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FIS Changes Wording as it Boots Out GB’s Sarah Lewis from Top Job at FIS

The former Olympic skier has been Secretary General of the International Ski Federation for two decades. She is out in a ruthless manner with immediate effect. UPDATED

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Update:

The full details of her sacking can be read below as we posted and updated the article last weekend.

The International Ski Federation used the phrase “complete loss of confidence” in its original short release.

The wording on the web site has now been changed.

First announcement:

“At its meeting today, the FIS Council, including the members of the Marc Hodler Foundation, based on a complete loss of confidence, has decided by a great majority vote that Sarah Lewis will no longer serve as the Secretary General of FIS, effective 9th October 2020”.

FIS announcement

FIS announcement

Updated announcement:

“At its meeting today, the FIS Council, including the members of the Marc Hodler Foundation, has decided by a great majority vote to terminate the employment relationship with Sarah Lewis (in accordance with its contractual terms) and that she is released from her work duties as the Secretary General of FIS, effective 9th October 2020”.

Second web site announcement

Second web site announcement

The President of the International Ski Federation, Gian-Franco Kasper, is to assume the day-to-day running of FIS.

There are no immediate plans to replace Sarah Lewis.

76-year old Kasper has been in his job for 22-years and is due to stand down as President.

Gian Franco Kapser, FIS

Gian Franco Kapser, FIS

His departure has been delayed with the pandemic being used as a reason, although many other decisions by the organisation have been taken by online votes.

He was granted an extension to his term after the June 2020 FIS Congress was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Presidents of international sporting federations are often mainly figureheads with the day-to-day work done by a general secretary or CEO.

Kasper will have much on his plate with the alpine World Cup ski season starting in Soelden in Austria this week, and the pandemic casting a long shadow over the upcoming season across all snowsports disciplines.

Original PlanetSKI Article:

Some tipped her for the very top job of President, with Gian-Franco Kasper set to step down.

The statement from FIS was brief, with no words of thanks or best wishes for the future.

She had to pack her bags straight away.

“At its meeting today, the FIS Council, including the members of the Marc Hodler Foundation, based on a complete loss of confidence, has decided by a great majority vote that Sarah Lewis will no longer serve as the Secretary General of FIS, effective 9th October 2020,” said a statement from FIS.

There is no mention of details of what she had done wrong in the eyes of FIS.

It is not clear who will take on her job for the future, or pick up her current workload.

The in-tray for Secretary General, with Covid-19 very much with us and the 2022 Beijing Olympics around the corner, is certainly full.

International Ski Federation

55-year old Sarah Lewis had been Secretary General since 2000.

She was awarded an OBE in 2018 New Year’s Honours List for her contribution.

She is/was the most influential GB person to have graced the corridors of snowsports power.

Eyebrows were raised when her own national body, GB Snowsports, did not back her for the vacant top job of President.

It instead chose the Swedish billionaire, Johan Eliasch.

It is rare for a Briton to rise to the top, but she was seen as an independent voice from a small ski nation that could be an even-handed broker in the highly political world of sports administration.

Sarah Lewis has been involved with skiing on both a competitive and administrative level for over 30 years.

She was a member of the British Alpine Ski Team from 1982-1988 and competed in the 1987 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games.

She started working for FIS in 1994 and for four years served as Co-ordinator for the Continental Cups.

She became FIS Director in 1998, before being appointed Secretary General by the FIS Council at its meeting in Melbourne in 2000.

She also serves as the Secretary General of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) and is a member of the IOC Olympic Programme Commission, Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games IOC Coordination Commissions.

At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing she chaired the World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Observers.

FIS has added a terse announcement to the news section of its web site with no explanation for people to understand the reasons and the issues involved.

FIS announcement

FIS announcement

We expect Sarah Lewis to be back in the snowsports world in some form as she still has much to offer.

Here at PlanetSKI we do thank her for the work she has done for elite snowsports and we wish her the best for the future.

Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis

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