|News from the World of Skiing|
Three questions to Gnter Hujara and Atle Skaardal ... more
|News from the World of Skiing|
Heavy rainfalls during the night from October 23rd - October 24th, 2006 and very high temperatures badly damaged the excellently prepared race course in Slden (AUT). While all precautions were taken by the organizers, the residual amount of snow and the continuing forecast for high temperatures made it technically impossible to hold the World Cup events on the original race course. FIS's annual information session for the attending journalists, known as the Forum Alpinum that was planned to coincide with the Season Opener, was also cancelled.
Above the steep part the skiing and training is still possible in good conditions. However, for sporting reasons, as well as due to the requirements of the World Cup Rules, it was not possible to move the finish area above the steep part.
For more information on Slden, please visit www.soelden.com
At this time, the snow situation for the season's first slalom races scheduled at Levi (FIN) on 11th- -12th November, 2006 is very good (see photo). The race course already has practically the required amount of snow and the snowcats are starting to work on the lower part of the course to spread the snow around. The weather forecast is also looking good for the coming days.
For more information on Levi and to follow the development of the snow situation there with the help of a webcam, please visit www.worldcuplevi.com˙˙
A total of four Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country races are scheduled to take place next weekend, on 28th - 29th October in Dsseldorf (GER). For the 5th time, the season starts with sprint races, individual and team, on the bank of the river Rhine in the Old Town of the state capital. Some 146 athletes from 23 countries are registered to participate, which is more than in the last four years. Some typical "distance racers" will also start in Dsseldorf, such as Olympic Champion Katerina Neumannova (CZE), hoping to begin collecting World Cup points. On the men's side, Peter Larsson, the four-time Dsseldorf winner, will try to defend his unique streak.
Beside top level sport, the SalzburgerLand winter village will offer a strong entertainment program for spectators. For the first time, there will also be an off-spring event and an alpine skiing beginner course for children on the World Cup track. On Sunday afternoon, at the Bjrn Daehlie Kids Run, children aged 8 to 16 can show their skills on an ability parcours. For more information about the World Cup in Dsseldorf, click here .
|Doris Guenther vs. Doresia Krings (both AUT)|
|Simon Schoch (SUI)|
Like in the past several years, a Swiss rider took home victory in the first parallel giant slalom in the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup. On the ladies' side, Frnzi Kohli took her career-first World Cup win, also proving her ability to step into the shoes of her retired team mates Daniela Meuli and Ursula Bruhin. Kohli prevailed against Austria's Doresia Krings who thereby missed her personal hat trick in Slden. Isabella Laboeck (GER), Junior World Championship runner up in 2005, achieved a small sensation placing fourth as she had never before made the finals (top xx).
On the men's side, the winner also came from Switzerland. Simon Schoch successfully competed against Rok Flander (SLO), taking the lead in the parallel World Cup. His brother, Olympic Champion Philipp Schoch (SUI) crossed the finish line ahead of Andreas Prommegger (AUT) in the battle for the third place.
The International Ski Federation and the organizing National Ski Associations of the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy are pleased to announce that the first edition of the Tour de Ski from 29th December 2006 to 7th January 2007 will be called the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear. Besides being the title sponsor of the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, VIESSMANN will also be the Title Sponsor of the FIS Tour de Ski, while CRAFT will be the Presenting Sponsor.
These two companies, Viessmann, the Germany-based manufacturer of heating equipment and Craft, a leading producer of sportswear based in Sweden, will be the only Official Tour Sponsors. To illustrate this partnership in the "look and feel" of the Tour, the official Tour Logo was modified accordingly. "We are happy to have such strong partners for the Tour de Ski in the upcoming season. With Viessmann we could extend the cooperation with a long-term FIS partner while with Craft, we are beginning a new partnership within Cross-Country," says FIS Marketing and Communication Director Christian Knauth.
|Davos seminar participants on the field|
Approximately 50 participants attended the Cross-Country TD Seminar in Davos (SUI) last weekend, 20th - 22nd October. One of the five regional Cross-Country TD seminars this year, the Davos seminar was headed up by Karl-Heinz Lickert (GER), Chairman of the Cross-Country Sub-Committee for Rules and Control, with the assistance of Committee members Christian Egli (SUI), Marco Mapelli (ITA) and Uros Ponikvar (SLO). "In my role as Committee Chairman, I am very pleased to announce that three seminar participants took and passed the revamped TD exam that was in place for the first time on the basis of the new guidelines. Congratulations go to Andrea Kaiser (GER), Francesco De Stefani (ITA) und Jakub Vodrazka (CZE)! In addition, we welcomed a total of 14 new, young TD candidates which is very promising for a positive future development of our sport!" noted Lickert, and added: "I would like to thank SwissSki and Davos Nordic for their hospitality and excellent local organization."
Despite the very packed seminar schedule, which also included field work on the topic of course homologation, the participants had ample opportunity to network and exchange experiences from last season. The new TD education guidelines were received very positively overall (for a copy please click here).
Now available: all FIS Committee members can update their contact information directly through the FIS website! By clicking on their own name listed in any list of Committee members in the Inside FIS section of the FIS web site, the Committee members can request a password to be sent to their registered e-mail address.. Using this password, they can update their personal information held in the FIS database at any time, such as address or phone numbers, ensuring that they will always receive all the communications relating to their Committee work. If the e-mail currently on file in the FIS database is incorrect, the Committee members should contact the FIS Office, IT department, for access details.
|FIS President Gian Franco Kasper|
As of today there are 100 days remaining until the start of the 39th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in re (SWE) from 3rd-18th February, 2007.
