Dear ski friends,
First of all, I would like thank you all for great cooperation during the winter 2011/12. I know, it hasn’t always been easy, but I can only tell you that the working conditions for the Cross-Country Race Director were very comfortable. First of all, by always having positive persons around, your life is made easy; secondly, it brings you confidence when you know that great knowledge and experience exist in the team, and thirdly, because many skilled persons are sharing their expertise and support the World Cup events.
We are happy about the development of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear: the interest has never been higher than this year and we saw beautiful competitions and tight fights until the end. Moreover, we registered Poland as a new country organizing World Cup events in a great atmosphere and well managed logistics even though they had about 2.5 m of snow and heavy snowfall during the World Cup events. Of course, the well profiled athletes are a great support and in the meantime they too know the business. With Kikkan Randall the first female from the USA won a crystal globe for the sprint ranking. Even without a title year, the season 2011/12 was able to keep the interest on a high level and we never have had more booked commentary positions during the World Cup Final in Falun.
Regardless, we still like to reflect about many issues and I’m sure we are all eager to improve the World Cup on a broad basis. One of the basic issues remains TV production, however, because even if all other factors are good, poorly televised product destroys a lot. We will follow up on this topic at our next TV seminar in April 2012. During the next two months many other meetings will also take place so that final discussions and decisions can be taken at the next Committee meetings and the FIS Congress which will take place at end of May and beginning of June.
This was my last season as FIS Race Director. I can leave my job with many good feelings and great friendships. Today’s Cross-Country Skiing is a modern sport after we were able to re-launch and re-position the sport. Thanks to to my new position as Director Nordic with FIS Marketing AG, I will still be around and believe that the marketing input might come to play a bigger role for the sport and calendar discussions of the future whilst strong marketing tools should support the Nordic calendar and title events. I’m 100 % convinced that the new structure of the team around Pierre Mignerey, Sandra Spitz and Michal Lamplot will allow Cross-Country Skiing to move forward and develop further. I wish them good luck and I’m looking forward to continuing to cooperate with you in my new role.