July 01, 2012 – On July 1st Pierre Mignerey, formerly with the French Ski Federation, takes over the reins from Jurg Capol as FIS Cross-Country Race Director. Capol, a Swiss cross-country skier (1988-1994) with a 9-year tenure as FIS XC Director, is assuming a new position as Nordic Director with FIS Marketing AG. His legacy includes launching the popular Tour de Ski (w/Vegard Ulvang), rebranding the sport with the moniker Cross Country is Cool, revamping the FIS XC website along with coverage of the sport, and supporting a 4-year ban against dopers – read his FIS XC exit interview HERE.
Q: Pierre, on July 1st you are taking over FIS Cross-Country Race Director position. Are you satisfied?
Pierre Mignerey: Yes, I am satisfied I am not wearing two hats anymore. I regret to be leaving FFS (French Ski Federation) but it is important I can focus on one job the whole year round. So far I have worked on World Cups organization. Since now I will be more involved in the management of the discipline and calendar planning.
Q: During the last FIS Congress in Korea many decisions in regard to organization of future competitions were taken. How does the decision process look like in FIS?
P.M.: During the FIS Congress several committees had their meetings. The Cross-Country Committee and its Sub-Committees (World and Continental Cups, Rules and Control, Popular Skiing, Roller Skiing, etc.) are composed of national ski associations’ representatives. Not all the federations are present but most active nations are there. France, for example, is represented by Christophe Deloche. At these committees some members are more active, some less but at the end every decision is taken by a vote. Then, all important decisions must be confirmed and approved by the 16-member FIS Council.
Q: What are the changes planned for the next season?
P.M.: First of all, changes will affect men’s relay. We have shortened the distance from 4 x 10 km to 4 x 7.5 km. For ladies the format remains unchanged, 4 x 5km. We hope that with the shorter distance, the race will become more dynamic more interesting for the spectators and TV viewers. The second reason is related to television. Currently, men’s relay lasts around one hour and forty minutes. It’s very long for a TV station to broadcast in its full length. Quite often TVs do not show classical legs but only the second part of the relay, which is not necessarily the most interesting part of the competition. With the shorter relay competition of around one hour fifteen minutes, it will be easier to find a slot to show the entire competition. This change will concern only World Cups in Gällivare and La Clusaz.
Full interview HERE.