|News from the World of Skiing|
Ola Sundequist (SWE) reporting ... more
|News from the World of Skiing|
|Anja P„rson (SWE)|
Anja P„rson (SWE), two-time overall FIS Alpine World Cup Champion, five-time Olympic medalist, and four-time World Champion, has signed on as the latest Athlete Ambassador for Right To Play. Right To Play is an athlete-driven, international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as a tool for development of children and youth.
"I am very honored to be part of the Right To Play family. Children around the world should have the opportunity to experience play and sport in the same way as I did, due to growing up in a safe and happy environment. I pledge to be a good ambassador and help represent the hopes of children to play without any worries," she said.
As an Athlete Ambassador, P„rson will work to create a healthier and safer world for children by promoting Right To Play. Other Athlete Ambassadors from the world of skiing currently include Bernhard Russi (SUI), Vreni Schneider (SUI), Lasse Kjus (NOR) and Emily Brydon (CAN).
As a partner of Right to Play, FIS is collaborating by helping encourage the use of sport for the benefit of children, community development and health especially within the sporting world and by enabling promotional opportunities at FIS events. For more information, please visit www.righttoplay.com.
The "Torino 2006 Olympic Experience" Official Debriefing took place in Vancouver from 10th - 14th July, 2006. Its primary objective was to share the experiences from the Torino Games from the perspectives of the TOROC - the Torino 2006 Organizing Committee - as well as, for the first time, the various other stakeholders, including the International Federations, National Olympic Committees, broadcasters and sponsors.
The main beneficiaries of the debriefing were the team from Vancouver 2010, whilst teams from the organizing committees of the Summer Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 as well as from the three Candidates for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games also participated. Some of the main lessons learned centered on the importance of a strong vision for the event, a holistic Olympic experience by the main stakeholder groups, the unity of the leadership team, a positive post-event legacy and careful planning and testing of all parts of the event ahead of time.
The intense five-day program of knowledge transfer and networking opportunities was carefully tailored to cover even the minutest detail. Altogether, the week included 325 participants, 15 plenary sessions, 56 session hours, 56 presentations, 20 videos, and 100 registered media. The dedicated team from TOROC, led by its President Valentino Castellani, was candid and transparent in its reporting, answering numerous direct and detailed questions. The International Federation session included the participation of FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis representing the views of the outdoor or mountain venue sports, alongside President of the International Ice Hockey Federation and Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for Vancouver 2010 Ren‚ Fasel, who covered ice sports.
|Ossi Reichert (GER) |
German ski legend Ossi Reichert (80) passed away on Sunday, 9th July, at her home in Ofterschwang (GER).˙Olympic Champion in˙giant slalom at Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1956 and Olympic silver medalist in slalom in Oslo in 1952,˙Rosa "Ossi" Reichert was well-known˙as the first post-War˙German Olympic skiing champion. Following her retirement from competition, she successfully managed a family hotel business˙in her native Allg„u.
|Steen, Ola and JMS|
Ola Sundequist (SWE) reporting
In the Southern hemisphere, the winter starts in June, normally. The competition program there is extensive. And some of the biggest Snowboard and Freestyle Skiing events annually are held `down-under' as many of the best-known names spend months training there before the Northern season starts. No wonder that well-trained Snowboard and Freestyle Skiing judges are in demand!
To ensure consistently high judging skills, Ola Sundequist (SWE) traveled to Australia and New Zealand to educate and update the local judges in the latest FIS rules under the auspices of two international FIS judges' clinics. The first clinic was held in Jindabyne (AUS), near the resorts of Perisher and Thredbo, from 4th-6th July. The second was held in Queenstown (NZE), at the center of many different winter sport areas, including Remarkables, Coronet, Cardrona and Snowpark, from 10th-11th July.
Being the 3rd official FIS Freestyle judges' clinic and the 1st official FIS Snowboard clinic in the last ten years, the Australian clinic combined sessions on both Snowboard and Freestyle Skiing. Some critical topics that belong to the program of any international judges' clinic include information on FIS's structure, responsibilities and duties as FIS official and Judges' criteria, judging practices using DVDs or tapes, and tests on judging and tricks.
In New Zealand, the clinic was planned to focus on snowboard only but some participants indicated interest in half-pipe skiing and in the new discipline, slopestyle, as well. Previously, FIS Snowboard judges' clinics had been held in Christchurch (NZE) in 1997 and 2000.
