Special Communique 

  Farewell from Marc Hodler ... more

 News from the World of Skiing 

  350,000 spectators witness Cross-Country World Cup kick-off in D《seldorf (GER) ... more

  Levi (FIN) is ready for the start of the season ... more

  The Freestyle Moguls World Training in Zermatt (SUI) ... more

 Inside FIS 

  Longines to provide timing and data services for FIS Alpine World Cup ... more

  Extensive series of Alpine TD annual `Update` courses underway ... more

  Strong interest at the Cross-Country TD Seminar in Tokyo ... more

 In Depth 

  FIS Staff Member in Portrait - Edith Roser ... more

 Special Communique 

Farewell from Marc Hodler

The memorial service for Marc Hodler, President of the International Ski Federation 1951-1998, Member of the International Olympic Committee since 1963 and FIS Honorary President since 1998, was held in the Cathedral of Bern on Tuesday, 31st October, 2006.

More than 500 people paid their last respects to a great friend and life-time promoter of the sport of skiing. Words of farewell were delivered by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper who looked back on many years of close collaboration with Mr. Hodler: "His knowledge, vision, diplomatic skills and foresight had a great influence on sports, especially the sport of skiing, for more than half a century. No one else in the history of mankind has done as much for the benefit of skiers worldwide as Marc Hodler. Salut, Marc, we will never forget you." (The transcript of Mr. Kasper's speech will be published on the FIS website in original language German and translated in English.)

Alix de Courten representing the Swiss Academic Ski Club (SAS) and Honorary President for Life of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, also had the opportunity to share their recollections about the life of Mr. Hodler. A musical farewell was presented by Sandy Patton who performed Frank Sinatra's "I Did It My Way" in honor of Mr. Hodler, a great jazz music enthusiast.


 News from the World of Skiing 

350,000 spectators witness Cross-Country World Cup kick-off in D《seldorf (GER)
Photo: Arnd Hemmersbach/Nordic Focus
Photo: Arnd Hemmersbach/Nordic Focus

Amazing atmosphere and a large and wildly cheering throng of 350'000 spectators characterized the opening weekend of the Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country in D《seldorf (GER) last Saturday and Sunday. Setting the stage for the early season opener for the fifth time, the promenade on the Rhine River in the D《seldorf Old Town offered excellent sporting performances in fine snow conditions along with other entertainment.

Norway had a strong season start as it took five of the six podium places in Saturday's individual sprint races. In the men's A-final, the four Norwegians were challenged only by Germany's reigning overall World Cup champion Tobias Angerer and his 21-year-old team mate Josef Wenzl. Eldar Roenning (NOR) took his first World Cup victory in the free technique, ahead of his good friend Oystein Pettersen who had delivered an impressive performance in the quarterfinal by winning the heat despite breaking his pole at the start. On the ladies' side, defending World Cup champion Marit Bjoergen of Norway took her 27th World Cup victory and the fourth in D《seldorf on Saturday. Russia's young Natalia Matveeva finished second, being the only non-Norwegian on the podium on Saturday.

This weekend's individual sprint races were also the first time using the new rules. After the field is cut to 30 following the qualifying round, there are five six-skier heats from which the top two advance along with two so-called Lucky Losers with the fastest heat time. From the two semi-final heats, again the best two in each heat along with the fastest two Lucky Losers advance into the A-Final (medal round) while the others race in the B-Final for positions 7-12.

The Scandinavians were also strong in the season's first team sprint along the Rhine River on Sunday. Sweden's Olympic sprint champions Bjoern Lind and Peter Larsson, the four-time D《seldorf winner who was eliminated early on Saturday following a crash and a broken pole, took revenge edging the young Norwegian team consisting of Eldar Roenning and Oystein Pettersen by just 2.6 seconds. On the ladies' side, Marit Bjoergen and Ella Gjoemle (NOR) prevailed in a supreme fashion ahead of Sweden's Britta Norgren and Lina Andersson. The Norwegian team Bjoergen/Gjoemle has won every time it has started together in a team sprint race, with the exception of the Olympic Games in Pragelato 2006.

