|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|Overall World Cup winner Siegfried Grabner|
The clock is ticking
In only two days, the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup 2006/2007 celebrates its Season Opening in SnowWorld Landgraaf (NED). At the indoor event on October 13th, 2006, the world's best riders have registered to start in the Parallel Slalom. Besides last year's winners, Julie Pomagalski from France and Austrian Siegfried Grabner, a few other athletes will start who already jumped on the podium at one of the other three World Cups in Landgraaf so far.
By Oliver Kraus
Julie Pomagalski has to face only one lady who already made it into the top 3: Ilona Ruotsalainen. The Finnish boarder placed second in the Netherlands two years ago but had an unlucky last season. Other aspirants for the top spot are German Amelie Kober who took home a silver medal from the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin and Fraenzi Kohli who has to carry the Swiss burden of the retirements of her fellow very successful countrywomen Daniela Meuli and Ursula Bruhin.
On the men's side, Sigi Grabner has to defend his title against 2006 Parallel and Overall World Cup winner Simon Schoch (SUI) against whom he won last winter's final in SnowWorld. Other riders who once had rounded out the podium so far are Adam Smith from the USA who did win the debut of Landgraaf as a World Cup host in the 2004 season and came in third last year. Another one who has won the Dutch event, too, is Urs Eiselin (SUI) who will try to attack but has to suffer from a broken thumb. Nicolas Huet from France and "Canadian Rocket" Jasey Jay Anderson want to smile from the podium again, too.
Who will take over the first World Cup lead of the new season? We all will know more on Friday, 8 PM, when the last run has ended.
Only one week later, the same protagonists will travel to Soelden to meet for the first Parallel Giant Slalom of the season. One can be curious if the Swiss team will dominate the contest like the last two years where the team - including Olympic PGS Champion Philipp Schoch - made a clean sweep of the men's podium with their riders.
|Overall World Cup winner Janica Kostelic in Are|
On 1st April 2006, Janica Kostelic won her last slalom competition. One day after her victory at the Croatian National Championships, the idol of thousands of ski enthusiasts passed the finish line of a FIS slalom with the best time. This winter all her fans won't be able to watch her as a competitor since the four-time Olympic gold medalist, Janica Kostelic will not defend her FIS World Cup overall title this season and is taking a year off because of chronic back and knee pain.
The 24-year-old Croatian said she would Žrest for a year and then see what will happen,¯ suggesting she could decide to retire. ŽI've decided to take a break this season due to the unbearable pain in my back, my knees and everywhere else,¯ Kostelic said. ŽIt is not an easy decision to make for someone who loves skiing, but I am not a machine.¯
Kostelic, who has undergone 10 knee operations and thyroid surgery, won her third overall World Cup title last season. She also became the most successful female skier in Olympic history when she won gold and silver at the Turin Games, adding to her three golds and a silver from Salt Lake City in 2002. Kostelic has won 30 World Cup races, the last one the Giant Slalom at the World Cup final on 18th March 2006 in Are (Swe).
At the age of only 24 years she is already the most successful skier of modern times. During the last season she won in all five alpine disciplines - and this in a period of only 36 days. Before her, only Petra Kronberger (AUT) managed this feat. But the Austrian did it in 1990 in a even shorter period of 21 days and instead of the new Super Combined she won the four alpine disciplines and the Combined (Downhill and two run Slalom). In May Janica Kostelic was honored with the Laureus Awards as ,World Sports woman of the year" together with male recipient, the Swiss tennis player Roger Federer.
This summer Kostelic skipped grueling pre-season training and was often photographed by tabloids sipping coffee and scuba diving in the coastal city of Rijeka, where she lives with her boyfriend. ŽI tried to ski with pain but it is not working,¯ Kostelic said. ŽNow it is time to try other things in life.¯ The five-time world champion said she planned to run a beauty salon during her time away from the ski circuit. ŽI am in the process of opening it right now,¯ she said. But nevertheless she added: ,Although you never know, it is 99.9 percent sure that I will not ski this year at least,¯ she said. Who knows but nobody would be suprised if she appears in the World Cup - maybe shortly before the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Are...
