First there was the individual sprint. Then came Nordix-cross and the two person Team Sprint. Based on the increasing popularity of these elimination-style events, FIS is now taking it a step further.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) shocked the World on Friday when it announced that Full Contact NO Rules XC Sprint will be an Olympic event in Vancouver 2010, and a World Championship event already next season at the Nordic Worlds in Sapporo, Japan.
“This is a huge surprise, but we are excited and will be ready,” say US sprinters Koos and Newell.
Jurgberg Carpool, FIS Chief of cross country competitions made this statement regarding the new event in a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland on March 29:
“We have realized for a long time that cross country skiing need a much larger audience in order to attract the big money sponsors.
“We have decided to sell this sport to a whole new audience that, at this point has no idea that cross country skiing even exists. We will do that by making an event that will shock the TV audience on all seven continents! Full Contact NO Rules Cross Country Skiing Sprint has the potential to become bigger than Football, NASCAR, All Star Wrestling and No rules cage fighting combined.”
Virtually all kinds of tactics, including punching, kicking, hitting and pole-whacking, will be allowed.
XC skiing might become the World’s most popular sport. How and why should it be a hit?
“We have worked on developing this idea for more than two years. People on every continent like contact sports. Seeing athletes making other athletes fall by knocking each other down or off the course by hitting each other with poles, fists, elbows or even karate kicks with skis at 40-miles per hour in the downhill and so on will be more entertaining than anything you have ever seen in any sport!
“We’ll take the new event to indoor arenas around the World: Mexico City, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris, New York — here we come,” says FIS’s Jurgberg Carpool.
FIS has in order to promote this new event teamed up with the three biggest names from All Star Wrestling, The Rock, Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura.
Movie star (Walking Tall) and former All-star wrestler The Rock and Hulk Hogan have World wide name recognition and enormous goodwill with the key age groups from 5 to 35.
Jesse Ventura’s experience from the same sport, political contacts and the fact that he once placed 14th in kindergarten cross country race in Minneapolis, Minnesota — the very heart of American cross country skiing – should prove to be invaluable assets. Ventura has already established contact with Arnold Schwartsenegger and his friends in Hollywood.
“Everyone is extremely excited, this will not fail! Hollywood knows marketing! This will create sport heroes as you have never seen before,” said Ventura from his home in Beverly Hills on Friday.
“The marketing will be done to perfection like with the big movies. Clothing, blankets, pillow covers, T-shits, key-rings and hundreds of other accessories with photos of the top skiers or SKI WARRIORS, Ski-Ninja plastic toys and dolls resembling the top skiers like Hetland, Scott, Bjorgen, Brink, Koos, Newell, plastic poles that kids world wide can hit each other with and so on. We are even discussing a re-make of the cult move 'The Warriors' — this time with cross country skiers as the main gang members. That would be a riot!”
Formats and guidelines
The exact formats and guidelines for Full Contact NO Rules Sprint have not yet been finalized but it will be a rotation of: with poles in one race one and without poles but with boxing gloves in the following race.
Up until now the main problem with cross country skiing has been than few understood it. The new Full contact no-rules make it possible for any age group to understand it. Anything is legal in order to stop or hinder your competitors and win.
“The first one to cross the finish line is the winner. We’ll use some of the same format as in today’s sprint, but the prolog is out. Instead we’ll run eight qualification heats with 8-10 skiers in each heat. One warrior/skier from each heat will advance to the eight people final. We don’t want anyone to get seriously hurt so hard helmets will be mandatory while leather jackets and/or other protective gear will be optional,” said Jurgberg Carpool.
The athletes will however have belts as in martial arts. The tentative belt rankings will be:
Black belt with red stripe: The World Cup leader
Black belts: athletes with less than 10 FIS points
Brown belts: athletes with 20 to 30 FIS points
Blue belts: athletes with 30 to 50 FIS points
Purple belts: athletes with 50 to 70 FIS points
Green belts: athletes with 70 to 90 FIS points
Orange belts: athletes with 90 to 100 FIS points
Yellow belts: athletes with 100-150 points
White belts: exotic skier with more than 150 FIS points
FasterSkier.com will be back with details next week