How would you summarise this past 2021/22 season?
UB – First of all we were super happy to come back to resorts and see them alive again with spectators and fans on site. That’s definitely one of the most exciting experience after last year. Secondly, looking back to Beijing, from a sport point of view, we had very good conditions for run our PSG competitions. We saw fantastic parallel racing on perfect snow, equal courses and tight but fair racing all the way through to the big finals.
In general, it was an excellent presentation of our sport at the Olympic Games with fantastic TV pictures under bluebird sky.
A rather negative point from the individual perspective of the athletes was certainly the fact that Covid-19 test procedures in China were stricter and differed from those in Europe. Consequently some athletes, who had prepared for years for the Olympic Winter Games, could not compete in the end due to positive test results.
With all that experience from this past season what could be some potential improvements for 2022/23 and the years to come?
UB – In snowboard alpine we are already on a very good level. We have a full outlined calendar with some classic venues as well as the new ones like Bansko that will join the tour next season. We have excellent organizers now, which deliver high quality competitions. Furthermore, we received very positive feedback from our teams and athletes, which obviously are underlining top competition standards. Of course there are always things to improve and our most important topic in that regard would be to improve our TV production standards even further.
What’s your mission statement for the next 4 years cycle until the Olympic Winter Games in Milano 2026?
UB – As already mentioned we always try to improve our TV product and we try to maximise it at best with the budget that we. Telling more about the background stories of the athletes, having better profile pictures, using follow cams or other interesting TV settings which bring more engagement and excitement for our sport. Through those improvements, we’ll also earn better TV spots and be able to increase our viewership.
Of course we also care about the environmental impact and our aim is to contribute as much as we can to deliver more sustainable games.
How does the off season look like for a FIS race director?
UB – After the season is before the season. Currently there are some geo-political tensions that we need to take into account while planning ahead for the next season. So the summer period involves a lot of planning and coordination to be all set for the upcoming season. This year, as FIS is going through a change process with new management, there might be a bit more coordination work needed in a shorter amount of time but we are prepared for that after being affected by a global pandemic during the last two seasons. We are always dedicated to deliver the best.