Yep, that's the way I read it, too. "Refusal to be intimidated" is the key phrase. Maybe this will lead to something good, but I have a feeling it won't. And maybe it shouldn't. I'm beginning to get this feeling that, at least in some Euro quarters, that the FIS is considered to be sacrosanct, right or wrong. I'm also getting the distinct feeling that the same Euro quarters don't like the USST or the USST racers. Fine...you don't like us, we can always pick up our marbles and go home and create a WC alternative, and, frankly, that would be my preference at this point.
One of the bad things about this whole shabby spectacle is what this might do to the lower levels of racing around the world, and, of course, when asked about this topic, the FIS basically said "Oh, yeah...well, we're working on that...watch this space!" Every year, at my home area of Eldora, Colorado, where I train, I get to forerun, do course work for, and watch the racers at a FIS GS/SL weekend. That's one of the high points of my season, as it is for the racers, their parents, the volunteers, and the ski area. That's what counts to me, and if I have to sacrifice the WC to keep that going, fine by me. In fact, I'm no longer interested in making sure the WC keeps on keeping on. Would I miss the Hahnenkamm? Yep, for sure. But what I wouldn't miss is one more racer (and I promise you, it's going to happen again) end his career on the last bump, just like Scott McCartney and Dani Albrecht did...just because it's better for the drunken fans along the course who are really, if the truth be known, as much there for the Demolition Derby aspect of the sport as they are for the pure competition? Nope, not at all.
So we spawn a new series, in North America, and its working title is something like "The North American Championship Series", or something like that. Yep, we tell the host areas, you're not going to be sponsoring the WC any more, but you'll be sponsoring our series, and it's a better deal. We're going to try to cut costs to a reasonable level. To start with, you won't have to house, feed, and othewise put up with multiple FIS officials, we'll have one, and he or she will just rule on matters of the course preparations, safety measures, and so forth...no measuring standheights, because the equipment is unrestricted. This'll be a cheaper series for the teams and manufacturers, too, because it's one flight to North America, and back in the spring, instead of hop scotching all over the World. We'd like to get U Sports on board, but the bucks is really in the US networks and viewers, so we're going to knock ourselves out to make the rights attractive to them, try to make it cost-effective for them to cover the events, and make it so they can offer advertising to sponsors, such as you, at an attractive rate so that we can all profit from this venture. We'll have some series sponsors, and who knows? Maybe Audi, who has a serious North American market and knows its demographics well, can be persuaded to stop funding the WC and throw in with us, for a minimal opening bet. In terms of the venues, we already have the best, most consistent, best protected, and challenging venues in the world...Aspen, Vail, Lake Louise, and now Copper. And we have a bunch of other areas where we have held Nor Am races with WC fields in the past available, and the costs there are even lower...Loveland and Winter Park, for example. And they're all as geographically close and easy to get to as the current WC venues in Europe.
To the manufacturers, we say "Fine...go ahead and make 35M GS skis for Europe only. You'll only need to make 200 a year for the WC, and maybe another 400 for the Masters racers and other folks in Europe, because you just lost your North American market. Or, you can come to North America, you won't have to change your molds, and you can continue to sell in at least the numbers you've expected so far...and we'd like to help you make those numbers grow."
So there it is...I no longer really want to see the WC continue on its merry and sordid way, I'm ready for something better, and that something is home grown. Anybody else with me?
Originally Posted by lurking4years
I'm impressed that Ted responded to the threats thrown out by the FIS to silence athletes by calling it tyranny and refusing to be cowed. He gave permission for re-posts and encouraged people to do it everywhere and repeatedly even though the FIS mentioned facebook and the internet in particular. Aksel, Julia and other athletes re-tweeted his blog, also using the internet to stand up to the threats. At this point the actual arguments are less important than the refusal to be intimidated. The re-tweets implied that they are all in this together.