Recent FIS News
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Walter Hofer: “Fiemme 2013? ..."
As part of its weekly series “Chat with the FIS Race Directors”, FIS Newsflash interviewed FIS Ski Jumping Race Director Walter Hofer about the upcoming season.
FIS Newsflash: If you had to describe the new season in a maximum of five words, what would they be?
Walter Hofer: “In a World where the letter “A” is often a sign for excellence, we are aiming at the following A`s: Athletes, Atmosphere, Attraction, Audience, Aerodynamics!”
FIS Newsflash: Please give us a brief explanation.
Walter Hofer: “The athletes are in the centre of our attention. All the amendments and modifications with regard to the competition rules have an impact on their performance, and how they perform influences the attractiveness and atmosphere of our sport. Ski Jumping is nowadays probably as popular as never before: in Austria and Germany, in Norway and Japan, in Poland and Slovenia and beyond. The number of spectators - the audience - in our stadiums is impressive. Tens of thousands of fans follow our competitions on site, millions in front of their TV screens, week after week.
Finally, the aerodynamics: I have to say that Ski Jumping has evolved to a modern standard in the last two decades. Adjustments with regard to equipment were always made to ensure safety and fairness.”
FIS Newsflash: Adjustments have been undertaken for the Ski Jumping suits - one of the new elements this season. What can be reported from the first “testing period” during the FIS Ski Jumping Summer Grand Prix?
Walter Hofer: “The initial idea to reduce the suit tolerance limit from 6 cm to zero was to reduce the tremendous workload for both athletes and officials. The summer series has proven that we were on the right way to test the fit feasibility. After the Grand Prix competitions, we modified the guidelines for the control system in order to improve the suitability. The athletes’ input and feedback was heartily welcomed and therefore we feel properly prepared for the season opening. Since the athletic portion of Ski Jumping performances seems to become more important again, we also expect more fluctuation among the potential winners. Apart from the leading nations, new countries and teams have recently proven that they are aiming to join the top level.”
FIS Newsflash: “The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme 2013 are less than 100 days away. What can Ski Jumping fans around the world look forward to?”
Walter Hofer: “These are the third Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme within 20 years. Last season at the test events, the Organisers have already proven their ability to organise high class sports events. The final inspection in October confirmed our expectations that Italy and especially Val di Fiemme is now ready to host this major event once again. The functional facility at the Ski Jumping stadium in Predazzo has been completely renewed, whilst the jumping hills were partly reshaped and upgraded to the modest standard. Huge efforts were made to attract more Ski Jumping fans and therefore we again expect outstanding competitions in a family-friendly environment. Let me announce the slogan: “Be there, let’s meet and celebrate!”