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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Season analysis: Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined
Walter Hofer and Ulrich Wehling, FIS Race Directors for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined, respectively, looked back on the 2010/2011 season and, following the recent Sub-Committee meetings in both disciplines in Zürich, into the future of their respective World Cup series, the Bauhaus FIS Ski Jumping World Cup and the DKB FIS Nordic Combined World Cup.
FIS Newsflash: What is your overall assessment of the past season?
Walter Hofer: To be honest, it was one of the longest, most stressful, packed and tight calendars ever! That's why it was a big surprise that we could attract almost all athletes to take part in all competitions. Hence, we can say that it was also one of the most successful ones. Due to good external conditions almost everywhere, we were able to realize all planned competitions and had to only replace one site (Harrachov in December). The public interest both on site and on TV has again shown a significant increase.
Ulrich Wehling: From a general point of view, we have to admit that the 2010/11 season was not rich in events, but nevertheless very intensive. If there are just 14 World Cup competition, every one of them is a highlight of the season. If we look back to Felix Gottwald's incredible run to victory in Kuusamo, making up a gap of two minutes after the ski jumping portion, or if we think at the podium sweep of the Austrians in Schonach, or if we keep in mind the incredible performances of Jason Lamy Chappuis, then we know: last season was a great season for all fans of Nordic Combined. As the Race Director, I'm very happy about the achievements of our athletes!
FIS Newsflash: What were the season highlights for you?
Walter Hofer: It is in our utmost interest to develop all World Cup organizers to a high level. Nevertheless, there are still some peaks like the Four-Hills-Tournament, the FIS Team Tour, the Ski Flying events in general, and also some individual highlights like Zakopane, Klingenthal or Planica. Last but not least, we had unforgettable FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 in Oslo (NOR).
Ulrich Wehling: The season highlight was without doubt the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo. The nail-biting sprint decisions in the two team events between Austria's Mario Stecher and Germany's Tino Edelmann will be remembered forever. The individual victories of Eric Frenzel and Jason Lamy Chappuis were an impressive advertisement for our sport. I think that not only the athletes, but everybody present will have goose pumps whenever thinking back to these days and these competitions.
FIS Newsflash: Looking into the future, what are the key parameters and focus areas?
Walter Hofer: In terms of calendar planning, the policy of the Jumping Committee is "quality over quantity", which means we are trying to reduce the total number of sites in order to ease the stressful schedule. With regard to equipment and the athletes' performance, we are going to reduce again slightly the aerodynamic efficiency in favor of more athletic impact. But the biggest news and this is a pleasure to announce, is a fully-packed first World Cup calendar for the ladies' Ski Jumping. Partially we are going to host events together with ladies and men, but there is also a nice series of new organizers for the ladies only. Now that the IOC has announced the inclusion of ladies ski jumping on the programme of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014 this has increased the level of interest and anticipation even further.
Ulrich Wehling: At the moment, calendar planning is a very important issue for us. In this area, we are moving strongly. There is almost no free weekend during the next winter season. Even more: we can count on three venues that would like to organize three competitions in a row, from Friday to Sunday. But this is not enough. We always want to improve, to make our sport more attractive for athletes, teams, sponsors, media, and spectators alike. Therefore we do not want to look back and tell ourselves how great everything is. It can always be better! In this regard, Nordic Combined will benefit from the expertise of Lasse Ottesen who joins us at the beginning of May as Nordic Combined Coordinator, after his successful work with Oslo 2011. We are discussing new competition formats and how to reduce the field of participants because we have seen that sometimes there are too many athletes competing. Nothing is decided yet, but at the beginning of June, after the meetings in Portoroz, we will know more!
Contributed by Horst Nilgen & Egon Theiner