Quick Hits

Jessie Diggins to receive Beck International Award

U.S. Ski & Snowboard will recognise 31 individuals and organisations for Athlete, Coach, and Club of the Year awards at the upcoming U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress. Top honourees this year include Jessie Diggins who will be receiving the Beck International Award. The honour is awarded each season to a top U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete for his or her performance in international competition.

Diggins made history when she and teammate Kikkan Randall brought home the gold medal in the team sprint at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang (KOR). It was the first U.S. women’s cross-country medal and only the second cross-country medal ever following Bill Koch’s silver at the 1976 Games. Diggins also had a spectacular World Cup season with eight podiums, including two victories.

In addition to the Beck award, Diggins has also been named Cross-Country Athlete of the Year. Other Athlete of the Year recipients include Mikaela Shiffrin (Alpine Skiing), Jaelin Kauf (Freestyle Skiing), David Wise (Freeskiing), Ben Loomis (Nordic Combined), Kevin Bickner (Ski Jumping) and Jamie Anderson (Snowboarding).

All award recipients will be recognised at the annual Chairman’s Awards Dinner on 3rd May 2018 in Park City.

Lithuanian Ski Association holds General Assembly and elects new President

The Lithuanian Ski Association held its General Assembly on 18th April 2018 which saw the election of a new President, Council and Secretary General.

Succeeding Algirdas Raslanas, Remigijus Arlauskas was appointed as the new President for a four-year mandate. Arlauskas already served as President of the Association from 2010-2014. Stansilav Sabaliauskas was appointed as Secretary General, following in the footsteps of Evaldas Brazlauskis.

The following members were elected to the Council of the Association: Ričardas Panavas, Paulius Augunas, Mantas Paulauskas, Algis Drūsys, Simonas Narvydas

Following his election, President Arlauskas said: “It is our continued goal to develop the disciplines of Cross-Country, Alpine Skiing, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding. We are aiming at becoming one of the top 30 nations at World Championships and Olympic Winter Games in the coming four years.”

Behind the Scenes: The fun and excitement of the Alpine Team Event

The Alpine Team Event is a favourite at FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and World Cup Finals, and celebrated its Olympic debut at the recent PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Find out about the fun and excitement of the event in the latest edition of Behind the Scenes.

Val d’Isère offers summer skiing for first time, Kitzbuehel completes record-breaking season

After receiving more than nine metres of snowfall this winter, and with the snow still lying a metre deep in the village and at more than 2.5 metres in depth on upper runs, Audi FIS Ski World Cup host Val d'Isère (FRA) has announced it will re-open some of its winter ski runs for summer skiing in June for the first time in its 82-year history, according to a recent report from Patrick Thorne, the SnowHunter.

Val d'Isère ended its winter season on 1st May, but will re-open for snow sports on 3rd June with the slopes open for five hours daily from 7 am to noon.

Meanwhile, Audi FIS Ski World Cup host Kitzbuehel (AUT) completed its record-breaking ski season on 1st May, after six and a half months of operations – the longest season of a non-glacier ski resort in the Alps.

Kitzbuehel uses snow saved from the previous season in order to open some of its highest altitude slopes in October, with the 2017 opening having been its earliest ever.

Excluding glacier resorts the longest ski seasons in the world are typically reported by Northern resorts (Ruka in Lapland from October to May); high altitude resorts in Colorado (Arapahoe Basin from October to June or July) and resorts with a big snow record like Mammoth in California (November to June, or last year August). 

Kitzbuehel has already announced its 2018/19 season will start on 13th October.

4F becomes presenting sponsor of 4-Hills-Tournament

4F, a Polish sportswear manufacturer, has become presenting sponsor of the prestigious 4-Hills-Tournament. The four-year deal was signed by Infront, the rights holder of the "Vierschanzentournee" and official marketing partner of the German and Austrian Ski Federation for the event.

As the presenting sponsor, 4F will be integrated in the official event logo and will benefit from an extensive exposure at all four competitions on several Infront LED boards, the coaches tower and the jump-off platform as well as on all the main installations, such as the start backdrop, the exit gate and the hot air balloon. At the final event in Bischofshofen, 4F's logo will also be featured on athlete bibs as well as on the leaderboard and backdrop at the awards ceremony.

WADA appoints Director for European Regional Office and IF Relations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced the appointment of Sébastien Gillot as Director, European Regional Office and International Federation Relations. Gillot will assume the role, in Lausanne, Switzerland on 13th August 2018. 

Gillot is currently Head of Communications for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), a role he has held since 2014.

In his new role, Gillot will reinforce WADA’s mission by ensuring that the Agency’s objectives are successfully met; in particular, by leading the Agency’s support to IFs, as well as other Anti-Doping Organisations and stakeholders in Europe, in their development of effective anti-doping programmes that are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. 

Gillot will replace Benjamin Cohen, who will be leaving WADA in the coming weeks to become the first Director General of the new International Testing Agency (ITA).