Since October 2008 Chika Yoshida has served as FIS-coordinator for Ladies Skijumping. Our editor, Stefan Diaz, was able to talk to her about the future of that young but aspiring discipline.
Ladies-Skijumping.com: What are your ideas on developing Ladies Skijumping in the future?
Chika Yoshida: We talked bout those issues inside FIS recently. We have long-term plans to hold competitions on large hills as well, but right now that is difficult, seeing that so many starters are very young. Maybe in a few years we’ll get around to it. We also want to have more ladies’ and men’s competitions held at the same place and time. But that will require finding eligible locations and standing up local organizing committees. The German Skiing Association has filed an application for a team competition to be held at the Junior World Championships in Hinterzarten. This was turned down by the FIS management, as the statistics indicate that the number of starters is still too tiny. But for all that, FIS is behind us and watching our progress with lots of goodwill.
Ladies-Skijumping.com: Wasn’t there also an application for a team event at the 2011 Nordic Skiing World Championships in Oslo? And wasn’t that also turned down?
Yoshida: That isn’t surprising. If the lower age categories don’t have it, you can’t have it either at the World Championships. It has to go from bottom to top. The Junior World Championships are the third most important event that FIS is hosting. The most important thing to do right now is to concentrate on upping our sporting performance.
Ladies-Skijumping.com: What do you think about having a mixed team event? This has often been suggested.
Yoshida: There are not enough nationalities participating in the girl’s competitions, so it would be hard to organize.
Ladies-Skijumping.com: Do we need a second series beside the Continental Cup?
Yoshida: A second series is perhaps something for the future. The men have three already, what with the World Cup, the Continental Cup and the FIS-Cup. But with the ladies we do not have so many starters right now. Most nationalities do not even have a second team. And of course it is also a financial issue. The preconditions for a World Cup are hard enough to achieve for the local organizing committees, as TV live broadcasts have to be provided. We still are in a developmental phase there.
Ladies-Skijumping.com: What needs to be done to get the smaller countries into the international competitions, given that Ladies Skijumping is still so underdeveloped in these countries?
Yoshida: Now that the first World Championships are over, all have seen that medals can be won in our discipline. This might encourage more countries to send skijumpers. This summer we had all of 15 nationalities participating in the Continental Cup. If this trend continues, it will be great. But of course many national skiing association find it by no means easy to finance a team. Anyway, the FIS-programmes designed to boost developing nations apply for ladies too, not just for men.