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 to an in-depth preview by FIS of the upcoming Olympic season and measures being taken to developing the sport and its attractivity.
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 Korea.
In terms of partnerships, he expressed his delight about the extension of the Audi title sponsorship for the next five FIS Alpine World Cup seasons, a partnership, which is based on trust and a great spirit of innovation.
Meanwhile, FIS Alpine Chief Race Directors Atle Skaardal and Markus Waldner discussed further changes for the upcoming season, including the 30 metre radius for the men’s giant slalom skis and new competitions in Oslo, the return of Bormio to the men’s downhill calendar and the first-ever ladies’ parallel slalom in Courchevel. Both men’s and ladies circuits 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.
Afterwards, the stage was taken by last season’s overall FIS World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin (USA). Together with Charles Villoz, Longines Vice President and Head of International Sales, Shiffrin - Longines Ambassador of Elegance - talked enthusiastically about the brand’s commitment to developing young athletes through its Future Ski Champions and Rising Ski Stars initiatives.
She was later joined on the stage by super star Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), who placed second in the overall ranking 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 in PyeongChang 2018. "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 initiative Get Into Snow Sports (GISS). She also discussed topics including anti-doping, transparency and good governance, and the important actions FIS is taking in this respect.