FIS Forum Alpinium 2018
On the occasion of the World Cup Opening in Soelden, the traditional FIS Forum Alpinum was held at the Freizeit Arena, gathering the ski industry to talk about current topics. World Cup Organisers, National Ski Associations representatives, team officials and coaches, media, equipment manufacturers were present, while FIS, official timing and data partner Longines and Overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin brought interesting insights in what the 2018/19 season will look like.
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper took the opportunity to inform the gathered crowd about the future of Alpine Skiing, including at the Olympics. He stated that with Italy, Sweden and Canada, three strong candidates are still in the running for the Olympic Winter Games’ 2026 and he is looking forward for the Games to come back to a more traditional winter sport area.
The two FIS Race Directors Atle Skaardal and Markus Waldner were also invited to the stage to talk about the upcoming season and its challenges. While Skaardal gave insights about the upcoming Are 2019 World Championships, which look very promising, Waldner touched on the various innovations made on the protection equipment on the athletes and on the courses, all meant to improve the safety of our sport.
They also discussed the harmonisation of the parallel rule at all levels, an important topic as the individual parallel is now fully integrated as part of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup and will be on the programme of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina 2021 and onwards. Additionally both Race Directors recognised the efforts and the engagement of the Local Organising Committees to support the snow production and face climate change.
The president of Longines Walter von Känel took the floor to emphasise the deep and exceptional collaboration the Swiss brand has with Alpine Skiing since 1924 and more specifically with FIS. With the Live Alpine Data project and its Rising Star award, Longines has been very active supporting the FIS World Cup in the past years and contributed to a more sustainable World Cup. Mr. von Känel then introduced its Ambassador of Elegance and three-time Overall winner Mikaela Shiffrin.
The American superstar reflected on her last season, that included her first downhill win, her first Olympic gold medal in slalom, her fifth slalom globe and her second Overall FIS World Cup title in a row. She affirmed that she is excited to start racing and that she will be participating in all the giant slaloms and slaloms and picking some alpine combined races, downhills and super-G on the calendar. With her busy race schedule, she had to learn to measure her physical and mental energy and find the balance that’s working for her and allow her to perform at her best whenever she’s at the start.
The Forum concluded with the newly introduced “Prix Armando Trovati”. In memory Armando Trovati, of one of the pioneers of ski photography who passed away last year, his two sons Alessandro and Marco introduced the “Prix Armando Trovati” to award the best photo shot on the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup during the previous season. Hans Bezard became the first laureate by winning the prize thanks to an outstanding photo of Patrick Schweiger shot at the Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbuehel (see below).