The Cross-Country season is already in full swing. Old stars and a few newcomers have already been shining in Gällivare, Mounio, Saariselkä and Beitostølen. This upcoming weekend they will all meet in our traditional opening in Ruka.
There are 29 events ahead of them. 13 of them part of a tour, as the opening three events in Ruka. 12 events are in classic technique and 16 in Free technique. Furthermore, there are six interval starts, six mass starts and five Pursuits. There are 11 sprint races of which five are in classic andsix are in free technique and as an acceptance next season there is only one team event.
This is almost how the FIS World Cup program has been since 2005. During the FIS meetings in Zurich there were questions if we have too many different events in our calendar and if this does not give to few racing possibilities for our different specialists. This has created a huge discussion and engagement among experts and in different media, which is good. I hope the discussion will continue through the winter and that our National Ski Associations are able to bring forward unified conclusions to the committee meetings next spring.
Our competition program has developed gradually since the first 50 kilometre competition in Holmenkollen in 1888. At the first Championships, the distances were 18 and 50km. The 30 km and the Relay came in the thirties, ladies could first compete in 1952, the World Cup was introduced in 1982 and the sprints and modern mass starts belong to the 21st century. From season 1986 we decided as the only ski discipline to compete in two techniques, classic and free.
In general, FIS has been good at adding distances, starting methods and techniques.
And here lies the challenging part. If we want to add new events or distances – something should be taken away.
I wish you all a nice winter with lots of snow, good skiing, fair competitions, and good discussions.