Summarised by Kurt Henauer (Sources: AP/Sportinformation Zrich/FIS Website)
Infront Sports & Media has reached an agreement to acquire the Milan-based sports marketing agency, Media Partners. The purchase was concluded last Friday. Media Partners, founded in 1995, is one of Europe's leading sports marketing companies. The purchase creates important synergies and complements Infront's substantial involvement with winter sports, its strength in host broadcast production and its advanced expertise in new media rights. It also gives Infront an operation in Italy, one of Europe's most important sports markets.
Media Partners handles the management and marketing of the broadcast rights and majority of the marketing rights for the FIS Alpine and Nordic Ski World Cup, together with the FIS Snowboard and Freestyle World Cup events. Infront, through its Austrian-based agency operation (APF), holds the marketing rights to the biennial FIS Alpine Ski World Championships and the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships, starting with the 2007 events in Sapporo (Japan) and re (Sweden) and running through the 2009 Championships, and to various FIS World Cup title and presenting sponsorships.
The combination of Infront and Media Partners means that Infront can better serve the International Ski Federation FIS through more effective deployment of FIS rights and a consolidation of both company's strengths in marketing, media and production. "There is real potential for combining the rights we already have with those managed by Media Partners," said Infront President & CEO Philippe Blatter. "The potential synergies are exciting. We believe that the winter sports properties can be made more rewarding, achieving a higher level of commercial value, appeal to sponsors and excitement for fans."
FIS Vice-President Leonid Tyagachev (RUS) celebrated his 60th birthday in Moscow on Tuesday 10th October with numerous guests from the world of skiing, many other sports and of the politic joining the party. Ministers of Russia, around 30 presidents of National Olympic committees and representatives of all winter sport federations were invited. ,It was a really statesmanlike celebration", the FIS President Gian Franco Kasper stated.
During the birthday festivities IOC President Jacques Rogge presented the Olympic Order to Leonid Tyagachev, at a ceremony attended by IOC members Ottavio Cinquanta, Irena Szewinska and Gian Franco Kasper. ,This was a giant honour for Leonid", the FIS President added.
As former head coach of the successful Russian Alpine Ski Team in the 80's and 90's Leonid Tyagachev made many friends on the international ski circuit - and was renowned for getting the best training opportunities for his team thanks to generous provisions of caviar! - before becoming Sports Minister in 1996 and later President of the National Olympic Committee of Russia (since 2001).
|Sorbonne Law faculty|
The innaugural "Diplme du Droit du Sport" (Master of Sports Law) at La Sorbonne University in Paris˙received a presentation on Monday 9th October from the FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis on the organisation, structure and operations of the International Ski Federation. The course, which focuses on the various aspects of law associated with sport, began in January 2006 and spans 12 months. Course director Sophie Dion-Loye, herself a renowned Professor of Law at the famous French University, (as well as being a fanatical skier from the French resort of Morzine!) has compiled a detailed curriculum to cover this specialist and increasingly important subject, covering a wide range of topics including regulations, commercial aspects, doping amongst many others.
For the 4th consecutive year, the FIS is organising˙a Youth and Children seminar which takes place from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th October in Heerlen (NED). Situated close to the ski hall of Landgraaf the participants to will complete the theoretical side with practical training on-snow even, when the natural winter didn't appear yet - specifically not in the Netherlands...!
Different representatives of National Ski Associations will present their programmes in regard to the education of young skiers. From the active Swiss regional ski association ,Ski Valais", CEO Alain Kronig will talk about ,The Valais education programme for Youngsters". The report by German Martin Lchle, technical chairman of Biathlon in the German Ski Association is about ,Ski Sport and Army". Chris Solly, Director of the FIS Academy in Manchester, informs about the various projects of the FIS Academy. The presentations will be followed up by a podium discussion entitled ,Education and Competition".
