The FIS Forum Alpinum for the 2017/18 season took place on 27th October 2017 in Soelden (AUT) as members of the alpine ski racing community and media gathered together for the annual event.
In front of a full house, Eurosport commentator Nick Fellows served as host of special guests who all contributed to an in-depth preview of the upcoming Olympic season and measures taken to keep the sport attractive.
To kick off the session, FIS President and IOC Executive Board Member Gian Franco Kasper spoke extensively about the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang (KOR) 2018 and Beijing 2022, including the alpine team event as new addition to the Olympic programme.
In terms of partnerships, he expressed his delight about the extension of the Audi title sponsorship until the 2021/22 Alpine World Cup season included, which was signed just ahead of the Forum Alpinum. The 2017/18 season marks the 16th year of the important partnership, which is based on trust and a great spirit of innovation.
Meanwhile, FIS Alpine Chief Race Directors Markus Waldner and Atle Skaardal discussed further innovations for the upcoming season, including the new 30m radius for the men’s giant slalom skis and new World Cup hosts. Both are excited to add more parallel events to the schedule in order to enhance the fun factor of the sport for athletes and fans alike.
The stage was then taken by last season’s overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin (USA). Together with Charles Villoz, Longines Vice President and Head of International Sales, Shiffrin - Longines Ambassador of Elegance - talked about the brand’s commitment to developing young athletes through its Future Ski Champions and Rising Ski Stars initiatives.
She was joined on the stage by super star Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), who placed second in the overall rankings last season. They both gave insights into their chase for crystal globes and the pressure of defending their Olympic slalom (Shiffrin) and super-G (Jansrud) titles. "Let's work hard, let's have some fun!" was their common line.
To round out the session, FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis provided details about the main activities FIS is undertaking to grow the sports, in particular in Asia, through its new Get Into Snow Sports Initiative (GISS). She also discussed topics including anti-doping, transparency and good governance, and the important actions FIS is taking in this respect.