After the debacle I spoke about yesterday with the UCI and their new title sponsor, Rocky Roads, the FIS have managed to make some headlines in the snowboarding world.
Terje Haakonsen wrote an open letter back in January to the FIS about the ruling of the qualification process. He states: “The Olympic system for snowboarding is wrong; preserving the status quo is not an option.” Pretty strong words form the Godfather of snowboarding but would it change anything? We were all hoping that the TTR would have some sort of say in the qualification process and, in a dream world, be able to control how snowboarding is judged in the Olympics.
Turns out that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose not to agree with Terje. The International Ski Federation (FIS) will oversee the qualification for snowboarding for Sochi 2014 as they did for Vancouver 2010. Riders and supporters alike were crossing fingers that the TTR would be selected to oversee the process but nothing came of it. Apparently the FIS approached the IOC two months early and received official approval leading us to think that there might be something going on behind the scenes.
Ok, so the Olympics regulations state that qualifications have to come from open competitions whereas the majority of the TTR events are invite only, thus putting a spanner in the works. This was never on the minds of the TTR as they did not want full control of the selection process. It seems that it was never going to be something the IOC and the FIS would have contemplated, and it’s something we’d expected anyway, but it’s never good to feel like a sport isn’t progressing in the way it should or at all.
The TTR released this statement:
“The TTR is greatly disappointed by the recent decisions made by the FIS in their meetings in Korea regarding field size, quotas and the qualification process for Sochi 2014. These decisions were made on an accelerated timeline without taking into account the interests of athletes and the sport of snowboarding. Despite TTR making every effort to work with the FIS both within the Freestyle Snowboard Task Force and independently, the FIS remains unwilling to accept any input regarding the Olympics. TTR however, remains open to future discussion with the FIS and will continue to work toward having an impact on the 2014 Olympics.”
I can’t help but think that the sports we love aren’t run by people who want to progress it in the way it should progress. But then that’s purely my opinion… what do you reckon?