As part of the IOC Olympic Solidarity ‘Courses for Coaches’ project, long-term coach and FIS Cross-Country expert Georg Zipfel was sent by FIS to Ulan Bator, Mongolia from 9th to 14th August to deliver a coaches’ training. 18 Mongolian Cross-Country coaches from around the country including five ladies took part in the seminar entitled “From pupil to an elite skier” and followed with interest the education provided by the former national coach of Germany. “We had a great atmosphere and perfect cooperation during the entire meeting,” said Zipfel on his return home. “I was impressed by what I saw there. The Mongolian skiers definitively have great potential as they are physically very strong but they need our support. Their biggest handicap is the equipment, starting from skis to poles, shoes and course preparation facilities.”
30 km outside of Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, an official training center Kahan Dgait provides a venue for Cross-Country skiers and biathletes to prepare themselves for upcoming highlights such as the Youth Olympic Games 2012 in Innsbruck/Seefeld (AUT) and the Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi (RUS). The training center currently features a limited standard but a reconstruction of the center is planned. According to Georg Zipfel, the area offers a range of great possibilities for Cross-Country infrastructure such as a stadium and variable courses. So far Mongolia has about 130 active male Cross-Country skiers who compete and about the same number of female athletes.
“During the seminar, we touched on a number of items, from the theory of training to practical dry land training units and rules including FIS points and homologation of courses. As a highlight we conducted a training session with local young talents,” explained Zipfel and added: “Mongolia is on a good way with solid support by the military for national skiers and recruiting programs for young talent from schools. I am sure there are many athletes with potential to succeed. I want to thank our Mongolian friends for their cooperation last week, especially Tunga who supported the seminar as translator.”