod Bjorkestol (NOR) took place in Val di Fiemme (ITA), the host of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2013, from 3rd - 5th September 2009. The goal of the seminar was to create a better understanding among FIS homologation inspectors from all over the world on how the venue should be designed in order to make Cross-Country Skiing more attractive for a wider range of spectators. Thanks to the Val di Fiemme OC, the participants had fruitful days with a lot of input and excellent practical sessions on the established field of play at the established venue in Tesero.

Karl Heinz Lickert, Chairman of the FIS Sub-Committee for Cross-Country Rules and Control summarized the successful seminar: "The many presentations and conversations during and alongside the seminar displayed the rapid pace of development in Cross-Country Skiing. The venue and courses that formed the basis for excellent Worlds in 2003 now have to be adapted to match present standards. However, we need not to worry given the harmonious cooperation of all parties here in the Fiemme valley and can look forward to great FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2013."

Lickert underlined the challenges for homologation inspectors' work: "Today's Cross-Country presents spectacular competition formats and more action and emotion along the courses. At the same time there is a growing interest and influence by the media (especially TV) on the sport, whilst the importance of the development of the valley as a center of tourism cannot be ignored. These are the driving forces in the process that demands higher standards at our competition sites. But stadium and course designers also have to cope with limits to expansion, such as scarce financial resources and `natural' restrictions, i.e. ecological and environmental impact and rights of the landowners."

Contributed by Sandra Spitz


New publication on female leadership in Cross-Country Skiing

The Sub-Committee for Ladies' Cross-Country has produced a new flyer entitled "Female Leadership in Cross-Country Skiing" which is now available on the FIS website. The production of the new flyer was led by Midori Poppe, Chair of the Sub-Committee, together with Guri K. Hetland representing "Project Female Cross-Country Leadership in Ilsetra (NOR)". To download the publication, click here.


 In Depth 

Introducing Members of FIS Athletes' Commission: Karin Huttary (AUT)
Karin Huttary (AUT)
Photo: Agence Zoom
In action
Photo: Agence Zoom

The first world champion in ladies' ski cross, Karin Huttary is the female Freestyle representative on the FIS Athletes' Commission. Besides four World Cup triumphs and a total of 16 World Cup podiums, the 32-year-old Innsbruck resident won World Championship silver in ski cross at Inawashiro 2009. She is currently recovering from a serious injury but hopes to participate in ski cross's Olympic premiere in Vancouver.

What does it mean to you to have been elected as member of the FIS Athletes Commission?

Karin Huttary: It is a great honor for me and I'm proud to be part of the Commission with great athletes who represent the best interests of athletes from each FIS Olympic discipline. This is also a commission that wants to make a difference.

What are your goals with the Athletes Commission and how do you plan to go about achieving those?

Karin Huttary: My personal goal is to help athletes by making their life better and easier during and also after their career. Since I have been in the fortunate situation to finish my studies during my active career, I can see how many opportunities suddenly open for the future. My goal is to push and help create possibilities for athletes to work on their education during their career. This, as I know, is not always easy.

Since our first meeting in May, our Commission has had a face-to-face working session and some follow up using Skype. We have agreed on matters that are near and dear to us as athletes and competitors, and are looking forward to work on topics like:

Right now we are doing some research and looking to find the right persons who are willing to assist us in the different matters. For more detailed information please visit our community Democraski here.

You also engage for the first Winter Youth Olympic Games as the Director of Athlete Experience. Could you imagine following in the footsteps of former athletes such as Pernilla Wiberg, Manuela Di Centa or Sergej Bubka who have made a second career in sports administration?

Karin Huttary: Yes, why not?! I've enjoyed working with the Winter Youth Olympics here in Innsbruck and as an athlete I think I have a lot of knowledge and experience to share. Following in the footsteps of Pernilla Wiberg or Sergej Bubka seems like very big steps at the moment while my active ski cross career is the most important thing.
What'll happen after that? We'll see!

Your event, ski cross, will make its Olympic premiere in Vancouver. What does that mean to you and what are your goals as an athlete?

Karin Huttary: After many years and a lot of hard work in ski cross, it most certainly feels like we made it big. Since I have been part of much of the development of this new sport, I feel really proud to participate in the Olympics. And as for any athlete in the Games, it is all about the medals, isn't it? The heavier the better.