FIS is trying to keep up with the times? Changes in cross country skiing competitions, some quite radical, are on the horizon
You have to believe it since it comes straight from the boss:
Speaking to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, Vegard Ulvang, chairman of the executive board of the
FIS’ cross-country committee, had this to say:
“ It is very likely that there will be changes in World Championship program in cross country skiing .We have had the same program since the World Championship 2005 in Oberstdorf, so it may be time to adapt. We must be as attractive possible”.
The program of the the World Championship in Seefeld-2019 is set & safe ( and remains traditional).
Beyond that, however, all bets are off:
Among potential changes:
– Skiathlon is out, 2 separate races, with handicap start in a second one a.k.a pursuit are in ( or, rather back again)
Reason: it’s too difficult for organizers to prepare for. Says Ulvang “It requires wide tracks, because it’s a mass-start. You need to have two different tracks for classic and skating styles. Also it’s expensive to produce for TV – due to two separate tracks”.
– Sprints in classic style would be dropped ( no reason provided).
– Introducing the elements of ski-cross in skate sprints – like springboards and jumps. This one will surely send ski purists in a tizzy. However, the organizers of the World Cup meet in Canada have been adding springboards for several years now. The skiers didn’t complain ( much) – and fans loved it.
– Finally, the mixed gender team-sprint – an obvious borrowing from the Supermix in biathlon,
Ulvang adds that the main proponents of changes are the Continental European nations
“In the countries, where cross-country skiing isn’t that popular, they see a need for fewer formats, to make the sport more understandable to people”
All right, this one definitely calls for some discussion. What do you think of proposed changes – do you share your comments here, at the Dailyskier pages
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