The seminar's activity in the ski hall contains two blocks, practical training for young snowboarders with the experienced German Team Halfpipe Coach Alexander Rottmann and a practical alpine skiers workshop with kids between 8 and 12 years from the Netherlands Ski Association. This session will be lead by Gerhard Gnter ˙(AUT), former Austrian Alpine Coach, currently working with the Japanese Team. Since the FIS Snowboard World Cup is taking place at the same time, on Friday, 13th October, the participants have been invited to join the World Cup as spectators in order to see high level competitions live in the indoor ski hall.
|Vladimir Loginov opens the seminar|
64 Russian cross country technical delegates and referees from 32 Russian regions attended the two day FIS TD seminar in Rybinsk (RUS) on 7th - 8th October. The ski center of Demino in Rybinsk, host of the Cross-Country World Cup in the upcoming season proved to be an excellent place to carry out lectures and field work for such a seminar.
The seminar was opened and closed by Vladimir Loginov, President of the Russian Ski Association who also took part in the seminar himself. Special attention was given to Pursuit and Team sprint events since these two disciplines are in the the program of the World Cup 2007 in Rybinsk .
Other topics at the seminar were the TD's role and development process, individual sprint competitions, Cross-Country course homologation, ski stadium design, team captains meetings, FIS points system, imposing sanctions by the jury, media requirements, race office and International Competition Rules precisions in the last two years.
"Attendees have shown a lot of interest in the seminar topics and their questions resemble a lot of experience in organisation of Cross County events," said Uros Ponikvar (SLO), organizer and speaker at the seminar. "It is very important that we share knowledge and experience in such seminars," agreed Tiit Pekk (EST), speaker at the seminar.
Almost 50 years ago Ski Jumping events were covered using five TV cameras. Nowadays a FIS World Cup competition is produced with up to 26 cameras as presented by the former ZDF producer Norbert Thielmann to the specialists of different public TV companies at the Ski Jumping TV seminar close to Munich airport.
Thielmann awarded for his Ski Jumping production at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2005 in Oberstdorf, explained in a review over the last decades the development of TV production in Ski Jumping. The former marginal sport became more and more familiar to a wider public thanks to a new make-up over the years, which brought the athletes closer to the viewers. ,Even when we have innovations in the production, the sport should still be transparent for the TV spectator", Thielmann told is colleagues ,the sport should keep its authenticity."
This introductors speech was the basis for the upcoming discussion about the guidelines how to produce a Ski Jumping competition. FIS Race Director Walter Hofer presented the development of Ski Jumping and its rules in the last few years. However the fundamental principle remains that the athletes have fair and safe conditions and that it is possible to arrange an event in a way that fits the requirements of the TV stations. He mentioned three main points that have to be considered: The sport as a product; the requirement profile for ski jumping and the format for the media. Based on these facts the producers present discussed and worked out together with the responsible persons from FIS and the representatives of the TV rights holder Media Partners the guidelines for the upcoming World Cup season. They learned for example that a new TV graphic for the data will be introduced and also that the wind graphic will be shown in more understandable way.
An important item was the starting times. Due to the large number of winter sports events on one and the same weekend it is often difficult to find the right window for the respective discipline. It was decided that in general Ski Jumping events will begin at 1.45 pm (daily competition) and 4.30 pm (evening competition). Normally a competition shouldn't last longer than 2 hours from the opening pictures until the final beauty shots after the winner's presentation. It was obvious that in general everybody is satisfied with today's appearance of Ski Jumping on TV, but that some details can still be improved. Furthermore the TV stations will have another challenge in the upcoming winter with the new screen format of 16:9, but it is not yet clear if every station is be able to produce in this format.
Contributed by Kurt Henauer
Dietmar Hemerka, former president of the Four Hills tournament has been awarded with the title ,Honorary President" by his committee colleagues. The Austrian, who led of this traditional Ski Jumping event between May 2003 and May 2006 is the third honorary president, which has its 55th edition in this winter with the opening competition on 30th December in Oberstdorf. The other awarded persons are Hans Ostler (SC Partenkirchen) and Hugo Kassel (SC Bischofshofen).
