Johan Eliasch: A ski president with edges

Johan Eliasch: A ski president with edges
Last but not least because of
Image: GEPA pictures/ Mathias Mandl

If you want change, then I am the right choice,” Johan Eliasch said in 2021 before his election as President of the World Ski Federation (FIS). The Swedish-British businessman kept his word – although not as many of the supporters had believed .

The latter included Peter Schröcksnadel, who now regrets his stirrup function: “I will do my best to get him away.”

After two years in office, the list of criticisms of Eliasch is long, including the downhill route from Zermatt in Switzerland to Cervinia in Italy. A prestige project by Eliasch, who ignored warnings that the altitude combined with the date resulted in a weather roulette. One thing that skiing has always lost out on: Like last year, the men’s downhill runs were canceled.

In addition, dredging work had previously been necessary on the glacier, which on the one hand led to investigations by the authorities, but on the other hand it increased criticism of the 61-year-old FIS President for being indifferent to ecological aspects. The fact that the FIS sticks to a racing calendar that sends the men’s skiers back and forth between North America and Europe twice doesn’t make its image any greener.

  • Also read: Sölden’s tourism boss calls Felix Neureuther “Mister Know-It-All”

Eliasch, who was married to the photographer and filmmaker Amanda Eliasch until 2006, gained his first experience as a turnaround manager in the early 1990s in London with the restructuring of shipping and natural gas companies. The multi-billionaire’s business success was his ticket into British politics.

The father of two sons – one is an opera singer – is a career changer in skiing. In 1995 he took over the then insolvent ski manufacturer Head and made it one of the most successful. He is accused of incompatibility because he did not resign as chairman despite his announcements after the FIS election. Schröcksnadel also criticizes this, although the ex-ÖSV Zampano is probably concerned with something different: Eliasch wants the marketing of a ski race to no longer be the responsibility of the respective national association, but of the world association. It’s about money.

more from Alpine skiing

Austrians surprised in the first Levi slalom run

Alpine skiing: Another race canceled in Zermatt-Cervinia

Rainfall and wind in Zermatt: Ski World Cup struggles with weather again

“Huge relief”: Liensberger returned to the podium in 3rd place in Levi

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