Quick Hits: More ski resorts open in Alps, Lapland and Rockies

Most ski resorts opened in Canada, the United States and Switzerland as heavy snow fell in Western North America and the Alps in the past days.

Mt Norquay at Banff opened last Friday, the first in Canada, and was joined by a second Alberta ski area and site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, Nakiska, on Saturday. Two Swiss ski areas – Davos and Laax – also opened high altitude terrain, with Davos opening runs in its Parsenn sector.

Audi FIS Ski World Cup host Levi in Lapland also opened one run, a week ahead of hosting the World Cup slalom races for ladies and men.

In the United States a fifth ski area joined already open Arapahoe Basin and Loveland in Colorado; Mt Rose in California and Timberline in Oregon as well as the unlikely-seeming Trollhaugen in Wisconsin, which opened using machine-made snow.

More ski areas are expected to open imminently including Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone in Colorado; Lake Louise, Sunshine and Marmot Basin in Banff; Boreal in California and Andermatt in Switzerland, as well as several ski areas in Scandinavia.

Contributed by Patrick Thorne, the SnowHunter

Countdown to FIS Nordic Combined World Cup season start

There are only three weeks left until the start of the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup season presented by Viessmann with first competitions in Ruka (FIN) and the debut of the season opening mini tour from 24th-26th November 2017.

Enjoy this season preview!

Kazakhstan Ski Association receives official certificates and launces new logo

The Kazakhstan Ski Association was recently awarded the Official Certificate of Recognition from its National Olympic Committee and Certificate of Accreditation from the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

"We see these recognitions as another milestone of our National Association’s lifecycle. Kazakhstan is rapidly developing winter sports. This trend has been observed over the last decade. Some of the major changes are also happening now within Kazakhstan's sports system, including the recently adopted sports legislation reinforcing the role of National Federations, enabling holistic and effective work of the whole system. Above all, winter sports and namely ski sports are of a great popularity among the young generation of the country. This fact opens up a variety of possibilities in developing sports here and offers us a vast field to work on", commented Askar Valiyev, Secretary General of the Kazakhstan Ski Association. 

Meanwhile the Association launched a new logo, using birds as a symbol of movement, freedom and speed, and a snowflake and mountain tops as a direct association with snow sports.

Gasser and Hirscher Austrian Athletes of the Year

Last week, snowboard star Anna Gasser and skiing ace Marcel Hirscher were named the Austrian Athletes of the Year in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

Gasser received the honour at a gala held in Vienna. Last season, she won the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup as well as the Overall World Cup and the FIS Snowboard World Championship gold in Big Air. Gasser, who earned 1594 votes was followed by surprise super-G World Champion Nicole Schmidhofer who took 914 votes.

Hirscher, who won the prestigious award for the fourth time was himself in Prague (CZE) at the time of the gala in Vienna, where he received the Best European Male Athlete Award by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC). He was chosen by the ANOC jury from a shortlist provided by each of the Continental Associations over top stars including tennis ace Roger Federer (SUI) and athletics super star Mo Farah (GBR).

Hirscher was presented with the prestigious Award by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper.

Click here to watch the ceremony.

Both awards came in recognition of his outstanding achievements including winning his record-breaking sixth overall Audi FIS Ski World Cup globe in a row, in addition to slalom and giant slalom World Championship gold. In second place at the Austrian Awards was Ski Jumping ace Stefan Kraft with 1192 votes (Hirscher had 1543).

Downhill silver medallist Stephanie Venier took the Award for Rising Star which was determined by public online voting.

For all other awards, the selection was made by Austrian journalists.

Behind the Results with Wendy Holdener and Matts Olsson

In its latest edition of ‘Behind the Results’, FIS Alpine takes a look at two of its rising stars, Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener and Sweden’s Matts Olsson.

POCOG unveils "Passion Crew" uniform for PyeongChang 2018

On 6th November 2017, the official uniform that will be worn by the PyeongChang 2018 "Passion Crew" was unveiled at a special launch in Seoul.

"Passion Crew" is the collective name chosen for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games workforce, including staff, volunteers, cast members of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, security staff and contractors involved in the delivery of PyeongChang 2018. In total, that amounts to around 87,000 people (of whom 56,000 will be working during the Olympic Winter Games and 31,000 during the Paralympic Winter Games).