The FIS Autumn meetings 2018 had a Nordic Combined Committee meeting on schedule where the competition summer 2018 was evaluated and last details for the upcoming season discussed.
Race Director Lasse Ottesen presented a report on the past Summer Grand Prix and Youth Cup 2018. Both series successfully held all planned summer events.
The FIS Youth Cup in Oberstdorf had almost 90 starters from 12 nations on start and made a big step towards gender parity with 38 girls and 45 boys taking part in the competition in three different categories. Especially important for this age group is the implementation within the programme of the Summer Grand Prix. The big stars of Nordic Combined are handing the trophies to the young Youth Cup athletes during shared prize giving ceremonies - a big, motivating moment for the Nordic Combined athletes of the future.
The Summer Grand Prix 2018 features the premiere of a ladies’ summer event in Oberwiesenthal. While the starting field was still small, the level of competition was very high and the fight for the podium was tight. Oberwiesenthal also broke the record of spectators yet again with more than 11.000 people visiting men’s and ladies’ events in the course of the weekend.
The men’s tour continued to Villach, Oberstdorf and Planica and even with very rainy and stormy weather bringing some challenges at some venues, still the total spectator number of the Summer Grand Prix 2018 was at approximately 20.000. On the ladies’ side, Tara Geraghy-Moats (USA) and Stefaniya Nadymova (RUS) shared the inaugural ladies’ Summer Grand Prix title, on the men’s side Austria’s Mario Seidl was the best athlete of the summer tour.
The Race Director proceeded to present the final calendars for the upcoming winter season, with Trondheim moving to its own weekend at the end of January on the World Cup and the final confirmations for the two venue stage for men and ladies in the USA in the Continental Cup being notable points. The Continental Cup finals in Nizhny Tagil (RUS) will now feature Mass Starts for Men and Ladies on the second-but-last competition day. This marks the first time the ladies will compete in another format next to the Individual Gundersen 5 km event.
To foster the development of Ladies’ Nordic Combined, the Committee founded a new working group that will be lead by Committee members Billy Demong (USA) and Suzanne Takh (EST). They will reach out to key personnel involved on the ladies’ side of the discipline and offer opportunities to exchange information and experience and discuss topics and issues.
All decisions made still have to be confirmed at the FIS Council meeting on November 15th and 16th in Oberhofen (SUI).