For complete results please see here.


Levi (FIN) is ready for the start of the season
Levi today, 1st November

Real winter weather with more than ォ meter of snow and temperatures around -10C currently provide the perfect setting for the slalom opening of the 2006/2007 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup at Levi (FIN) on 11th - 12th November. The competition course has already been prepared with snow and is now being iced to ensure equal and challenging conditions for all competitors.

Following its debut in the FIS Alpine World Cup for the ladies in 2004 and another two-slalom-event for the ladies last year, Levi will be hosting both ladies' and men's slaloms this year. The Levi weekend in the middle of November is a new addition to the World Cup calendar, breaking the long pause between the traditional S罵den glacier opener - unfortunately cancelled this year - and the North American tour.

Large investments in the courses and surrounding infrastructure at Levi, such as the Levi 2000 gondola, have made the Northern resort a first-class host for the World Cup. The races will be held on the (in)famous Levi Black course that features 172 meters of altitude drop. Besides top level sporting performances and slopes open to welcome leisure skiers, various side events including local music shows await World Cup enthusiasts at the season opener in Finnish Lapland.


The Freestyle Moguls World Training in Zermatt (SUI)
Freestyle moguls course in Zermatt (SUI)
(click on photo to view an enlarged image)

A full Freestyle FIS World Cup level moguls course has been prepared on the slopes of the Klein Matterhorn glacier in Zermatt, Switzerland where at times up to 80 moguls skiers have been training simultaneously.

The 220-meter-long training course - located between 3500m to 3700m above sea level - has been more or less the standard training center for freestyle moguls skiers for many years and it is on the annual training plan for most teams. The national teams training there this fall have included AUT, AUS, CAN, CZE, FIN, FRA, GER, GRE, ITA, JPN, NOR, RUS, SWE, SUI and some members of the USA team.

Jenny Eidolf, Head Coach of the Swedish Mogul team, noted: "The weather has been fine and this has allowed for some excellent training this fall. We have had some super support from the mountain staff for the development of the mogul course. Basically we [all of the Coaches] have worked together to prepare two full training courses which are just like what we are used to skiing on at the World Cup level."

Harold Marbler, Austrian Team Mogul coach stated: "Sometimes it is a lot of work if it has snowed, but generally we all have to work together in order to get the best training for our teams. Otherwise we could not have created such great training conditions."

Gianfranco Collinassi, FISI's Freestyle Director and member of the Freestyle Committee added: "We have eight lines on two full courses, with lots of different jumps and different lines here. The weather was great - sometimes it was 5C plus at 4000m - and it is not crowded. We only lost two days in one month."

Training will continue at Zermatt until the opening World Cup in Tignes (FRA), on December 14th, 2006.


 Inside FIS 

Longines to provide timing and data services for FIS Alpine World Cup

Following the decision of the 45th International Ski Congress in Vilamoura (POR) in May to jointly procure timing and data services for the FIS Alpine World Cup, FIS is proud to announce that a new contract for providing these services has been signed after long negotiations on Tuesday 31st October: As of the current season, Longines will provide data and timing services for the FIS Alpine World Cup.

Longines will provide all timing and data services for the FIS Alpine World Cup without any costs to the race organizers, including no travel or accommodation costs for the service team. At this time the Longines contract excludes the four National Ski Associations that have existing contracts with various companies but these NSAs, too, will be bound by the contract no later than in May 2009.


Extensive series of Alpine TD annual `Update' courses underway
Janez Flere

The traditional series of annual FIS Alpine Technical Delegate (TD) seminars is currently underway. A total of 16 seminars including participation by approximately 450 Alpine TDs from 37 nations have been or will be held around the world before the season really gets underway. Staged since 1973 before the season starts, these Alpine TD courses provide an important opportunity for all licensed Alpine TDs to get together to discuss example cases and share experiences from the past season and to prepare for the forthcoming season. Annual attendance in the TD seminar is a requirement expressly spelt out in the International Competition Rules (ICR) to ensure that the licensed Alpine TDs are up-to-date with the latest developments in rules and regulations.

