FIS Ski Jumping Race Director Walter
Hofer provides his insights on the new season -
A few weeks before the opening of the FIS Ski Jumping
World Cup season 2013/14 presented by Viessmann,
FIS interviewed Race Director Walter Hofer about
the upcoming winter.
There's an exciting winter 2013/14 ahead for the
ski jumpers. What will be new in the upcoming winter
and what can the fans especially look forward to?
We haven’t made any major changes with regard to
rules, equipment and formats in order to give the
athletes the chance to focus on their own preparations
for Sochi. According to the results of the summer
events, we expect some more nations stepping up
to the top level. WTo get the season underway we
are also looking forward to a Season Opening in
Germany’s Klingenthal for the first time ever, and
many more highlights throughout the winter season.
After the premium event, the Four-Hills-Tournament,
we are directly continuing to the first Ski Flying
event at Kulm (AUT). After the Olympic Winter Games
in Sochi (RUS), the “2015 pre-championships” in
Falun (SWE) will take place as well as the FIS Ski
Flying World Ski Championships in Harrachov (CZE).
A new Organiser this season will be Nizhny Tagil
(RUS) in the ladies’ series. In addition, Planica
(SLO) will be hosting the joint finals for men and
ladies on the completely renewed facility.
This season's highlight will be the Olympic Winter
Games. You must be very excited, just like the athletes,
or will this just be a competition like the others
In principle, the competitions are conducted according
to the FIS World Cup rules. However, the importance
of the event, as part of a huge organisation with
great public interest makes the difference, especially
for the athletes and coaches ... and of course,
it is a great honour for all officials who are nominated
by FIS to fulfil their obligations on behalf of
There was less than a two-month break between the
final competitions of the FIS Grand Prix 2013 and
the opener of the World Cup 2013. Is this enough
time for the athletes and FIS to implement changes
for the upcoming season?
Actually, the summer series is our main opportunity
and period of time to test all rule changes (if
there are any). In addition, athletes and coaches
can assess their preparations. The time in between
the two series is more to inspect the competition
sites in order to give all involved parties the
opportunity to coordinate these high profile events.
This season, there is another premiere: Klingenthal,
the final location of the FIS Grand Prix 2013 will
also be the first location of the World Cup 2013/14.
What was the reason for this decision?
It was a pragmatic decision. The Grand Prix event
was set in stone long before the idea of the season
opening in Klingenthal was born. The FIS Ski Jumping
Committee was searching for an Organiser able to
attract - among other aspects - a large number of
spectators which provides the perfect setting for
a real season opening at this early stage of the
season. Klingenthal announced its application and
can fulfil these requirements.