Dear Ski Friends and Family,
With the autumn chill in the air and the first snow on the peaks of the mountains, it can only mean that it is time for us to turn our attention to the slopes and the competition season in our six Olympic disciplines.
It has been a busy autumn for FIS and it will continue at a rapid pace next week when the Mainau Forum is staged, bringing the important theme of sustainability to the forefront. This high-level academic Forum will gather top experts to discuss topics related to the theme: ‘The Future of the Mountain Population’. The aim is bring our key stakeholders together to discuss how the mountain communities can best deal with the reality of climate change. In conjunction with the Forum, the FIS Council will also convene for its semi-annual Meeting.
As with every year, we spend a lot of time in the off season continuing to ensure that all of our disciplines continue to evolve and attract new fans and ensuring we are on the cutting edge of promoting our sport globally. In a year with no Olympics and World Championships, outside of Ski Flying, it gives our FIS World Cup competition series the chance to shine. This is the product that we present to the world year-in and year-out and is the calling card of our organisation. I urge every Organiser to seize this once-every-four-year opportunity with enthusiasm and innovation.
While our stakeholders, the National Ski Associations and their Teams, Organisers, Ski Industry and the Media amongst others are making their final preparations for the winter season, we must also remember that our sport is a year round commitment as every discipline now offers a full calendar of events during the off-season. There was much action in the Southern Hemisphere during their winter months. Additionally, the Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined athletes took part in another successful Summer Grand Prix, which continues to grow with new competitions in new locations added to the calendar. And naturally the Cross Country athletes traded their skis for roller skis during the summer months.
Earlier this week, FIS welcomed the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games Torch Celebration tour to its headquarters in Oberhofen (SUI). It was heartening to see that more than 300 school children came out to be inspired by the Youth Olympic Games message, and it was even more heartening to see that when asked if they will ski this season, the majority of the children raised their hands. This is why we are all here – to ensure that the next generation of youngster takes to the slopes to keep our industry flourishing. There is no better way to promote the sport than via our World Cup competitions, which create heroes and idols for children around the globe.
Now that winter is nearly upon us, I hope that everyone is fully prepared for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. It is time for the hard work and sweat during the summer months to pay off on the slopes. I wish everyone the best of luck in the upcoming season and want to thank all of the FIS stakeholders for their year-round dedication to making our sport great.