Thursday, June 5, 2014

FIS Congress Updates from Alpine Skiing

On the fourth day of the FIS Congress in Barcelona, the Sub-Committee for Alpine World Cup and the Alpine Committee meetings attracted a big crowd which comes as no surprise as both provided an agenda full of interesting topics and reports.
In the morning, the Alpine World Cup Sub-Committee opened with a report from retiring Chairman Erich Demetz, who hosted his last meeting after 28 years as Chairman.
The torch was also passed from former Men’s Race Director Guenter Hujara his successor Markus Waldner. Hujara’s report focused mainly on the past World Cup season while Waldner formally presented his colleagues and looked ahead to the future, wishing to keep working in the direction Hujara has steered the World Cup for over 20 years.
In the meeting, Waldner also presented a proposal for a new slalom format described as "Sprint", where racers would compete in one standard length slalom run, with the top 30 qualifying to a second shortened run, the semi-final. Shortly after, the best 15 from that run would compete again on the same course in the "Big Final". The new format should be tested at next year’s slalom opening race in Levi (FIN) and though some concerns were discussed, the proposal seemed to receive a generally positive feedback, including support from the Athletes’ Commission.
Atle Skaardal, the Ladies’ Chief Race Director gave the Committee his season report, mentioning the challenges his team faced this year, some on a personal level and others caused by the difficult weather conditions, which forced many replacements and the cancellation of the Munich City Event (GER).
As every year, various small adaptations to the rules were proposed, the majority of which were accepted.
In addition, the updated short and long-term World Cup calendars for both ladies and men were presented. Among the immediate changes is the return of the men’s slalom in Madonna di Campiglio and the exclusion from the calendar of the men’s downhill in Bormio next season, with the hope to still find a solution for Bormio or find a replacement venue to host the event.
Another highlight were the presentations by the three Candidates for the 2017 World Cup Finals – Lenzerheide (SUI), Soldeu (AND) and Aspen (USA). The Organiser of the Finals will still be decided by the Council.
In the afternoon, it was the turn of the Alpine Commission to take centre stage. Chairman Bernhard Russi opened the meeting with his report as Chairman and a report from the Executive Board. The meeting continued with presentations from the various Alpine Sub-Commissions and Working Groups.
Presentations were also given by the Organisers of the next major Championships: the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (Vail-Beaver Creek), 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games (Lillehammer), 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (St. Moritz) and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games (PyeongChang).
Last but not least, the two Candidates for the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Cortina (ITA) and Are (SWE) made presentations.

Today the FIS Council will elect the Organisers of the 2018/2019 FIS World Championships, the results of which will be announced at an evening reception - being streamed live on the internet.
FIS is the governing body for international skiing and snowboarding, founded in 1924 during the first Olympic Games in Chamonix, France. Recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIS manages the Olympic disciplines of Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, including setting the international competition rules. Through its 115 member nations, more than 6’500 FIS ski and snowboard competitions are staged annually.

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