During this ski season, many of the world’s top ski racers met with coaches and FIS officials to discuss the, unfortunately, growing trend of injuries among pro ski racers.
The talks, spearheaded by a passionate Aksel Lund-Svindal, above all stressed the urgency for which FIS officials need to examine course safety. Well, following those talks, action has begun.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) has launched a study by the University of Salzburg into all the dangers involved in alpine ski racing. During the 2008-2009 season, 43% of all alpine World Cup skiers sustained some kind of injury, and 23 of them were ruled out for at least eight days. This season saw similar numbers. The Canadian team was hit especially hard leading up to the Vancouver Games.
The first stage of the FIS study will involve interviews with athletes, coaches, officials and equipment suppliers. The initial results will be presented at the FIS congress in Antalya, Turkey in June. Over the next two seasons the on-going research will focus on everything from course setting and race speed to snow quality, course preparation, and equipment.