FIS Plans for Snowsport Competitions Next Winter

In a summer message the International Ski Federation says it has a number of scenarios for next winter depending on covid-19.

In  a statement the President of FIS, Gian Franco Kasper, says the organisation is planning for a number of possibilities.

“Make no mistake, we are working on several alternative scenarios, depending on the global situation when the World Cup season begins, but our goal is to carry out our ‘Plan-A’ calendar with as few changes as the pandemic, and Mother Nature, will allow,” said Gian Franco Kasper.

International Ski Federation

International Ski Federation. Image © FIS.

The Austrian and German Ski Associations have already said they are ready to hold the planned FIS World Cup events in the coming winter season of 2020/21.

They are both working on the different conditions which may apply to sports events next winter under covid-19 restrictions.

They are working with their Health Authorities and respective Organising Committees.

At a recent conference of the Austrian Ski Federation the COVID-19 pandemic dominated proceedings.

“Sport is our lifeline and that of the active, we have to make sure that we can carry out all of our events if possible, even if we cannot allow spectators, because only then can we create the necessary conditions for the active,”  said the Austria Ski Federation President, Peter Schröcksnadel

One of the potential measures presented included adapting the programme of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season opener in Sölden, with the women’s race taking place on Friday  instead of Saturday and the men on Sunday.

This would ensure manageable health conditions for athletes, plus spectators if they are allowed to attend.

The German Ski Association is feeling optimistic about holding all its planned World Cup events.

The Association has taken into account the status of the pandemic, possible travel dates, political decisions to ease the current restrictions, the creation or revision of hygiene and safety concepts,.

Plus the impact on the athletes.

Hubertus Schwarz, Chairman of the DSV Board: “We assume as things stand today all World Cups planned in Germany will be carried out, even if competitions would have to take place with limited spectator numbers or without visitors.

“At the moment we are enhancing the hygiene concept, which takes into account the conditions on site on the one hand and the demands of the respective disciplines on the other hand, in order to do everything in our responsibility for the safety of the athletes as well as the spectators.”

International Ski Federation

Image © FIS.

We reproduce Kasper’s mid-summer message in full:

“Dear Ski Friends,

I hope this message finds everyone safe and healthy and enjoying the full swing of summer in the Northern Hemisphere even though we are currently living through one of the most unprecedented periods in modern history.

The Covid-19 pandemic has proven to be a formidable foe that continues to have many parts of the world in its full grip. But despite all of the negative headlines we read, and the  dramatic statistics, there are beacons of light that give the world hope.

One of these rays of positivity is the world of sport.

Opening up competitive sports give people a level of comfort that life can, and will, go on as it was before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

We saw when Germany’s Bundesliga re-opened it created a surge of positivity not just in Europe, but all around the globe.

The Bundesliga’s decision to resume its season created a domino effect as then other sports and leagues had the confidence, and the model, to follow suit.

Of course, we have seen on television that the sports events that are taking place are not under normal circumstances, mostly without spectators until now and with many safety and health rules and regulations in place – but still there is the commitment to bring the world back to a ‘new normal’ by starting sport and the competitions again.

The ski family is fortunate as we still have a few months before major decisions need to be made regarding the primary competition calendar and season itself is more than four months away.

Make no mistake, we are working on several alternative scenarios, depending on the global situation when the World Cup season begins, but our goal is to carry out our ‘Plan-A’ calendar with as few changes as the pandemic, and Mother Nature, will allow.

Completing this mission will only be possible with the entire FIS Family and all its stakeholders working together to weather this storm.

In all of our decisions, FIS is working together with a multitude of stakeholders, from the National Ski Associations with Local Organising Committees and rights holders,to government authorities, broadcasters and sponsors to name just a few.

It is a massive and complicated matrix, but one that we are confident we can make succeed with the engagement and positivity that everyone shares.

Already we have seen a strong level of teamwork and commitment from our FIS World Championship 2021 hosts Cortina (ITA), Oberstdorf (GER) and Yanqing (CHN), who have taken extraordinary steps to ensure that our cherished season highlights will proceed.

We believe that their commitment, much like the Bundesliga, leads to a domino effect for the rest of our World Cup and further FIS competitions, paving the way for a successful, albeit potentially unique season.

Until the winter season arrives, I wish everyone a productive yet also restful and healthy summer.

Gian Franco Kasper

FIS President