Roda: “Paris’s victory is a good sign for the entire men’s sector”

The president of Fisi drew up an assessment one month after the Beijing Olympics: “Season to be managed carefully, satisfied with the results obtained so far”

From our correspondent Paolo Marabini

On the one hand, the satisfaction for the good start of the season, at least in some disciplines, also considering the key event represented by the Beijing Games which requires a particular approach. On the other hand, the ever-vigilant attention to the four years to come, and which will culminate with the Italian Olympics in Milan-Cortina, which we must start thinking about right now with targeted programming. Flavio Roda, president of Fisi, met the press at Casa Italia Collection – a structure that will accompany all the most important events in Italy from here until the 2026 Olympics – in conjunction with the Bormio stage of the men’s ski World Cup. And he drew up an initial assessment just over a month after the start of the Chinese event, which will officially kick off with the opening ceremony on February 4th.

Delicate season

“This is a season to be managed very carefully, exacerbated by the Covid chapter which requires an additional commitment and delicate measures from the health point of view” began Roda. “We are substantially satisfied with the results obtained so far. The teams of all the specialties have worked at their best, putting great effort, and some athletes are already in the best condition (the blue balance already includes half of the victories in the World Cup that had been obtained throughout the previous season; ed). In alpine skiing, Paris’s victory in yesterday’s descent brings Domme back to the top at the right time and is a great sign for the entire male sector, which is added to the successes of the women. Cross-country skiing has its own path, as does biathlon, although so far the results have not been very encouraging, especially in shooting. But I am confident that in the next few weeks our top athletes will be able to put their aim back in place, so as to return to the front row ”.


Roda also highlighted the progress of some disciplines, which are already bearing the fruits of the investments made in recent years. “One above all the skeleton, with Valentina Margaglio who has already been able to climb the podium twice in the Cup, with a historic result for the specialty”. But in the future, we are working with various elements of high hopes as well in the bob, which has been coming from the rear for twenty years. “I am sure that soon, not this year, our crews will return to fight for the top positions”.

Route change

Thinking also of Milan-Cortina, philosophy is changing a bit compared to the past. “There will be more space for young people” admitted Roda sharing an observation, namely that in Italy, so far, more promising prospects have been expected than in other countries to launch the most promising prospects in the maximum circuit, not only in skiing. “We must have the courage to throw young people into the fray – admitted the president – and make them grow by giving continuity to their performances, even if they are not immediately brilliant. There is no other way. In skiing, for example, women’s slalom is the discipline in which we have not produced athletes of a certain level for years. We are therefore thinking of creating a group of very young girls to be placed in the hands of a federal staff, making them skip the traditional passage from the committee teams ”. But also the men’s speed sector, behind Paris, is suffering and we must therefore act immediately, in order not to risk arriving in Milan-Cortina without competitive pawns. If nothing else, both in biathlon and in cross-country skiing the youth results are encouraging. Here too, however, a change of pace and mentality is needed. And therefore courage, even at the cost of unpopular strategies.


Returning to the upcoming Olympic appointment, Roda then confirmed that the calls for Beijing will be made official on January 24, the deadline for the presentation of the lists. “The technicians will choose the athletes based on the conditions of the moment and the results obtained during the season. It will be up to them to decide. The most deserving and some young people will go to gain experience ”.

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Roda: “Paris’s victory is a good sign for the entire men’s sector”