The TD seminars are instructed by the fifteen commissioners from the different regions with the assistance of Janez Flere, FIS Alpine Coordinator who is able to be present at around half of the seminars. The course content includes practical cases for discussion, quizzes, penalty and timing calculations, reviews of TD reports from the past season and precisions of the rules that apply as of the 2006/2007 season. "These seminars have really become a valuable, annual chance for us in the TD community to get together and discuss the lessons learned from the past season and share our experiences," noted Janez Flere, who also coordinates the content of the seminars and prepares the common materials.

So far Alpine TD courses have been held before the start of the Southern season in Sydney (AUS) and Bariloche (ARG) in June, and more recently in Krems (AUT), Maribor (SLO), 俊e (SWE), Tokyo (JPN), Chamonix (FRA), High Tatras (SVK), and Seattle (USA). Coming up still are the weekend sessions in Ottawa (CAN), Cambridge (GBR), Bad Ragaz (SUI), Tuscany (ITA), Madrid (SPA), Zwiesel (GER) and Thessaloniki (GRE).


Strong interest at the Cross-Country TD Seminar in Tokyo
Tokyo seminar participants

Over 40 participants from China, South-Korea and Japan, including a large contingent representing the Organizing Committee for the FIS Nordic World Championships 2007 in Sapporo, attended the Far East Cross-Country Technical Delegate Seminar last weekend in Tokyo (JPN).

"This seminar was an important step for us to establish a basic TD education program in the Far East. Such a program will help increase the quality of competitions in the Asian region. Based on the participants' interest in additional seminars, this seminar hopefully also contributed to the future development of the sport in Asia," commented Karl-Heinz Lickert (GER), Chairman of the Cross-Country Sub-Committee for Rules and Control who led the Tokyo seminar with Akira Wada's support. The seminar participants also sent their best wishes to Bengt-Erik Bengtsson who was unable to co-instruct the seminar as planned due to health reasons.


 In Depth 

FIS Staff Member in Portrait - Edith Roser
Edith Roser

To help you know who to contact for what and to provide some more background on who you might already be working with in the FIS Office in Oberhofen, FIS Newsflash will include brief portraits of the key staff in an irregular sequence over the course of next several months. Quite appropriately, Edith Roser as the longest-serving FIS staff member will premiere this series.

FIS Newsflash: What is your area of responsibility at the FIS Office?

Edith Roser: I primarily support the FIS President and Secretary-General in their daily activities. I am also responsible for the administrative planning, preparation and execution of the Council's work, as well as for the International Ski Congresses. Moreover, I manage FIS's relations with the national and international federations.

FIS Newsflash: How did you come to work for FIS?

Edith Roser: I began working for FIS in 1980 when Mr. Kasper was looking for support following his nomination as FIS Secretary General in 1979. As a sports enthusiastic, though more the passive type, I was happy to join him and the small team of three other staff members then based in the offices of President Marc Hodler in Bern. Since then, I have witnessed the growth of FIS to its current size, experiencing on the way all the different FIS offices we've had, from Bern to G[ligen to Oberhofen where the current FIS House was inaugurated on the occasion of the 1990 FIS Congress. After a short break from 1990 to late 1993, I returned to help FIS with the restructuring and modernization work that included, for example, the establishment of the FIS Marketing function. And have stayed since!

FIS Newsflash: What do you enjoy most, at your FIS work and outside of it?

Edith Roser: At FIS, I like the proximity to sport, the languages and the nowadays quite intensive contact with people from around the world. For me, since I have an in-depth understanding of what it takes to stage a major sporting event, such as the World Championships, it is gratifying to play a role in their successful organization.

In my free time, I like spending time with dogs - my dogs have always accompanied me to my work at FIS, hiking and most types of music. I also like to travel to explore different cultures and meet new people. Next year, I am hoping to take another trip to Africa, ideally to Botswana and Zimbabwe, provided that the political situation there allows that.