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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Presenting FIS partners: NordicFocus
During the summer months, FIS presents interviews with some of its most important partners, many of whom have engaged for the benefit of ski sports for many years. In this interview, Christian Manzoni, CEO of NordicFocus, reveals how a passion for Nordic Skiing allowed him and his team to found a photo agency specialized in the Nordic disciplines. NordicFocus (www.nordicfocus.com) has been a partner of FIS since 2006 and follows the FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Viessmann, Bauhaus FIS Ski Jumping World Cup presented by Viessmann, DKB Nordic Combined World Cup presented by Rauch and starting this season, the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Ladies presented by Viessmann.
FIS: For those of us not familiar with NordicFocus, can you tell us a bit about your background. Why did you choose Nordic Skiing rather than any other sports?
NF: Back in the 90's, there was a group of independent photographers covering the same events and working with the same clients. The idea of founding a company together came to our minds before the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, and Nordic Focus was successfully founded the season after. Before this we had tried to work together as a team at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf in 2005 and during the Games. With a small team of four photographers most of whom either competed in one of the Nordic disciplines ourselves or simply have a passion for these sports, Nordic Focus is a unique company serving the entire international ski media and industry with great images. Our main partner is of course FIS, in addition to the various commercial clients such as ski brands, clothing companies, service providers and National Ski Associations.
FIS: Given the extensive seasons of the three FIS Nordic disciplines including the summer series, NordicFocus is on-site all year round. How do you manage your team in terms of logistical matters, and how many photos are we talking about on a yearly basis?
NF: Every autumn we have a meeting in our NordicFocus office in Switzerland where we discuss the various World Cups and make a plan for who's covering which event. As we have different photographers specialized in the different disciplines, we always try to send each to his preferred event. At a normal World Cup event we have one photographer on-site, but we are carefully adjusting this number if there is a need for more. At the Nordic Opening in Ruka and during the Tour de Ski we normally have two photographers as we know the demand is high, and we want to offer our clients the best possible photos covering the broadest possible spectrum of the competition. Besides shooting pictures of the competition itself, we also transport a mobile studio for taking photos of the athletes for their equipment suppliers.
FIS: The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup for the ladies will launch this season - is there any difference working with the ladies compared to the men?
NF: For us there is no difference in working with the ladies; they are all athletes in our eyes. My personal opinion is that including the ladies' Ski Jumping World Cup is good for the sport, and we are positive we will have a few additional clients as a result. We look forward to working with the ladies, and believe we will have even better and perhaps more personalized photos taken from the outrun and in the studio.
FIS: Technology develops faster than ever before, how would you say this has affected your coverage of the World Cup events compared to 10 years ago?
NF: If you look at the workflow we have today, things have become much easier compared to a few years ago. You take a picture, work on it and send it off to the client. I remember working with Ski Jumping 20 years ago, when we took a picture, ran back to the press center, shook the roll and waited for it to develop. I'm glad we don't have to do that anymore, but at the same time we might become "lazy" with all this new technology. Earlier all settings had to be pre-set, and you only took pictures you knew would be good. With digital cameras it is easier to just press the button and delete it if it's not good enough. On the other hand this allows us to be much faster afterwards. With our NordicFocus database we can upload all photos onto one server, our software is faster, and the quality of our cameras and lenses is of course something different in 2011, meaning our photos are of a much higher quality.
FIS: What was your personal highlight last season and what do you expect from the coming season?
NF: Summarizing last season without including the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo would be impossible. No one has seen anything like that since the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer in 1994. You could feel the heart, the emotion and the pride of the people cheering along the trails and at the hills. There were big sport performances and it was a great pleasure handling the pictures our photographers took.
For the coming season which is in between Championships and Olympic Games I personally look forward to the Cross-Country World Cup in Davos as it is in my home country. The Nordic disciplines in Oslo are always a big event with a great atmosphere. Nevertheless, I think the Tour de Ski will surely be interesting to watch and work with, in addition to the development of the ladies' Ski Jumping.
Contributed by Sofie Torlei Olsen