fis - tHe road tO Pyeongchang 2018
With a month to go until the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, each International Federation taking part will have a different vision for how the Olympics can shape the future of its sport. The International Ski Federation (FIS) represents six separate sporting disciplines and 50 medal events.
We spoke to FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis ahead of the Games, to discuss the Federation’s aspirations, maximising fan experience and working with the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee.
What are you most looking forward to at PyeongChang 2018?
This is the pinnacle of a four year cycle for our world class winter athletes. It is a global stage not only for the athletes, but also for the nations and International Federations who take part.
For FIS specifically, we are looking forward to showcasing our six disciplines to a worldwide audience and for our athletes to bring the world of skiing and snowboarding to the casual fan. PyeongChang 2018 also presents a unique opportunity to expand our sports into a new market and territory. It is our athlete’s performances that will be the perfect advert for the sport and the Games in general, and we hope will provide the fans with an unforgettable experience.
What’s new for FIS at PyeongChang 2018?
The Olympic Games is steeped in tradition, but it is also a vehicle for innovation. PyeongChang 2018 will see the introduction of the snowboarding Big Air competition, as well as Alpine skiing’s Team Event. Both are great competitions in the FIS World Cup circuit and give FIS the capability to bring skiing and snowboarding into urban environments, which is a great way to attract new fans and followers.
What have you learned working with the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee?
Each Olympic Games is different; the Organising Committees (OCOGs) bring their own ideas, cultural aspects and twists, to ensure an engaging fan experience. We have learned quite a bit working with our colleagues on POGOC. Although they cannot be experts in all of our disciplines, they have worked tirelessly and shown true dedication to these Games, to make each medal event ready for the world.
What role do you see PyeongChang 2018 playing for the future of FIS?
The Olympics is a catalyst for the four-year cycle and generates the buzz both long and short term for our disciplines. We have the opportunity to introduce new competitions and create the next generation of stars. What happens at the Olympics serves as a spark for the future.