Q: With 2021/22 season now in the books, what is your favorite highlight of this past World Cup campaign?
Let’s say that the first phase of approaching the Games and the selection procedure has significantly increased the level of performance, reaching the peak in Deer Valley with a very competitive and spectacular event. As always, the US organizers stood out, even if for Covid reasons we opted for events during the day and behind closed doors without audience, the show was nevertheless very impressive.
Q: The 2021/22 season saw women’s and men’s dual moguls crystal globes being awarded along with the big crystal globes for winning the overall moguls classification. What does it mean for the development of mogul skiing?
In fact, it is not the first time we have assigned the dual moguls crystal globes, there were attempts between 1999 and 2003 but the time was not quite right as the two events moguls and dual moguls were too similar in regulation and approach. Now with the development of duals, the introduction of the format starting with brackets from the beginning and the technical evaluation of the athletes, the momentum was good. Especially on the women’s side we witnessed a highly entertaining battle until the very last race of the season. And with a probable introduction of dual moguls into Olympic Winter Games programme there is a big opportunity to grow the sport even further.
Q: Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games saw some incredible competitions both on the moguls & aerials side, including the inaugural aerials mixed team event. How will you remember the Games in Beijing?
During the entire Olympic Winter Games and especially for aerials events we saw a fantastic venue and unimaginable sports performances. Team China did not disappoint and so the magic formula with local organiser, gold medal for host country and live TV coverage gave us outstanding results. For me it was an unforgettable moment! The introduction of the aerials mixed team event was a big success, the competition format allows you to keep technicians, experts, spectators and sportsmen with bated breath until the end. The introduction of dual moguls will be the next step for freestyle skiing.
Q: With the FIS spring meetings on the horizon what are the major topics in the world of moguls & aerials. Any significant changes/developments for the upcoming season?
The biggest challenge is certainly to find solutions for the aerials calendar. Unfortunately, with the crisis in Ukraine and three of our major organizers involved, everything has become very complicated. Now even the NSAs that I define more as consumers must get on board and take responsibilities to provide consistency for the World Cup circuit!
For the rest, as always at the end of an Olympic four-year cycle, many changes are in sight and have been discussed during the meetings: from new regulations to the competition formats, through remote judging to the education of judges and technical delegates.
Q: How does the off-season of the FIS Moguls & Aerials Competition Director look like?
Certainly there are several open projects, primarily that of increasing the use of technology to support the work of judges and have more precise assessments. So the idea is to work on different aspects such as: video review, replay, artificial intelligence, as well as data and doc specialists for jumps and executions. Forwarding the extensive use of video and remote judging should also allow us to improve the training of judges as the season progresses.