Several of the alpine world’s biggest stars have signed a protest against Fi’s climate work. One of the proposals to reduce the impact on the environment is to postpone the season, partly because it is difficult to get snow in early competition locations and to avoid long pre-season camps on the other side of the globe.
Something the Swedish confederation supports.
– We see it as extremely positive, says Kalle Olsson Bexell from the Swedish Skiing Association.
Even the riders are positive about a change:
– If you see how the situation is, I think it is reasonable to start the season later. Now it’s always a battle against the clock. In order to get training, you have to go to other parts of the world, such as South America, to finish in time, says Mattias Rönngren.
The start of the season in October combined with the lack of snow in Europe has meant that several nations chose to load up in South America.
– I think the important thing is to reduce travel in the calendar, says Hilma Lövblom.
Another one who wants to move the season forward is Fi’s president Johan Eliasch, who believes that he has pushed the issue since he was elected as president two years ago.
– This year we will start at least a week later, we have tried to push it to two or three weeks later but we had too much resistance from the Austrian Ski Federation and Sölden, says Eliasch, who believes that Austria wants to start the season early to get a commercial hype.
Fis believes that the process of changing the competition calendar is complex, as it takes place in a dialogue with the national associations, rights holders and organizers.
– It is not always as easy to change things as people think, sometimes associations see that there is criticism and that there are better solutions. The opinion helps a lot because it is quite clear that we have to start later. There is no logic in starting in October when there is no snow on the ground, says Johan Eliasch.