|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|Ryan St. Onge (USA) & Jeff Bean (CAN)|
|Isabella Dal Balcon (ITA)|
In a quest to identify the most complete skier, the men's Audi FIS Alpine World Cup continued with a super combined at Reiteralm (AUT), which stepped in as a host following the cancellation of the Criterium de la Premire Neige (first snow) in Val d'Isere (FRA). The Turin Olympic combined silver medalist Ivica Kostelic (CRO) celebrated his first World Cup win in an event other than slalom. Setting a strong foundation during the super-G in the morning, he crushed the field during the slalom portion with the fastest run by afar. Ranking 2nd was the Austrian youngster, three-time Junior Worlds medalist Romed Baumann who had started 54th, finished ninth in the super-G and continued to move up in slalom. 20-year-old Baumann came into the event ranked 207th in super-G and 50th in slalom.˙Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) finished 6th and retained his lead in the Overall World Cup standings ahead of Italy's Peter Fill. Kostelic was the eighth World Cup winner this season in as many races and coming from eight different nations!
It was Team China that dominated the opening aerials competitions of the Freestyle FIS World Cup held at the Beidahu ski resort in north-eastern China on 9th-10th December. At the first event of the season, China claimed four of the six podium places led by national favorite Nina Li who won the ladies' competition ahead of three of her team mates. In the men's competition, the first-ever Chinese male gold medalist in the Olympic Winter Games, Han Xiaopeng, who took gold in Turin ranked second behind Ryan St. Onge (USA) and ahead of Jeff Bean (CAN). On Sunday, Nina Li won again, ahead of the Australian veteran Jacqui Cooper and her team mate Xu Mengtao, only 16 years old. With full points from the opening weekend, Li has established a strong lead in the overall rankings. In the men's second event, Canada's Steve Omischl, 2004 aerials FIS World Cup champion, took his 27th career podium. He ranked clearly ahead of two Belorussian athletes, Timofei Slivets and Alexei Grishin. Omischl also garnered the overall World Cup leader's yellow jersey. Jilin Province, the host of the 2006-2007 Bosideng Freestyle FIS World Cup, will also stage the ski and snowboard competitions during the 6th Asian Winter Games in January 2007. The Freestyle FIS aerials World Cup will continue in Mt. Gabriel (CAN) on January 7th, 2007.
Today's mid-week Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country˙events in Cogne (ITA)˙saw the same winners as Kuusamo (FIN) a few weeks ago: Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and Eldar Roenning (NOR) triumphed in the individual start classical technique races over 10 km (ladies) and 15 km (men). In the ladies rankings, there were athletes from eight nations in the top 10, including three Finns. Kuitunen, who was fastest at every intermediate time point, now leads the overall World Cup eight points ahead of Marit Bjoergen (NOR). Roenning produced a storming finish to record his third win of the season, 3,6 seconds ahead of his team mate Tor Arne Hetland. The first eight, including five Norwegians, in the mens' rankings finished within 10 seconds. Roenning now leads the overall World Cup 96 points ahead of Hetland.
The second parallel giant slalom in the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup 2006/2007, held at Kronplatz/San Vigilio di Marebbe (ITA) today, ended with two first-time winners. On the ladies' side, Isabella Dal Balcon (ITA) secured her career's premiere World Cup win. In the men's race, Rok Flander of Slovenia also took his first career victory ahead of Siegfried Grabner of Austria. The strong Slovenian performance was underscored by Isidor Sustersic in 4th place.
With the winter still taking its time to settle in, changes continued to be necessary in some FIS World Cup calendars while others are progressing right on schedule. There is˙enough snow in La Clusaz (FRA) for the first period's last Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country events scheduled for this weekend. There is also sufficient snow in Engelberg where the e.on ruhrgas FIS World Cup Ski Jumping is continuing according to the calendar. The Warsteiner FIS World Cup Nordic Combined races in Ramsau (AUT) - a mass start and a hurricane sprint - will also go ahead as planned.
In the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup, Val Gardena and Alta Badia (ITA) are both on for the men, with a downhill and super-G at Gardena and a giant slalom and slalom at Alta Badia. The ladies will move into Reiteralm near Schladming (AUT), where the men just left, for a super combined replacing St. Moritz and a super-G replacing Val d'Isere. While the ladies' slalom scheduled in Megve (FRA) for 20th˙December had to be cancelled due to unsufficient snow coverage, the men's˙super-G and giant slalom planned in Hinterstoder (AUT) on 20th-21st December are confirmed.
The moguls and ski cross season openers in the Freestyle FIS World Cup scheduled for Tignes (FRA) on 14th, Kreischberg (AUT) on 17th and in La Plagne (AUT) on 20th December˙had to be cancelled due to the mild weather. Considerations are being taken to reschedule the events later on in the season. In the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup, the parallel slalom events in Bad Gastein (AUT) and Kranjska Gora (SLO) that were scheduled for 16th and 21st December, respectively, were also cancelled due to the mild temperatures and insufficient snow.
The FIS `popular' race season will begin 17th December in Livigno (ITA) with the La Sgambeda ski marathon, the opening stage of the FIS Marathon Cup. Last weekend's snowfall removed any doubt and the fourth edition of the race will be held according to the original schedule. Due to the uncertain snow conditions in the past weeks, the registration deadline for the 42 km free technique race has been postponed until Thursday 14th December. For more information, please visit www.lasgambeda.com
The FIS Marathon Cup is the championship for Cross-Country skiers specializing in `popular' racing, a long-distance format which brings tens of thousands of recreational racers each season together with some of the world's elite, creating a truly unique racing environment. La Sgambeda is expected to attract up to 1,600 participants for the opening round of the FIS Marathon Cup, including 2002 Olympic Champion Gabriella Paruzzi (ITA) and defending FIS Marathon Cup champion Marco Cattaneo (ITA). Challengers include, among others, Jorgen Aukland and Anders Hallingstad from Norway, Raul Olle from Estonia and eleven champions from Russia, including Igor Glushkov, last summer's Rollerski champion.
