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FIS President Eliasch has “no idea”

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FIS President Eliasch has “no idea”

DSV sports director Wolfgang Maier cannot do anything with the leadership style of FIS President Johan Eliasch. A main point of contention in the power struggle between the European associations and the world association: the central marketing sought by Eliasch. (picture alliance / Wagner / Ulrich Wagner)

What a winter for Lena Dürr: The German ski racer finished the slalom ranking in second place behind US star Mikaela Shiffrin. And that despite considerable difficulties in the last race in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria) on Saturday, where it was just enough to finish 15th. Nevertheless, this is the best overall World Cup result for a German in the slalom since 2011, when Maria Höfl won. Even smell the little crystal ball.

For Wolfgang Maier, sports director of the German Ski Association (DSV), this is of course a reason to be happy. Maier summed up Dürr, who was on the podium four times during the season, in the Deutschlandfunk interview: “With the consistency with which she was either on the podium or just off the podium, Lena has a lot for her personally ensured a good season.” Dürr herself emphasized that she was very satisfied with the entire season: “Second place makes me proud.”

Maier sees ski falls as a normal risk in “entertainment”

However, the season wasn’t just about brilliant moments, there were also some serious falls. The list of accidents is long: The winter was over for Marco Schwarz after a cruciate ligament tear in Bormio (Italy), and the same thing happened to Petra Vlhova in Jasna (Slovakia). Aleksander Aamodt Kilde suffered a cut and nerve injury in his calf in Wengen (Switzerland) and also dislocated his shoulder. Sofia Goggia had to miss the sails due to a broken tibia and fibula during a training run at the end of January.

There was criticism of the strain placed on the athletes in the busy racing calendar, with former world-class skier Höfl-Riesch saying on Bayerischer Rundfunk: “Especially in Cortina – I spoke to the women’s downhill coach – they made the waves heavier for the spectacle. One or the other cruciate ligament can’t stand that.”

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DSV sports director Maier, however, sees falls as a normal risk in professional skiing. “If you take the emotionality out of it, then you have to say: Marco Schwarz said he would do everything right away because he has no one to blame. Rather, it happens, it’s a risk that you take. Kilde said it was “It was a mistake to start sick.” Driving errors would have played a role here and there.

Both Schwarz and Kilde also found critical words with a little distance and called for more safety in alpine skiing. On “ServusTV”, Schwarz recently suggested “cut-proof underwear”, while Kilde himself pointed out the lack of regeneration time between races – which is also due to the supporting program for the stars.

Maier emphasized: “The fact is that ski racing is a risky sport. That’s part of the entertainment. Okay, the calendar and this compression of the races was unfortunate. But as a top professional you have to face a certain amount of publicity because it’s part of it “That they earn the money that they would like to have – I am of the opinion: As a professional I have to endure that, because all other professional athletes also endure high levels of stress in public.”

Maier denies FIS President Eliasch competence

As far as the supporting program and the racing calendar of the future are concerned, the European associations and the World Federation (FIS) are already fighting a power struggle. FIS President Johan Eliasch, a multi-billionaire who is criticized by many because of his leadership style, wants central marketing. That would severely limit the influence of the national associations.

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DSV sports director Maier explains the conflict as follows: “Eliasch is trying to take away the rights of the associations. This means that associations like the German Ski Association, which receives little public funding, are bankrupt. We no longer have any events in the World Cup, without them we don’t earn any money Money. Swiss, French, Norwegian, Swedes – they all have a similar constellation. We developed something from history. And now someone comes and says: I know everything better.”

Maier appealed in the DLF conversation: “Let’s shape it together in the spirit of sport and further development. But not in confrontation with someone – and you can now say that’s cheeky of me – who has no idea about skiing just sit over there and say: We’ll do it the way I mean it.”

European racing series is conceivable for DSV sports director Maier

According to the WDR magazine “Sport inside”, the major European associations are now thinking about breaking with the world association and organizing their own racing series.

An idea that DSV sports director Maier supports: “Because we see that since we have this FIS president, sport is going in the wrong direction. It’s just a bad atmosphere, it’s just creating problems that we didn’t have before. It can be traced back to a person.” Maier added: “I criticize that people haven’t thought things through and haven’t integrated what they’ve done well over many years. Instead, they’re exposing themselves to commercialization that they can’t implement because nature is still playing along.”

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