"In skiing terms, the re team has now finished its warm-up and is waiting in the pre-start area, ready to go to the starting line and get on the course," commented FIS President Gian Franco Kasper this major milestone for re. He added: "We at FIS are very positively attuned and looking forward to great championships. The re 2007 team has done a 100% job in all the planning and preparation; as a host venue, there are indeed few sites that bring as much know-how to the table. The racing schedule, too, has been planned with possible weather changes in mind, and it provides some options should the weather not cooperate. The organizing committee has also taken maximum advantage of the combination of experience and youthful ideas it entails. We are optimistic that the myriad of ideas will also help create a true championships atmosphere in re, such as the promotional activities that will commence following this milestone, in the local media and on Swedish television. Of course, early successes by local athletes will also do wonders for creating the right mood among the public. From an overall perspective, FIS is pleased to note how these championships have acted as a catalyst for many positive changes in the re region, all of which will serve to leave a great legacy for the resort for years to come."
The web site for the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships and U-23 (under-23) World Ski Championships for Cross-Country is now online. The competitions will be held in Tarvisio (ITA) from 29th January - 4th February 2007 when 19 medal events will be staged just a few kilometers from the Austrian and Slovenian borders between the massifs of Giulian Alps to the south and the Carnic Alps to the north. For more information, visit www.jwsc2007.com
Three questions to Gnter Hujara and Atle Skaardal
Although the opening of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup on the glacier in Slden (AUT) had to be cancelled due to warm weather, Gnter Hujara and Atle Skaardal, FIS Chief Race Directors for men's and ladies' Alpine Skiing, respectively, shared some of their thoughts before the winter that culminates in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in re (SWE)..
FIS Newsflash: What is your general feeling looking forward to the 2006-2007 season?
Gnter Hujara: The season preparation has progressed really well and I am generally feeling quite positive. October has been unseasonably warm around Central Europe but I am hopeful that the weather will cooperate with us and we can deliver a good season. For Levi in the middle of November it is already looking positive from that perspective.
Organizationally we are currently at an extremely high level and can only do our best to keep up the good work. Apart from that, I remain committed to our long-term goal of optimizing the World Cup calendar, including installation of true season highlights and incorporation of sufficient resting time so that our athletes will be able to produce a top performance at each World Cup race. We have already established a good basis for positive cooperation with the National Ski Associations who have been responsive to several creative ideas; we just have to stay the course and not allow ourselves be distracted by any conservative moments. Once we have a solid, well-balanced calendar and a product whose attractiveness cannot be questioned, we can focus on proactively promoting our sport and on prevailing in the ever-hardening competition for TV time and exposure.
Atle Skaardal: I think this will be a very interesting season. We have a nice breakdown of sites and disciplines in the ladies' calendar and are working with established organizers for all events. These organizers are eager and well-motivated and will add value to the World Cup.
Personally, it is my second season and I am glad to be able to work for growing interest in the FIS Alpine World Cup, especially on the ladies' side. With a year under my belt, I feel more comfortable and continue to be very excited about my job and responsibilities. And, following the summer and autumn full of meetings, I am quite happy to get back on the slopes to `real' work.
FIS Newsflash: What is particular about this season?
Gnter Hujara: Of course, the FIS World Ski Championships in re will be one of the main highlights of the season, along with the finals in Lenzerheide (SUI). I am looking forward to many superb athletic performances there, and am confident that re will go down in FIS history as an excellent event. The preparations are at an extremely high level and although we must be primed for weather challenges, we can also expect championships with a special character.
This season, for the first time, we will also award a small World Cup crystal globe for the winner of the super combined ranking. We have long worked to find a way to reward the most complete Alpine skier, and are pleased to see how well the super combined has been received and is being supported by the National Ski Associations on a broad basis.
Atle Skaardal: On the ladies' side, we should highlight the new World Cup prize money record that has been set by the night slalom in Zagreb (CRO) where a total of 250'000 CHF will be awarded. It will be a huge event - last year, there were some 25-27'000 spectators there, great side events and excellent organization overall.
In terms of the calendar, re obviously will be a main focus of the season. Everything there looks great and the organizers are really working hard to generate public interest and ensure Championships-worthy atmosphere on site. I am also looking forward to the return of the World Cup to Sierra Nevada, Spain, right after the World Championships. It is great that we can regularly visit sites beyond the main core of the World Cup hosts.
Finally, I, too, am excited to see what kind of an impact the new World Cup ranking for super combined will have on the overall season.
FIS Newsflash: Are there any changes we should note?
Gnter Hujara: There are some small rules changes that are geared to optimize the running of the competitions. These include the refinements in the starting order (WSCL in reverse for downhill) and the adjustment to the number of direction changes in slalom. The impact of these changes will then be analyzed in detail after the season.
Atle Skaardal: Besides the minor rules changes, I am curious and excited about the new slalom races in the middle of November at Levi (FIN). We have long looked for a venue that could host us at that time of the year as a sort of European `winter opening', between the traditional glacier opening in Slden (AUT) and the North American tour. With Levi, we seemed to have found a great solution that also opens up a new market for us.