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Kasper: Liberec 2009 marks a new milestone for FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

01. 03 2009 11:00:00

Liberec, February 28th, 2009 -- “We have experienced great championships here in Liberec,” summarized Gian Franco Kasper, FIS President on the second last day of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec (CZE).
“These FIS Nordic World Ski Championships mark a new milestone in the history of our championships. It is the first time that a nation without many of their own national favorites has organized such successful championships. On several days there were very significant numbers of spectators at the venues and the final figure should reach to 180’000-200’000 spectators in 12 days. The evening medal ceremonies at the Liberec Medal Plaza, each night full with fans from around the world, were a truly emotional tribute to our best Nordic skiers. And this was achieved with continual snowfall for most of the championships making travelling conditions more difficult for the visitors. Despite the complicated weather conditions, we were able to carry out the competitions fully according to the International Competition Rules thanks to the great work by the organizing committee and the juries.  Special recognition belongs to the Liberec 2009 teams at the two sports venues, Vesec for Cross-Country Skiing and Jested for Ski Jumping, who spared no effort to prepare the best possible conditions for the athletes to perform no matter what the weather was like. The host broadcaster, Czech TV has also done an outstanding job in providing hundreds of hours of excellent coverage for the entire world.”
President Kasper added: “These championships have been far better than expected after a few challenges during the last two years. We were concerned about a lack of snow, organizational shortcomings and lack of resources. In the end, none of these fears came true and instead, we have enjoyed a well-organized Nordic ski festival in very wintry conditions. The special theme days, Norwegian and Italian days in honor of the future championships organizers along with the Slovak and Czech days and the EU day today, added true international flair to this fortnight of celebration of the Nordic ski sports.”
“For FIS and the general development of the sport of skiing, it is important to have many different nations on the podium. With 15 (status Saturday after ladies’ 30km) here at Liberec and given the new record of participating nations – 59 – we can be pleased that we are moving in the right direction for the Nordic disciplines,” he noted.
Liberec 2009 hosted the historical first FIS World Championships in ladies’ Ski Jumping where we saw some great talents coming up in the sport. We also saw that the number of participating athletes and nations continues to develop whilst that the differences between the top athletes and the field are still significant. President Kasper went on to say: “I am optimistically looking forward to the decision of the International Olympic Committee on inclusion of the ladies’ Ski Jumping in the program of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, expected after the 2010 Games. The Ski Jumping Committee will be tasked with considering the future development of ladies ski jumping. This could include the introduction of a ladies’ team event in future FIS Nordic Ski Championships when the sport is ready with the minimum number of 8 teams to count as a medal event.
Concerning the second new event on the Liberec 2009 program, the Nordic Combined mass start, we expect this to be thoroughly analyzed as part of the overall season assessment. Nordic Combined is currently in the process of a thorough revision and the mass start, too, will be evaluated as part of the discipline's new philosophy,” President Kasper concluded.
The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 will be held in Oslo (NOR) from 23rd February-6th March 2011.
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About FIS

Founded in 1924 during the first Olympic Games in Chamonix, France, the International Ski Federation (FIS) aims to promote the sport of skiing and snowboarding and directs the development of all ski and snowboarding activities world-wide. It administers the Olympic disciplines of Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, including setting the international competition rules. With the help of its 110 member nations, FIS stages more than 6’000 ski and snowboard competitions annually. FIS also makes recommendations for recreational skiing and snowboarding in the interest of all and promotes play in the snow as a healthy leisure activity for children and the youth. For more information, please visit www.fis-ski.com.


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