Recent FIS News
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Joel Franitch Freestyle Assistant Race Director
In the 2011/2012 season, Joel Franitch (FRA) served as FIS Ski Cross Technical Advisor and was recently appointed to the position of Assistant Race Director for Freestyle Skiing. His main focus will be on ski cross and the development of the different Continental Cups in ski cross.
FIS Newsflash used this occasion to interview Joel about his new role:
FIS Newsflash: How do you feel about your new function?
Joel Franitch: Last year I was already technical advisor helping Organizers and Joe Fitzgerald, FIS Freestyle Skiing Coordinator, to provide advice and ensure improvement of the terrain. For example, in course building, course safety and general course requirements. In future, I will also be involved in halfpipe and slopestyle. In the end, the main idea is to provide riders with high standards of quality at the competition to ensure that the top riders in the world can deliver their best performances.
FIS Newsflash: What does your travel calendar for the next season look like?
Joel Franitch: I travel around 180-200 days a year, depending on the calendar. Next year, the ski cross events will increase by 5 to a total of 16 competitions. However, traveling is not an issue. I am much more focused on finding good spots for competitions. Currently, more and more Organizers are applying to host ski cross events which is a positive development. This will also provide us with the opportunity to improve the standards of the World Cup since we are having an opportunity to choose among the best locations.
FIS Newsflash: How do you see future developments of Ski Freestyle?
Joel Franitch: In future, it will become increasingly important to find solutions with the combination of events, such as ski cross and snowboard cross, as well as halfpipe and slopestyle. It will make competitions more attractive to the audience and save time and money for the Organizers. Combining events is a challenge from a technical perspective; however, we are working on good solutions for everyone involved!
FIS Newsflash: How do you see the audience of Ski Freestyle developing?
Joel Franitch: There is increased audience now watching Freestyle Skiing competitions on TV and we reach more people globally. This is a positive development as the sport becomes more interesting for riders, Organizers and sponsors alike. Also, the National Ski Associations put a greater focus on the sport which helps us develop further.