30th December 2021
Last modified on January 3rd, 2022
Snowsports will be taken to the ‘next level’ as a result of ‘groundbreaking proposals’ that are being worked on. That’s the word from Johan Eliasch in his first New Year Message as the head of the sport’s world governing body.
The Swede was elected President of the International Ski Federation in June 2021.
He took over from Gian Franco Kasper who stepped down after 23 years leading FIS.
In his message, the new President looks ahead to the Beijing Olympics in February and says new, mixed events are a great step in the right direction to improve diversity.
We reproduce the message in full below:
2021 was a very eventful year. It was marked by farewells, challenges and new beginnings.
Gian Franco Kasper passed away, leaving a permanent positive legacy on skiing and snowboarding, after a tireless contribution spanning over 40 years. His incredible service to Snowsports and his open and honest personality will be etched in our memories forever.
Over the past months, we have laid important foundations on which we can build a bright and successful future for FIS.
The adoption of our Statutes has enhanced our governance framework and will help kick start our reform process. There remains much to be achieved.
We have established 14 working groups, in which a highly experienced and knowledgeable selection of colleagues are working on groundbreaking proposals to take our sport to the next level.
FIS recently joined the Sports for Climate Action Framework and is committed to achieve net zero emissions. We have also launched the FIS Rainforest Project which will make us the first Climate Positive international sports federation during 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have impact on our planning and confronts us and our athletes and their teams with complex logistical issues. But our collective experience from the past two seasons has enabled us to tackle the 2021/22 season without major disruption.
The start of the Alpine season in Soelden was successful, as was the Big Air Chur, where our Freeski and Snowboard athletes started the season and inspired tens of thousands of spectators with sport and music. The Nordic disciplines began their competitions in Ruka, Finland in great style.
This is only the beginning with much more to come.
We are very pleased that the Nordic Combined Women’s World Cup continues into its second season with 10 events, that will include for the first time both a mixed team competition and a mass start in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Our women ski jumpers will compete in two knockout competitions in Ljubno, Slovenia and are following in the footsteps of the men’s Four Hills Tournament by launching their own competition series.
January for the Alpine skiers is marked by tradition with the classics in Adelboden, Wengen and Kitzbuhel before the entire FIS family heads to the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
Participating in the Olympics is a very special moment for all athletes, being the culmination of their hopes and dreams.
With a mixed team snowboard competition, a mixed team ski jumping competition, men’s and women’s big air competitions and a mixed team aerials competition, we are very excited to have five new events in the Olympic programme.
The additional mixed events are a great step in the right direction to promote mixed disciplines and diversity.
I wish all our athletes every success for these Olympic Games, and we look forward to their inspiring performances.
Finally, I wish all our member associations, organisers, volunteers, media representatives, suppliers, racing teams, sponsors, partners and fans a successful and, above all, healthy 2022.
May we continue to face all challenges together through cooperation, exchange, openness, dedication and trust, and let Snowsports prosper.
Johan Eliasch FIS President
© International Ski Federation