The 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup may have come to an end last month, but freeski great, Tanner Hall, is still not happy with the way the governing body runs the competitions.
Hall, 33, who has won seven XGames gold medals in a career that dates back to the last century, insists the World Cup will remain the inferior competition until the International Ski Federation (FIS) begin to: “Care about the most important aspect of competition; the athletes”
Swedish pair, Henrik Harlaut and Emma Dahlström, claimed victories in the Big Air events at the last World Cup event of the season in the Norwegian town of Voss-Myrkalden at the the last weekend of March.
The champions were crowned at the end of a troubled season for FIS. Hall’s comments echo the criticism from many skiers of the sport’s governing body.
Skiers have complained all season about the courses and conditions. Speaking to the BBC in March, after the World Championships of Sierra Nevada, Spain, UK skier, James ‘Woodsy’ Woods, branded the organization as “nothing short of pathetic”, after high temperature and winds made for a treacherous course.
But after many athletes struggled with the conditions and failed to complete their runs Woods still left Spain with a slopestyle bronze, behind Gus Kenworthy and winner, McRae Williams.
The FIS made more headlines at that event when FIS Race Director and freestyle ski director, Joe Fitzgerald, was caught on film telling a group of competitors that skiers “don’t do anything” and what actually matters is TV and sponsors.
SkiSlopestyle and Halfpipe will make their second appearance at the Winter Olympics next year in Pyeonchang, following their introduction at Sochi 2014. The Olympic events in Korea will make up part of the 2017/18 FIS freestyle World Cup calendar.