On 2 June 2014, as part of the 49th edition of the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) Congress in Barcelona (SPA), an athlete representative was granted an observer position on the FIS Council, marking the first time in FIS history that such a position has been made available for athletes.
For the Record speaks to American cross-country skier and Chair of the FIS Athletes’ Commission Kikkan Randall.
What does this recognition mean to the FIS Athletes’ Commission?
It’s a huge step forward in regards to athlete representation at FIS. We have been working on that as a primary goal of the Athletes’ Commission for many years. In order to really feel like our thoughts and concerns are being heard it is important that we are able to reach the top levels of FIS. It was great to get the chance to bring our proposal to the FIS Council in Barcelona and have it unanimously accepted.
What does it mean in detail and what are the next steps?
This observer position will enable us to represent the athletes’ interests at Council level, without, for the moment, voting rights. In turn we can report important decisions from the Council meetings back to the Commission which will give the athletes a greater understanding of what FIS does beyond the sport. We will be using this opportunity as a learning experience until we make a proposal for the next Congress in 2016 to be included in the decision-making processes as a full Council Member.
What are the Athletes’ Commission’s current priorities?
One of the big priorities that went along with the seat on the FIS Council has been an insurance policy for severely injured athletes. That concept has now been adopted as a blanket policy for all athletes that have FIS licenses. Other priorities involve enhancing the athlete involvement with the anti-doping programmes to help promote clean sport, to continue working with children’s initiatives, notably the FIS “Bring Children to the Snow” campaign and to further cement the existing communication lines between athletes, the Commission and FIS. An additional priority is to promote dual career options such as the IOC Athlete Career Programme, delivered in cooperation with Adecco, as it’s extremely important that athletes know what possibilities are available to them.