The FIS Marathon Cup is presented by Worldloppet, a union of the world's most historic and popular Cross-Country races, and covers nearly 500km (for both men and women) through 7 nations and 8 stages. For a detailed 2007 FIS Marathon Cup calendar, please click here .
FIS extends its best wishes to FIS Council Members Yoshiro Ito and Jaakko Holkeri. Mr Ito, FIS Vice President, Vice President of the Ski Association of Japan and President of the Organizing Committee for the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo, turns 80 tomorrow, on 14th December. Mr. Holkeri, who was elected to the FIS Council at the FIS Congress in Vilamoura in May and recently re-elected as President of the Finnish Ski Association, celebrated his 60th birthday on Monday, 11th December.
The FIS Academy welcomed delegates from across the world to the second of its 5-day Executive Event Administration Programs held in Manchester from 4-8th December. Among industry leading presenters from partner organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, former Olympic Organizing Committees, and The University of Manchester Business School, FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis provided key insights into International Federation relations via a case study on the operations of FIS. Her presentation was complemented by other leading industry experts discussing bidding for events, conducting large events, event finance, project management, broadcasting, sponsorship and brand management, leadership and change management and volunteer management.
Chris Solly, Director, FIS Academy said. "The 5-day Program enables sport professionals at the cutting edge of their sport to deliver great outcomes for their organizations. The time and financial commitment to attend the course is a small price to pay if an event bid is successful, a new sponsor signed, a broadcast partner secured or world class event delivered as a result of key team members attending this course."
The next courses will be held on 5-9th March and 4-8th June, 2007. For more information, click here or contact Peter Schofield, Relationship Director on +44 (0) 161 275 6335.
At its conference held in Moscow on 8th December, the Russian Ski Association has elected 34-year-old Alexey V. Semenyachenko as its new President. Mr Semenyachenko serves as President of Olympic City Group Ltd. in Moscow. He is a former Vice President of the Russian Alpine Skiing Federation.
The Association Conference also re-elected Georgy Mnatsakanov as its Secretary General.
President of the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI), FIS Council Member Gaetano Coppi stepped down from his position with FISI on Tuesday, 12th December. Serving in the role since 2000, Mr. Coppi announced his irreversible decision to resign in a letter to Gianni Petrucci, President of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI). Mr. Coppi noted that with the help of sponsoring income provided by two new sponsors - _2.75 Million in the upcoming three years - the association will be able to restore its financial situation and therefore he may step down in good conscience.
The 7th FIS Snowboard World Championships will kick off in Arosa (SUI) in exactly one month's time, on Saturday 13th January, with the qualification runs for snowboardcross. The SBX finals will be held on 14th January, while the finals for the parallel events will take place on 16th (parallel giant slalom) and 17th (parallel slalom) and the finals for the freestylers on Friday, 19th (big air) and Saturday, 20th January (half-pipe).
This is the first time that the FIS Snowboard Championships have been hosted in Switzerland. Situated at 1800m altitude in the Schanfigg valley, in canton of Grisons, where the highest peaks reach over 2800m above sea level, Arosa and its infrastructure servicing more than 70km of terrain is a perfect host resort. As a snowboard event host, Arosa is no newcomer since it has staged three NOKIA FIS World Cup stops including the finals in 2003. What's more, the set-up for the activity is ideal from the spectators' perspective as everything will take place within just a few hundred meters. In the finish area at the bottom of the snowboardcross, giant slalom and slalom courses, there will be a big screen for the spectators to catch all the action as the athletes come down the course. Just a stone's throw away is the big air finish area where spectators can admire the competitors as they try to best each other with aerial acrobatics.
Thomas Gurzeler, President of the Organizing Committee notes: "We have taken every precaution to ensure that the FIS 2007 Snowboard World Championships will be a memorable experience for both spectators and athletes alike. Recently we had some concern about the encroaching Fhn, but the weather seems to have shifted and we are back on track for more favorable competition conditions. With one month to go, we are on schedule and are looking forward to hosting the snowboarding elite from around the world for the World Championships."
In addition to sporting performances, the OC is planning a festival in the town of Arosa with live music every night and other activities as of 10th January. The entire village is bound to rock for a minimum of ten days!
How to get there: Arosa is easily accessible via the Zurich international airport, and from there by car or train. By car get on the A3 towards Sihlholzbrucke and then take Exit 16 towards Chur-Nord/Arosa. From there, follow the signs to Arosa up the winding road for approximately 30km. By train take the intercity train to Chur and then change to the Rhaetian railway to Arosa (approx. 60 minutes).
The reigning 2005 World Champions from Whistler (CAN)
PGS: Jasey Jay Anderson (CAN)
PSL: Jasey Jay Anderson (CAN)
HP: Antti Autti (FIN)
SBX: Seth Wescott (USA)
BA: Antti Autti (FIN)
PGS: Manuela Riegler (AUT)
PSL: Daniela Meuli (SUI)
HP: Doriane Vidal (FRA)
SBX: Lindsey Jacobellis (USA)