The End of the FIS?
Dictatorial governing bodies full of unaccountable appoin-
tees have no place in our modern world, even in Europe. If
the FIS refuses to consider the input of the athletes whom
it supposedly represents, then maybe it is time for a new,
competing ski racing organization. Where is it written that
only the FIS can govern ski racing? It has happened in other
sports, and maybe it is time for ski racing. It is ridiculous
that the FIS can decide to make changes of such scope
and magnitude without support from its major stakeholders.
It goes all the way to the bottom of the supply chain: how
many parents are simply going to pull their junior racers
when they learn that all the gear they picked up at the local
ski swap is no longer legal, and they have to mortgage their
foreclosed house to buy all new stuff? It is the end of ski
racing or the end of the FIS. Take your pick.
Incline Village, NV
Good Intentions Gone Bad
Prior to making its final decision, the FIS should look care-
fully at the “good-intentions-gone bad” clause in the human
contract. The world is fraught with this syndrome and skiing
has a classic example of what not embracing progressive
change can do.
Shouldn’t it be the athletes, in concert with their coaches
and the R&D departments of their factory sponsors, who
provide the most relevant input on any discussion relative to
equipment, technique and the relationship to safety issues?
They’re on the front line and possess both the experience
and knowledge — not to mention R&D budgets — to make
the best choices for themselves and the sport.
Clearly, the FIS has a very important role in safety, espe-
cially in regard to venue safety. But it’s a responsibility they
should share with the athletes and coaching staffs. When it
comes to performance-related decisions, and sides are at
polar opposites, surely the opinions of seasoned veterans
such as Didier Cuche must carry more weight than those of
Having had the benefit of a professional ski career for 25-
plus years (during the first wave of technology) I clearly saw
that the lack of embracing progressive change caused the
decline of the ski industry in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Advance-
ments in equipment and technique had peaked and resorts
were confined by their boundaries — not much “thrill” factor
to offer the next generation of young skiers.
Recently, the ski side of the snow sports industry has
seen a remarkable recovery in participation, especially with
young skiers. In part, that’s been due to a return to its roots
of innovation and excitement. There are more new designs
and brands of skis than at any other time in the industry’s
history. Adding to the excitement created by this diversity of
products has been the willingness of resorts to open their
boundaries. It’s cool to ski again, and today’s youth are em-
Oh, that classic example of what happened to skiing when
we didn’t embrace progressive change in the ‘80s — snow-
The FIS should listen and respond to the racers, coaches
and factory sponsors they serve so that we can continue
to attract the next generation of young guns to challenge
themselves on the world’s great ski racing venues.
Park City, Utah, and Newport Beach, Calif.
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Didier Cuche: More weight han FIS officials?
SkiRacing.com NOVEMBER 21, 2011 | 5