What does a training camp for cross-country skiers in Chile, a roller ski marathon event in Ireland, and the Pakistani ski areas Naltar and Malan Jabba that trains the members of the Ski Federation of Pakistan have in common? They are all part of a new and growing competitive ski industry according to the Federation Internationale De Ski (FIS). The FIS was founded after World War One. The organization is based in Oberhofen am Thunerse, Switzerland, and it is responsible for setting the international competitive rules. (wikipedia:FIS). There are currently 118 national ski associations that participate in the FIS.
In September, 2017, The Ski resort Termas De Chillan hosted the first ever FIS cross country competition in Chile. The best athletes from seven South America countries competed in the Chilean Andes. (www.fis-ski.com). The resort also recently held a ten day training camp. It hosted 15 athletes and 3 coaches which participated in the daily training. The program was led by Aleksandar Milenkovic, a former Serbian athlete and coach of the Chilean Nordic Ski Team.
The Snowsports Association of Ireland was founded in 1971 to “promote the development of the growing sport of skiing in Ireland and affiliated to the international governing body of the sport, namely the Federation Internationale De ski (FIS)…” (www.snowsports.ie “About us”). The first roller skiing event in Irish history took place in October 2017. The event is considered an inaugural demonstration race for the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. The Snowsports Association of Ireland is looking to expand the level of competition in 2018.
The Ski Federation of Pakistan, “is the national governing body to develop and premote the sport of skiing in the Pakistan state. The federation was formed in 1990. (Wikipedia: Ski Federation of Pakistan). The Ski federation works closely with the Pakistan Olympic Association. Internationally, the federation is affiliated with the FIS. The Pakistani Ski areas known at Naltar and Malan Jabba are considered training slopes for the Ski Federation of Pakistan and the Pakistan Olympic Association and have FIS qualified courses. Recently the Ski Federation of Pakistan has released videos of activities held over the years to bolster public interest in the sport. Check out this Video of the Naltar area.
If you follow the FIS, or if you’re like me and looking forward to the next Winter Olympics, remember these three teams: The Chilean Ski Association, The Snowsports Association of Ireland, and the Ski Federation of Pakistan. Three great skiing countries and three teams to watch in the future.