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Chairman's Corner - Welcome, Horst Huttel!

The FIS Council Meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia in June saw a key personnel change in the Nordic Combined Committee. Council Member Roman Kumpost (CZE) who headed the Nordic Combined Committee on an interim basis for the last three years handed over the reigns to Horst Huttel (GER). Fisnc.com sat down with the new man at the helm of the committee to ask a few questions.

What were the most important factors in your decision to become the chairman of the Nordic Combined Committee?

Horst Hu"ttel: Ive been involved in Nordic Combined for the past 30 years. I was a Nordic Combined athlete and now work as the Sports Director for Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping in the German Ski Association. I was able to get a lot of things moving in Nordic Combined in Germany and now I'd like to do my part on an international level. To work on a national level is only one part of the equation. There are many things decided at a FIS level and I would like to work on those in a positive manner.

I have followed the work of the Nordic Combined Committee quite closely the last few years and was in contact with Roman Kumpost and Gu"nter Csar, the Chairman of the Sub-Committee for Rules, Officials and Control. This will help me understand what is required in committee work.

What do you think is essential work for the Nordic Combined Committee?

Hu"ttel: I will get to know all of it now, won't I (laughs)! The bottom line is forming partnerships to get to the best decisions for the future of Nordic Combined. I want to have a positive impact on the competitions and the general development of the sport. Nordic Combined has to develop and establish its place in the big winter sports family.

What are your goals for your term as Chairman?

Hu"ttel: A lot. One area will be competition formats, for sure. We need to find a clear position in the next one or two years that we can stick to and say: This is our way now. The second focus is to have an attractive calendar. It's very important for the image of the sport to have competitions all over the world. I will also aim to have a platform for all of the good ideas coming from the outside. People have good ideas for Nordic Combined and FIS can profit from that.

An upcoming highlight of Nordic Combined is the new Weekend Challenge. What's your opinion on the event and the results of the test run at the Summer Grand Prix?

Hu"ttel: It has the potential to be the highlight of the World Cup calendar. The test during summer wasnt 100% easy because we had to do it in two venues. In winter, we'll only have one venue. The basic idea with three competitions on three days is set. I also think the one jump, 5 km Prologue on Day 1 and the one jump, 10 km Individual Gundersen on Day 2 are fixed. How Day 3 will look like is something we need to discuss in the responsible governing bodies and with experts like Race Director Lasse Ottesen and Sub-Committee Chairman Gu"nter Csar. But the response of the audience on site has been great and I definitely see the chance that this will enrich our World Cup calendar immensely.

Horst Hu"ttel (45) is currently Sports Director for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined in the German Ski Association. From 1992-2006, he worked as a coach at each level of the sport before ascending to Sports Director of Nordic Combined in 2006 and from 2008 onward for Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping. He lives in the Northern-Bavarian town of Wunsiedel, together with his wife and his two children Sophie, 12 and Simon, 14, who is also a Nordic Combined athlete.

fisnordiccombined.com, 11 September 2013

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