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  • Ski Federation Selects 2021 World Championship Hosts


    The Cortina 2021 bid committee celebrates in Cancun (FISI)
    (ATR) Cortina, d’Ampezzo, Italy has been awarded the 2021 World Alpine Ski Championships following four previously unsuccessful bids.

    The International Ski Federation (FIS) awarded Zhangjiakou, a Beijing 2022 Olympic venue, the 2021 World Freestyle Skiing/Snowboarding Championships. Oberstdorf, Germany won hosting rights for the 2021 World Nordic Championships.

    FIS president Gian-Franco Kasper made the announcements at the federation's congress in Cancun, Mexico late Thursday.

    Cortina and Zhangjiakou/Genting Resort were lone candidates, while Oberstdorf with 11 votes was chosen over bids from Trondheim, Norway and Planica, Slovenia, who garnered four and two respectively

    Italian Winter Sports Federation president Flavio Roda was among the FIS Council members who unanimously voted in favor of the 1956 Winter Olympic resort for the signature Alpine event. “This is a victory for all sports and business realities of Cortina d'Ampezzo which now have an important opportunity to use Cortina to project into the future,” Roda said of Cortina, which has not hosted the Alpine ski worlds since the 1956 Olympics doubled as the FIS showcase event.

    Although not in Cancun, Italian NOC president Giovanni Malagò also addressed the significance of the successful Cortina bid calling it a "remarkable achievement", praising the teamwork done of CONI, the Italian ski federation and governments. He said it represented "the winning pattern to follow to cap another fantastic dream, called Roma 2024".

    Oberstdorf, a resort in the south Bavarian Alps, will host the Nordic event for the third time after staging it in 1987 and 2005.

    “We have an organizer with massive experience hosting both annual World Cup events and previous editions of the World Championships and there is not a doubt in my mind that they will do an excellent job in 2021,” said Kasper.

    For Zhangjiakou and Genting Resort, the 2021 worlds will help organizers get ready for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

    “Ideally, the world championships will serve as the final test event for the Olympics, giving the organizers the best possible experience to prepare for the Games,”
    Mexican NOC president Carlos Padilla Bacera
    Kasper said. “It is also one of the key developing regions for freestyle skiing and snowboard, making it a perfect fit to develop and promote the sports strongly over the next five years.”

    The new high-speed railway to be constructed will connect Beijing to Zhangjiakou, which will also host Nordic and biathlon events in 2022.

    In addition to awarding the three championships for 2021, FIS also voted on Planica to stage the 2020 World Ski Flying championships for a seventh time. The non-Olympic discipline, which has held world championships since 1972, involves jumpers launching considerably further on 185-meter hills.

    More than 900 delegates representing 82 national ski associations gathered in Cancun for the congress.

    World Cup returns to Squaw Valley,
    The FIS congress took place this week in Cancun (Edwina Fordyce)
    South Korea

    The FIS World Cup race calendar for 2016-17 was also finalized. The ladies Alpine tour is headed to four new venues – 1960 Olympic host Squaw Valley and Killington, Vermont in the U.S.; Jeongseon, South Korea and Kronplatz, Italy.

    Jeongseon will serve as a test event for the PyeongChang 2018 Games as the ladies follow the men, who raced on the new Olympic downhill course for the first time in February.

    Ladies race director Atle Skaardal said it is “very important” that the tour branches out to new locations in Asia and the eastern U.S. “Asia is not very well developed as a ski market yet, and we’ve not raced there in the past, so this will be very interesting for us,” Skaardal said. “Following up on the great success of the men last year, I think we’ll be well taken care of in Korea and have great races.”

    “Killington, on the east coast of the U.S., very close to Boston, is also a very interesting site for us,” said Skaardal, a former Norwegian downhill racer. “They have a very active race environment and I think a lot of stakeholders in the sport appreciate and welcome that we’ll have a tour stop there.”

    World Cup finals were approved for Aspen, Colorado in March, while the Jan.1 city event in Munich was removed from the schedule. FIS also rubberstamped a new starting order format for Alpine downhill events in which the top racers choose their start order between 1-20 as opposed to the previous draw format.

    The FIS Congress wraps up Friday when 16 council members will be elected for new two-year terms.

    Reported by Brian Pinelli

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