Major FIS Staffing changes announced
Some well-known names have been tabbed to replace the first FIS alpine technical staff at World Cup and Continental Cup level. Heading the list are Hannes Trinkl, Emmanuel Couder and Jean-Philippe Vulliet. Markus Waldner will take over the Gunter Hujara position as men’s World Cup Race Director. Atle Skaardal retains the position on the women’s circuit. Peter Gerdol will be coordinator for Continental Cups.
Hannes Trinkl, 45, will be the race director for men’s speed events. As for former downhill world champion (2001) He is a suitable choice. He also earned an Olympic bronze medal in super G. Since retiring from racing he has remained involved on the organizational side, serving as vice-president of the Austrian Ski Association and as chief of race for World Cups held at Hinterstoder.
Emmanuel Couder, 42, takes on the role of Coordinator for the men’s technical events. A qualified FIS Technical Delegate, for the past seven years he has served as Director of the Val d’Isère Sports Club, during which time he was also Sports Director of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2009. Couder has led the organization of the annual men’s and ladies FIS Alpine World Cup among many other events run by the Val d’Isère Sports Club throughout the year.
Jean-Philippe Vulliet, 54, is appointed as Race Director for the ladies speed events. Coach of the French Ladies teams since 1988 in different positions and notably for nine years as head coach, Vulliet’s career has also included coaching spells in the US and with the Swiss team.
Peter Gerdol, 50, will succeed Markus Waldner as FIS Continental Cup Coordinator responsible for the European, Nor-Am, Far East, South American and Australian New Zealand Cups. These circuits provide an essential platform for young athletes to prepare for the step up to World Cup. Gerdol is the sport manager in the ski resorts of Tarvisio and Sella Nevea (ITA) and has served as chief of race for all international competitions at Tarvisio since 1996 including the FIS World Cup and Junior World Championships, as well as being a FIS Technical Delegate.
FIS Race Director for the ladies speed events, Jan Tischhauser, 63, will retire in spring 2014 after his 21st season in the position.
Before joining FIS, he worked for 16 years as a World Cup men’s and ladies coach of several nations including USA, Australia, New Zealand, France and Switzerland, during which period his athletes won 10 medals at Olympic Winter Games and FIS World Championships, nine FIS World Cup trophies and a total of 54 World Cup races.
Tischhauser, a former alpine skiing athlete himself brought considerable international experience to the position with FIS and said: “I have great respect for what the athletes are doing and have taken considerable pride working for FIS developing the ladies speed events over the last 21 years. Being out on the mountain all day and sometimes all night can be very tiring and at the same time the job requires a great amount of concentration. In addition, travelling in the mountains with the unpredictable weather and the snow bears its share of danger and I feel that it is the right time to step down after this Olympic season having worked 42 years as a professional in the ski racing business”.
Helmut Schmalzl retires in 2015 after 15 years
Helmuth Schmalzl, 64, will retire in 2015 after 18 years as FIS Race Director for the men’s speed events working together with Chief Race Director, Günter Hujara. A top ski racer in the early 1970’s, with four World Cup podiums to his name and 4th in the World Championship giant slalom in St. Moritz 1974, Schmalzl became Winter Sports Director for Piancavallo ski resort after retiring from racing in 1975. In 1998 he took on the responsibility of head coach for the Italian men’s team, including during the Tomba years.
His quiet unassuming manner on the World Cup courses belied his presence supporting the Organizers and course workers day and night. He commented: “It is difficult to foresee the development of the snow and weather conditions in the mountains. Planning ahead can thus be a very challenging task. But regardless of how easy or difficult it was to organize and hold a race, each one of the World Cups has been a highlight for me.”
Hans Pieren will conclude his role as Race Director for the technical events at the end of the 2013/14 season after two years with the ladies circuit and seven years with the men. After twelve seasons competing on the World Cup circuit as a renowned giant slalom specialist, Pieren remained true to the alpine circuit after ending his career as an athlete in 1993, where he became chief of race for the World Cup in his hometown Adelboden in 1995, a role he continues to fulfil, alongside running the family business selling ski racing accessories.
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper commented: “On behalf of FIS, we would like to thank pioneers Jan Tischhauser and Helmut Schmalzl for the important role they have played in the professionalization of FIS Alpine Skiing, as well as to Hans Pieren for his engagement. They have paved the way for the new race directors Hannes Trinkl, Emmanuel Couder and Jean-Philippe Vulliet who have all the necessary credentials for these important positions.”
FIS Alpine World Cup from spring 2014 – Ladies Team
Atle Skaardal – Chief Race Director
Jean-Philippe Vulliet – Race Director Speed Events
Markus Mayr – Race Director Technical Events
Andi Kroenner – Technical Operations Manager
Jerome Krieg – Media Coordinator, Ladies
FIS Alpine World Cup from spring 2014 – Men’s Team
Markus Waldner – Chief Race Director
Helmut Schmalzl / Hannes Trinkl – Race Director Speed Events
Emmanuel Couder – Race Director Technical Events
Mike Kertesz – Technical Operations Manager
Ana Jelusic – Media Coordinator Alpine Skiing
FIS Continental Cup
Janez Fleré – Alpine Technical Coordinator / European Cup Ladies
Peter Gerdol – Continental Cup Coordinator
Tatjana Lüssy – Alpine Assistant
Anja Joerg – World and Continental Cup Assistant