HomeTag FIS

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The International Ski Federation’s (FIS) annual Congress held at the end of May this year was an unusually dramatic affair. Fights over media rights – whether to look at serializing the sport of Nordic skiing into something like Formula 1’s Drive to Survive – sent skiing’s international governing body into a metaphorically different part of the Netflix catalog, less Dive to Survive and more House of Cards, West Wing, or Newsroom. If only Aaron Sorkin...

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The International Ski Federation (FIS) is again postponing its ban on the use of fluorinated (fluoro) waxes, originally passed in November 2019. The decision to delay the ban’s implementation until after the 2022-23 season was announced in a press release earlier today. The FIS cites the need for “further refinement of the fluoro testing device and to define procedures to protect the integrity of FIS competitions.” The same concerns over an efficient and effective testing...

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In most sports, the question of whether men and women would compete on equal playing fields, so to speak, was answered long ago. While gender inequalities remain- a recent decision by the IOC to maintain the exclusion of Women’s Nordic Combined from the Olympics comes to mind- the sport of cross-country skiing will now be joining the list of those in which competition is equal for men and women. In a press release issued on...

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On Monday, June 20th, the Ski Associations of Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Croatia made good on threats issued after the FIS Congress in May, and filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) contesting the voting procedure that elected the unchallenged FIS President Johan Eliasch. The four nations argue that it was unlawful to deny them the option of voting no to Eliasch, and that the election procedure violated FIS statutes and...

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Elections at FIS Congresses are normally not the scene of political intrigues, particularly when there is only one candidate for President. Yet, in a surprise twist, a bloc of powerful ski nations walked out on FIS President Johan Eliasch’s uncontested election and voted out Dexter Paine, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard representative, as well as a FIS Vice President and Councilor. Prior to the vote for President on May 26th in Milan, Italy, Croatia’s representative...

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Click here to read part 1 and part 2 of this series, which takes a look at international news surrounding the Russian athlete ban through the spring. For how these bans have impacted a broader cross-section of the sporting world and analysis of the complex questions surrounding whether Russian athletes should be able to compete, check out this recent Sports Illustrated article by Michael Rosenberg. Historically, athlete bans meant to pressure a government have not...

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Click here to read part 1 of this series, which takes a look at international news surrounding the Russian athlete ban through the spring. For how these bans have impacted a broader cross-section of the sporting world and analysis of the complex questions surrounding whether Russian athletes should be able to compete, check out this recent Sports Illustrated article by Michael Rosenberg.   Concerns over both fair play and propaganda have been tied to the...

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I think we can all agree that the last two years have been a wild ride. For those at the helm of the cross-country program at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, added layers of COVID safety precautions and expensive testing have increased the otherwise mounting demands of preparing for an Olympic Games. There have been numerous domestic and international competitions canceled, including a full season of SuperTour racing in 2020/2021, numerous World Cups canceled, and three...

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With Russian athletes banned from all FIS competitions, and no end in sight for the war in Ukraine, there is a growing belief that Russian skiers are unlikely to rejoin the World Cup next season.  Some commentators have gone further, proclaiming that we have seen the last of Bolshunov, Neprayeva, and the rest of the Russian team on the international stage. The pessimism is rooted in the history of similar bans—which tend to be long...

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You’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the first episode of this season’s Devon Kershaw Show; we know. But it’s been a busy spring. This edition was recorded a couple of weeks ago, so apologies we’re not up to speed on all the latest developments, but we break down some retirements and other off-season news and we’ll be back soon with some discussion of equal distance racing and other news. You can email us...

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This press release originally appeared on fis-ski.com on Wednesday, March 18, 2022.   May marks the month of the FIS Committee meetings, debriefing the season and setting up task and changes for the upcoming ones. All proposals that were elaborated by Sub-Committees and working groups members came on the table of the Cross-Country Committee (CCC) on Wednesday, 18th May. The Committee discussed them and forwarded the confirmed proposals on to the highest authority in FIS, the...

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After officially canceling the World Cup Finals scheduled for Tyumen, Russia on February 25th the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced in a brief press release today (see below) that no replacement venue has been found, and thus the upcoming three-day race weekend in Falun, Sweden will instead absorb the event, ending the season one week prematurely.  No schedule changes have been made to the event in Falun, leaving a classic sprint, a 10/15-kilometer skate, and...

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Today the International Ski Federation (FIS) banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from taking part in any remaining FIS competitions. The press release stated, “The FIS Council decided unanimously in line with the IOC recommendation, that with immediate effect, no Russian or Belarusian athlete shall participate in any FIS competition at any level through the end of the 2021-2022 season.” The belated decision came after a power struggle between the Norwegian Ski Association...

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Has it really been a week since the Olympics already? The World Cup’s furious schedule forges on with more racing this weekend in Lahti, Finland. Special guest host, Finnish Olympic gold medalist Sami Jauhojaervi, joins us to break down those results and other Finnish highlights from this season. We also cover results from the World Junior Championships in the early part of the podcast, and finish with a brief discussion of how cross-country skiing is...

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On February 26th, the Norwegian Ski Association (NSA) released a statement indicating that in light of the nation’s recent invasion of the Ukraine, Russian participation was not welcome at the upcoming World Cup sprint races in Dramman or the storied Holmenkollen distance races outside of Oslo. In addition to these cross country events, Norway is scheduled to host competitions in alpine, nordic combined, and ski jumping, including the World Ski Flying Championships in Vikersund.  A...

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Yesterday, FasterSkier reported that the U.S. Ski Team would not be attending the World Cup finals scheduled for March 18 – 20 in Tyumen, Russia, given the nation’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday. At that time, the International Ski Federation (FIS) had not announced whether events scheduled for the remainder of the season in Russia would be held as planned, however, a FIS official had indicated on February 15th that the situation in Russia was...

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The FIS was informed by the Polish Ski Federation that the Cross-Country competitions of the Junior and U23 World Ski Championships 2022 cannot be held in Zakopane due to a planned construction in direct surrounding of the planned venue of the Cross-Country track. All events in Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined will be able to take place as previously planned. The FIS, together with National Ski Associations are intensively working on finding a solution to...

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  With wildfire smoke obscuring mountain views and compromising easy breathing in much of the West, it’s safe to say it is summer. In this episode of the Devon Kershaw Show, we mostly chat with Zach Caldwell of Vermont’s Caldwell Sport. Last season, during one of our conversations with Zach, we discussed some ideas we’d like to see in terms of an enhanced broadcast from FIS for their cross-country World Cup coverage. Zach came up...

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Over the weekend, it was reported that Gian-Franco Kasper, the former president of the International Ski Federation (FIS), died. Kasper stepped down from his role at FIS after serving the organization as president for 23 years. In total, Kasper worked 46 years for the organization. Newly elected FIS president, Johan Eliasch, memorialized Kasper in a press release. “Gian Franco Kasper was unique in the international sports community,” Eliasch said. “He built FIS from a small...

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Gian Franco Kasper, President of FIS for the past 23 years stepped down earlier this month. Under his leadership, FIS grew to be the preeminent winter Olympic sport federation. Yet despite its growth, Kasper resisted most efforts to reform and modernize FIS, and he left the organization much as he found it.   In 1975, FIS President Marc Holder needed a hand at FIS and brought in the then 29-year-old Kasper—who up to that point had...