The four club presidents of the Four Hills tournament also honoured Klaus Taglauer (SC Partenkirchen). The 72-year old former press chief, who did an excellent job between 1978 and 2006, is one of the ,primary rocks" of the tournament. His successor as the media responsible is Ingo Jensen who welcomes all media to accredit for the upcoming event.˙ Click here
|City of Sapporo|
|The mascot Norkey|
The organising committee of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2007 in Sapporo has produced three new posters. The left one to promote the City of Sapporo is a composite image of Odori Park as seen from the top of the TV tower, a symbolic sight of Sapporo and the Okurayama jumping hill.˙On the right side the mascot Norkey is shown, aiming to foster a sense of closeness to and anticipation of the championships amongst children. The third poster describes the three Nordic disciplines Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined.
Next Tuesday 17th October, a delegation of the Sapporo Organizing Committee will visit the Forum Nordicum, the annual meeting of Nordic journalists, which takes place in Anterselva (Ita). The OC is principally represented by the General Secretary Hisashi Sasaki and Kyoshi Sumita, the director of PR&Marketing.
|The overall World Cup winner Tobias Angerer|
The German has two main goals
This week Tobias Angerer (GER), overall Cross-Country World Cup winner of the season
2005/2006 and 2006 Olympic Bronze Medalist in the 15 km individual race in
the classical style, answers some questions for the FIS Newsflash about the upcoming season.
˙By Sandra Spitz
It is only 17 days to go until the start of the new "Viessmann" FIS World Cup Cross-Country season 2006/2007. As in the 4 years, the female and male top athletes will gather on 28th and 29th October in Dsseldorf (Ger) for the Individual and Team sprints to begin the competition season. At the end of December the Tour de Ski will celebrate its premiere, with eight competitions taking place in five different places. In February, the world will be focussing on Sapporo (JPN), where the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships will take place from 22nd February to 4th March 2007.
Sandra Spitz: Mr Angerer, we stand shortly before the start of the new
Cross-Country World Cup season.˙ How have you prepared for it?
Tobias Angerer: The preparations were actually going on like last year. Fortunately, I did not have any problems and up until now I could go through my programme as planned. The bad weather in August also barely disturbed me. In May, we were in Tuscany (ITA) with our Oberhofer training group around Cuno Schreyl to go cycling for a week. Then Lake Garda (ITA) was on the programme, not to go swimming or recovering but for mountain roller training. In August, we were in Switzerland training on snow for the first time, before the traditional training courses at the Dachstein (AUT) in September and now in October. Concering the training quantities and the intensities, I have essentially orientated myself on my last years programmes.
Sandra Spitz: What are your aims for the upcoming season?
Tobias Angerer: My greatest goals this year are the Tour de Ski and the World Championships. Afterwards we will see which place I can reach at the overall World Cup.
Sandra Spitz: As the current title holder of the overall World Cup victory, of course all eyes are turned towards you. How you deal with this pressure?
Tobias Angerer: Honestly I do not feel the pressure everyone talks about. I simply look forward enormously to the new season and I will not start to put pressure on myself. My overall World Cup victory cannot be taken away from me by anyone, therefore I can go quite relaxed into the first World Cup competitions. But of course I would be a bad athlete if I did not have sufficient ambition for this winter.
Sandra Spitz: In your opinion, who are your strongest opponents at the Tour de Ski and the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Sapporo?
Tobias Angerer: For sure, these will be again the "usual characters". At first my team colleagues from Germany: Axel Teichmann, after his many injuries and illnesses I wish him a finally a little bit more luck, as well as Ren Sommerfeldt and Jens Filbrich. In addition for sure the Norwegians, the Swedes or the Italians. I am curious about what Lukas Bauer (CZE) can reach, I assess that he will be very strong this season, too. All in all approximately 15 to 20 athletes are able to win. So it will become a thrilling season with many tight races.