(ATR) International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) president Ivo Ferriani will lead his fellow winter sport federations through the Covid-19 pandemic and ahead to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
New AIOWF President Ivo Ferriani (ATR)
Ferriani, 60, was unanimously elected as the new president of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) during the organization’s online General Assembly held last week. The Italian sports leader replaces the retiring Gian-Franco Kasper, who had led AIOWF since 2014.
“The biggest challenge for the members of the AIOWF is definitely the calendar planning for the upcoming events under the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ferriani says. “Some of these events are Olympic qualifiers and may have an impact on the qualification path.
“We have a regular exchange amongst the secretaries general since spring where we share information and experiences which is very helpful,” Ferriani says about the seven Olympic winter sports federations. “The event organizers worldwide do their best to make events happen and the IOC is in a constant dialogue with us regarding the qualification which is helpful as well.”
Thomas Bach and Ferriani at Lillehammer 2016 (ATR)
With 14 months until the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, the IOC Executive Board member advises cooperation between the winter federations is paramount in providing upcoming Olympic test events the best chance for success.
“The preparations of the test events scheduled for February and March 2021 are under the full influence of Covid-19,” Ferriani says. “A technical inspection group of several International Federations is currently on its way to Beijing.
“After their return, they will be able to report to their respective federation whether all technical requirements will be met and therefore the Field of Play is ready to go.”
Ferriani notes that the new sliding track in the Yanqing cluster is up and running.
“FIL and IBSF successfully conducted pre-homologation test runs two weeks ago and therefore, the track is ready for sliding,” says Ferriani, the president of IBSF since 2010.
Ferriani’s colleague and IBSF secretary general Heike Groesswang has been named as AIOWF’s new secretary general. The German replaces Sarah Lewis, who was relieved of her duties by FIS last month. Groesswang has held her position with IBSF since 2012.
An Austrian team begins bobsleigh run at PyeongChang 2018. (ATR)
Ferriani and Groesswang are working towards holding all IBSF World Cups this winter.
“We are planning to race on all series whereas the World Cups will be held in Europe and China, and the World Championships in Germany,” Ferriani says.
The BMW IBSF World Championships had to be relocated from Lake Placid to the German track in Altenburg due to the coronavirus and will be held Feb. 1-14.
An Olympic test event on the new track north of Beijing is scheduled for March 8-14. The IBSF World Cup season is scheduled to begin in Sigulda, Latvia, Nov. 20-21.
“The North American Cup Series will start in January upon request of the host nations Canada and USA,” Ferriani added.
Ferriani competed for the Italian bobsleigh team between 1982 and 1990, and raced at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. He finished 19th along with teammate and driver Stefano Ticci in the two-man event.
He moved on to coaching with the Italian, French and Canadian teams before transitioning to management, also serving as the sliding events competition manager at Turin 2006.
Ferriani also serves on the IOC’s Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission, the Sustainability and Legacy Commission, the Women in Sport Commission and the Athletes’ Entourage Commission.
Written by Brian Pinelli
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