Recent FIS News
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Sierra Nevada celebrates 100 years
The Sierra Nevada (SPA) ski resort in Andalusia is a thriving center of activity in winter sports, although not so long ago it was an isolated area on the Iberian Peninsula. This year marks the 100th anniversary since its beginning as a ski area in Spain. The first historical reference of skiing in Sierra Nevada can be traced back to 1912, with the foundation of the Sierra Nevada Society, which is Spain's third oldest ski club.
One of Europe’s highest resorts, Sierra Nevada is located close to the Mediterranean coast. Yet, the “Snowy Mountain Range” is typically snow safe and often has continuous sunshine throughout a long winter season.
FIS site inspection
In 2017, the Spanish resort will become the second host of the combined FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships. To kick things off, FIS officials joined the Organizers for a site inspection in the end of June. In addition to the FIS delegation from Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, representatives of lift manufacturer Doppelmayr, TV rights holder and host broadcaster for the FIS World Cups Infront Sports & Media and Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners joined the inspection to ensure the best possible outcome for athletes, spectators, Organizers and TV audience.
On track to 2017
The 2017 World Championship competitions will include 23 competitions, 12 in Freestyle Skiing and 11 in Snowboarding. Organizing such a combined event is challenging but long-term plans foresee a series of test competitions in the lead up to the Worlds 2017.
“Last season, Sierra Nevada hosted the FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships at a top level despite a light snow season”, stated FIS Snowboard Race Director Uwe Beier.
In March 2013, the combined World Cup Finals are on the program including around 750 competitors, ahead of the World Universiade scheduled in Sierra Nevada for 2015.
One major finish zone for several events
From a technical viewpoint, 60% of the events (cross, halfpipe and slopestyle) will share the course layout. The goal is to have one major finish zone with two finish areas, one for the snowboard parallel and ski and snowboard slopestyle events and the other for the ski and snowboard pipe and cross competitions. The June site inspection specifically focused on details of course layout and facilities of Loma Sulayr Superparque Dilar, the location of the newly constructed halfpipe. Another finish zone, for moguls and dual moguls will be near the mid-mountain area of Borreguiles just under the 30-meter astronomical telescope on Pico Veleta.
Other than the investments in the development of the slopes and the finish areas and the set-up of the Organizing Committee, the ski area is looking to create a high speed fiber optic backbone in the resort. This would link the different start and finish areas and zones together, as well as linking the location of the TV compound in the base area.
Eduardo Valenzuela, Mountain Manager stated that the overall goal is “to organize a sports and people’s festival which is a tool to improve the service to the different kinds of customers who visit Sierra Nevada. The focus should be put on the young market, but without losing the appeal to the families. As a result, Sierra Nevada seeks to exceed 1 million skiing days each season.”
FIS Freestyle Coordinator Joe Fitzgerald concluded: “The Organizers are extremely committed to this event and do everything they can to provide the best facilities. We are very satisfied with the groundwork we have now laid altogether”.