The annual Spring Meeting of the OPA (Organisation des FÃ©dÃ©rations de Ski des Pays Alpin) Nordic Commission took place in the famous Abano Terme (ITA) on 21st April. 21 representatives of the three Nordic disciplines from seven nations used the chance to review the past — and very challenging — season, and to discuss and brainstorm on ideas to develop the Nordic ski sports in the Alpine region in the future.
“The OPA competitions are besides the Junior World Ski Championships one of the most important series for athletes to gain experience for the World Cup, Continental Cup or World Cup B-levels. Their importance has grown in the last few years and we all, together with the National Ski Associations, must continue to pay attention to themâ€, said Karl-Heinz Lickert, Chairman of the OPA Nordic Commission.
Besides calendar planning for the three Nordic disciplines and the appointment of France as the host for the OPA Nordic Ski Games on 1st-2nd March 2008, the most important decision was the change of procedure for the Nordic Commission. In the future, the Nordic Commission will schedule its main decision-making meeting in the autumn while each discipline will hold their separate working meetings in the spring.
The meeting also marked the end of an era: Georg Zipfel retired as the OPA Cross-Country Coordinator after five years. Great thanks to Georg for a job well done and for displaying such enthusiasm for his work! In the future, the Cross-Country section will be managed by a Coordinating Commission, where each member country will have a representative.
Contributed by Sandra Spitz