The ISF (International Snowboard Federation) demands equal treatment withthe FIS (Federation Internationale de Ski) regarding the qualification forthe Olympics 2002.
The background information:
Today international snowboarding is organized by two federations – the ISF and the FIS. The number of riders participating in competitions throughout the world is approximately 100.000. More than 80% of these riders are members of the ISF and its affiliated national snowboard associations in 37 countries.
“Alpine snowboarding” and ” Half-pipe snowboarding” had first been includedas a new winter discipline at the Olympic Games in 1998. At that stage theISF had already been organizing international snowboard world cup events forseven years. The FIS, however, had only commenced to initiate FIS World Cupevents in 1994/95. It had already been a member of the IOC and was the official consultant federation. For this reason the FIS was requested (as already for the skiing disciplines) to define access requirements for aparticipation in the Olympic Games . The ISF-riders were forced toparticipate in at least two FIS competitions in order to qualify for theOlympics. The result: 63% of the snowboard competitors were ISF-riders andin the end they won 8 of 12 Olympic medals. All medals in the Half-pipe werewon by ISF-`advocates´.
The ISF-riders are questioning, why the best snowboarders in the world, members of the only world-wide snowboard federation, must obtain their qualification for the Olympics from a “Skiing federation”.
The ISF does not agree with this!The best snowboarders in the world, mainly ISF-riders and top athletes, have an ambitious goal: The participation at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City 2002.
1. On Feb. 18th , 2000 a cooperation between ISF and FIS had been suggested to the president of the FIS, Gian Franco Kasper: An “Olympic Ranking System” was to be created, enabling FIS members to qualify via FIS races, as well asISF members to qualify via ISF races. This aim had been stressed during a meeting at the ´House of Sports´, Bern (SUI) on 7th March, 2000.
The FIS is expected to take a decision at their board-meeting (next weekend 18th/19th March) – in favour of the Olympic Spirit and the fairness of sports! The Olympic Charter says that all the best athletes in the worldshall meet and compete in the Olympics!
2. On March 2nd , 2000 a further official request of the ISF (it was initially refused five years ago) was again directed to the IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, asking for recognition as consulting snowboard federation for the Olympics by the IOC in order to qualify their members to the Olympics in their own competitions.
The IOC is expected to take a decision as well. The ISF is convinced of fulfilling the criteria to become a member of the IOC.