Kasper seeks to extend lengthy FIS presidential tenure

Gian Franco Kasper has announced his intention to pursue a sixth term as president of the International Ski Federation (FIS).

The 73-year-old made the announcement at the federation’s autumn meeting held on Saturday at FIS headquarters in Oberhofen, Switzerland. Kasper (pictured) was re-elected unopposed for a fifth term in office in June 2014.

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member, Kasper has led the FIS since 1998. The Swiss official previously served as the governing body’s secretary general from 1975.

In April 2014, Kasper was elected to return as president of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), which represents the seven winter Olympic sports.

Kasper’s announcement was part of a raft of news to emerge from Saturday’s meeting. The Swiss resort of Lenzerheide was formally approved as host of the Alpine Ski World Cup Finals in 2021, following its recommendation by the Sub-Committee for the Alpine World Cup.

In other hosting news, the 2021 Telemark World Championship will be staged in Mürren/Schilthorn (Switzerland). The Nordic Junior World Championship will be held in Vuokatti (Finland) in 2019 and Wisla (Poland) in 2021. The 2021 Alpine Junior World Championship will take place in Bansko (Bulgaria).

In cross country skiing, the FIS Council approved a new distribution system at individual World Cup and stage World Cup competitions to allow more athletes to earn prize money, increased to the top 20.

The FIS also outlined its future strategy with regards the winter Olympic Games. FIS applications to the IOC for the consideration of new events to be included on the programme of future editions of the Games include ski jumping mixed team competition (third application), ladies’ Nordic Combined individual competition (gender equity) and freestyle ski big air events for men and women (second application).

A further six events have been submitted to May’s 2018 FIS Congress, where the presidential election will take place, for eventual proposal to the IOC. These include alpine skiing individual parallel event, freestyle ski aerials mixed team event, snowboard cross team event, snowboard mixed team parallel event, snowboard parallel slalom and Telemark parallel sprint and team parallel sprint.