FIS President Denies Climate Change And Extols Dictatorships For Ease Of Hosting Events
As the 2019 FIS Championships move competition exclusively to Park City and Deer Valley Resorts, the head of International Ski Federation denies climate change, and declares it’s easier to work with dictators when it comes to organizing Olympic Games. Carolyn Murray has this:
The article outlining FIS President, Gian Franco-Kasper’s comments came from the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeige.The publication said Franco-Casper triggered outrage with statements when he said, "there is no proof" when asked about climate change.
US Ski and Snowboard Marketing Director, Tom Webb declined to comment on Franco-Kasper’ s remarks.
If Salt Lake is chosen for future winter games, Park City would be one of the venue cities. Mayor Andy Beerman said he believes Franco-Kasper holds an outlier view.
“I was really disappointed to hear this coming out of the president of the International Ski Association. I don’t think it represents at all the views of its members who are the athletes that participate. We have heard the exact opposite from them. And, I think he is in the minority there and he has made several off-hand comments and I don’t know the context. I’ve just heard about this. But I strongly disagree with him. You look at most of the leaders in snow sports. They are very concerned about climate change and they’re some of the companies and organizations taking the strongest stances and demanding the strongest actions.”
Park City Sustainability Manager, Luke Cartin said his experience with local ski resorts and the International Ski Federation has been supportive of initiatives to address climate change. He said there are a lot of hard-working FIS employees trying to make skiing more sustainable.
“You know, when you look at locally, we’ve worked with Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort, they both support our climate goals. You know Vail Resorts has their commitment to zero. Deer Valley came ou7t and aid they support our accelerated time line for our ambitious goals. It’s great to know that locally our ski resorts get it. And, for me it was a little bit of a shock to me as well because in my previous roles, I worked directly with FIS on sustainable pieces. And, the interesting thing is, I’ve met a bunch of employees and I would say that what the president stated did not represent the FIS side of it.”
Franco-Kasper has been FIS president since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1975. He has been part of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, Torino in 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, Pyeongchang 2018 and is working on the 2022 Bejing Winter Games.
In the interview with Tages Anzeige, Franco-Kasper talked about the ease of working with dictator governments when organizing large sporting events. He said he doesn’t want to fight with environmentalists anymore.
In the IOC session in 2018 in Buenos Aires, Franco-Kasper was named an IOC Honorary Member and received the Olympic Order award-the highest award given for contributions to the Olympic Movement.