Due to national differences and the need to ensure continuing volunteer involvement, there is some variance in judges' and officials' education among the nations. The international judges' clinics, however, are one way for the NSAs to maintain a certain structure in their organization and competition programs. The combined judges' clinics in Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard in AUS and NZE proved very successful: frequently, it is the same individuals that judge big air, half-pipe and slopestyle events and those events are occasionally also open for both Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard athletes. The participating judges left the `down-under' clinics with a smile and considerably more knowledge for judging both Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard competitions. Overall, the clinics delivered a great glimpse into the great progress that is taking place in Australia and New Zealand in these disciplines.
|Water ramp at Lac Beauport, Quebec|
Canada is developing its next generation of aerialists in a unique program titled `Jump 2010'. "We've recruited some top young athletes from other sports, primarily gymnastics, and are putting them through an intense program - basically we're taking four years to do what would normally take 6-8 years," said program head and four-time FIS World Cup champion Nicolas Fontaine. He added: "The real drive behind this program has been Dimitriy Kuvunov, who has been instrumental in putting the curriculum together."
Other countries, notably Australia and China, have done the same sort of development program. "But we're taking it to the next level," said Fontaine.
Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge has been involved in both the Australian and Chinese programs. "You can see by the results over the last two Olympics and on the World Cup circuit that the idea works," said Judge. "We're particularly lucky here in Canada to have a great tradition of superb aerialists, and to have someone of Nico's reputation and enthusiasm heading this up is a great bonus."
The Jump 2010 program is based at a state-of-the-art water ramp at Lac Beauport, Quebec, during the summer and the group of approximately 14 young athletes will move onto snow at Apex Mountain Resort in the fall. "You can expect to see the first products of the program on the FIS World Cup circuit by 2008 at the latest," says Fontaine.
Recruiting into the program continues and with the enthusiasm and progress that this group is showing there should be no shortage of aerialists in Canada's freestyle future. "Aerials is just the coolest sport!" says Jump 2010 athlete Nicole Mulder. "There's no question that we'll be representing Canada soon: our goal is to be standing on the podium at Vancouver 2010."
|Marcel & Mats Looze|
The FIS Newsflash had a chance to get some early summer thoughts from Marcel Looze, FIS Snowboard Race Director, since June 1st.
FIS Newsflash: How is it going after a month and a half in your new role?
Marcel Looze: It is going well! I have had a great start and am feeling quite positive about the job. I have nice colleagues, cooperative partners and knowledgeable event organizers, and I have received very encouraging feedback from all sides. The opportunity to physically sit on the other side of the table and meet everyone at the FIS Congress in Vilamoura in May also really helped me get started.
FIS Newsflash: What have you been working on since you started?
Marcel Looze: My initial focus has been on finalizing the details of the Nokia Snowboard World Cup calendar for 2006/07 and doing site inspections at the early season venues. Our season will kick off in Prague (CZE) already in early October with the first of our city big airs. In addition to Prague, we will also premiere big airs in Stockholm (SWE) and Lyon (FRA) as well as return to the experienced venues in Klagenfurt (AUT), Turin (ITA) and Moscow (RUS). As Dutchman, I am naturally happy that we continue to have Landgraaf (NED) indoor event on the calendar in mid-October. And I am pleased to say that Bad Gastein (AUT) was able to take on a second snowboardcross following the cancellation of our traditional season opener in Valle Nevado (CHI) due to financial difficulties of the organizing committee and the new resort owner's request.
Overall, I am very confident about the upcoming season: the organizers are positively attuned and very engaged. I've also had some very good meetings with Nokia, our World Cup Title Sponsor, which has confirmed its support until 2008. Together with the NSAs and various organizing committees, we plan to take advantage of some new possibilities to further enhance the quality of our events, especially the side events at the city big airs. We've also developed a new concept for a mobile big air ramp which will help us maintain the high standard of these competitions.
FIS Newsflash: What will you focus on next?
Marcel Looze: I am planning to visit China shortly, in order to continue to build the growing interest in Snowboard there, and to help them develop their event organizational skills.
I will also be working with the organizers of the FIS Snowboard World Championships in Arosa from 14th- 20th January 2007. I am very comfortable with their progress: the organizing committee is very experienced and it promises to be a great event in all aspects, from athletic to organizational to side events.
The planning for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games has also started and I will be working with the VANOC team on the venue design for all our three Olympic events: half-pipe, giant parallel slalom and snowboardcross.
Most of all, of course, I looking forward to the start of the season and getting busy with the real action!