A busy week of online meetings came to a close on Thursday with the congregation of the FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski Committee at the 2021 FIS Spring Meetings. Originally scheduled to take place in Portoroz (SLO), this year’s gathering was moved to the virtual realm for some obvious reasons, and while we once again missed being able to see our snowsport family in person, each one of the subcommittees and advisory groups that met over the course of these past few days resulted in some productive sessions. While few major decisions were agreed upon as we head into an Olympic season, the wheels were put in motion for various potential refinements for most events ahead of the 2022/23 competition year.
Read on for some of the main highlights and decisions from this spring’s meeting…
Ski Cross sub-committee meeting
- This was the last time that the ski cross sub-committee would meet as a part of the Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski Committee, before moving under the FIS Alpine umbrella for the fall meetings in Zurich. Ski cross will however remain a part of the Cross Advisory Group along with our colleagues in Snowboard Cross. It is intended that the tight collaboration with snowboard cross will remain, but ski cross will be reporting to the Alpine committee and will be put under the structure of Alpine skiing.
- As part of the harmonization process for the transition from the ski cross sub-committee to be reporting to the Alpine committee, the FIS point system is being revised. Furthermore, it is the goal to develop a FIS licence which is valid for both ski cross and Alpine to facilitate the crossover for the younger generation and for the young athletes who want to do both, as ski cross does have alpine roots. To make it easier, the main goal will be to have one licence only that should be valid for both ski cross and Alpine skiing.
- It is all eyes on the upcoming Olympic winter season, and there’s a planned test-event there in China coming up early next season. Preparations are looking very good for the Games, and ski cross is primed to once again be a highlight competition. 40% of the medals given out during the Olympic Winter Games are going to athletes of FIS disciplines and we can’t wait to see who will be the big winners.
- In total the 2020/21 Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup saw 11 individual competitions, the first-ever ski cross mixed-team event and the Idre Fjall 2021 Cross World Championships take place over the course of the season, including the addition of two new World Cup venues/organisers in Reiteralm (AUT) and Bakuriani (GEO).
- The provisional calendar for 2021/22 looks to build on last season’s successes, with 17 races in nine venues on three continents currently being planned for, as well as the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing 2022. Official confirmation of the calendar is to be made by the FIS Council on June 4th.
- The Bakuriani event served as a test for the FIS Snowboard, Freeski and Freestyle World Championships set to be held there in 2023, and all agreed those competitions were a strong success.
- While recognizing the strong work done by the European Cup officials and organisers to hold events in this seasons challenging scenario, it was stated that a major goal is to bring more women into Continental Cup races, for bigger fields, into higher level of racing, and to feed the World Cup pipeline.
- The Junior World Championships could be carried out despite the difficulties of the pandemic situation as planned in Krasnoyarsk (RUS). The OC organised all of the FS/SB/FK events in one venue, in two weeks with big success. Besides the traditional single cross events, the Team events could be organised for Freestyle Ski and Snowboard. A letter of intent to organise the Junior World Championships 2022 Cross and Alpine Snowboard in Valmalenco ITA was sent to the FIS race management. This application has still to be confirmed by the FIS Council.