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Image Credit: GEPA

The traditional FIS autumn meetings were held last week in Zurich, Switzerland, as an occasion for the various alpine subcommittees and working groups to meet and finalize preparations for the upcoming season. As usual when heading into an Olympic season, there were no major rule changes. However, some important topics were discussed and decisions made.

At the Subcommittee for Alpine World Cup, two candidates were bidding for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals 2021: the Bulgarian venue Bansko and the Swiss resort Lenzerheide. The FIS race directors inspected both competition sites and attested that Bansko and Lenzerheide are both in a very good shape to host the Finals, and the subcommittee voted in favor of the Swiss organizer. Lenzerheide will host its sixth World Cup Finals and welcome the 25 best ladies and men for the season finale in 2021.

On the men’s World Cup, the new giant slalom ski radius that was decided on last year will go into effect from the Soelden opener onward. Additionally, the coaches’ working group agreed to no longer appoint all course setters at the beginning of the season. Instead, they’ll draw each course setter five days prior to the competition. This will bring more suspense to the tour and improve fairness by preventing the teams from planning to train specific combinations on specific slopes prior to the competition. Not having experienced any issues with course setters in the past, the ladies’ side opted to draw all course setters at the start of the season.

Another topic was of great interest to the ladies’ tour: the official proposal from U.S. Ski & Snowboard to grant Lindsey Vonn a one-time exception–based on her great achievements–to race with the men in the 2018 Lake Louise downhill. Earlier in the week, the Executive Board decided to table this decision and discuss this motion again at the FIS Congress next May since the request is for a competition in the 2018-19 calendar year.

World Cup calendars for the upcoming seasons were also presented. The 2017-18 season will count 79 competitions at 32 resorts with a season finale in Are, Sweden, where all the tracks and infrastructures for the 2019 World Championships will be tested. Oslo made its entrance onto the World Cup calendar with a highly anticipated City Event in the Holmenkollen Arena on Jan. 1, while Courchevel, France, will host a parallel slalom and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, a two-run downhill for the first time.

The season highlight will undoubtedly be the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in Feb. 2018. The final inspection showed that the speed venue in Jeongseon and the tech venue in YongPyong are ready to welcome the athletes and host the event. View the full 2017-18 calendar here.

All proposals and decisions are subject to approval of the FIS Council, which will meet in November for the final decisions.

Release courtesy of FIS

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