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U.S.A. Successful on Key Initiatives at FIS Congress


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CORRECTION: In the eighth paragraph under ‘2010 Olympics,’ please note ski cross was first included in the 2005 Freestyle World Championships while the alpine team event was held at the ’05 Alpine World Championships.

May 26, 2006
VILAMOURA, Portugal — (News Release) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) was successful on key initiatives as the biennial International Ski Federation (FIS) Congress concluded in Portugal Friday. USSA was successful in its bid for the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championships, picked up 22 events on the 2006-07 FIS World Cup calendar, led an auspicious lobbying effort to introduce women’s ski jumping into the 2009 FIS Nordic World Championships and saw ratification of a U.S. proposal for future introduction of new ski or snowboard disciplines or formats.

“This was a successful week for both our organization and our sport,” said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt, who also holds a vice president position and a seat on the 17-member FIS Council. “In addition to our success in bringing key events to America, we saw some good direction established in the management of new events in our sport.”

USSA’s lobbying effort on behalf of women’s ski jumping focused on the successful growth of the sport from the grassroots up. “The growth of women’s ski jumping, especially when its sport community started focusing on grassroots growth through the FIS Continental Cup, is the perfect example of how new sports can grow efficiently and effectively,” said USSA Vice President of Athletics Alan Ashley.

Growing interest in new disciplines and formats is creating an ever-changing playing field for sport in the 21st Century. A U.S. proposal to look at long-term factors to successfully introduce new events was ratified unanimously by the FIS Congress.

“Our sport has seen great interest in new disciplines and formats,” said Ashley. “We need to look carefully at all of them and manage them for long-term stability. Women’s ski jumping is a great example of how a sport can grow athletically in a sound manner.”

The weeklong FIS Congress featured committee meetings, FIS Council meetings and the biennial FIS Congress that is open to representatives from the more than 100 FIS member national associations. Other actions included:

Alpine — Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany
Freestyle — Deer Valley Resort, USA
Nordic — Oslo, Norway
Snowboard — La Molina, Spain

Four new ski events will be under consideration by Vancouver organizers (VANOC) for possible inclusion in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games with recommendation by the FIS or IOC. Approval from VANOC is required with eventual approval by the IOC at its July 2007 meeting in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Those events include: alpine team event and freestyle ski cross, both of which were included in the 2005 FIS World Championships, as well as nordic combined mass start and women’s ski jumping, both of which were approved for inclusion in the 2009 FIS Nordic World Championships with details to be confirmed by Liberec, Czech Republic, organizers.

A FIS Council proposal to prohibit athletes and officials from gambling on events in which they are involved was approved by the FIS Congress.

A FIS Council proposal to amend FIS Anti-Doping Rules to disqualify a team from a team event when an individual in the team was disqualified in another event was approved by the FIS Congress.

A FIS Council proposal establishing minimum criteria for FIS disciplines (i.e. alpine, freestyle, etc.) and events (i.e. giant slalom, moguls, etc.) was approved by the FIS Congress. Key criteria for a discipline is participation by 12 nations on at least two continents; key criteria for events is introduction into FIS-sanctioned events for at least three years before inclusion in a World Championshipss; key criteria to hold a valid World Championships (including Junior Worlds) is eight participating nations.