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New season, new faces: Coach changes in Cross-Country Skiing

Fri, May  11, 2007 - By FIS

With the beginning of the new training season after a long Cross-Country winter, there have been several changes in the coaching ranks of many World Cup teams. Here is a summary of some that have come to the attention of the FIS Newsflash:

In Germany, 42-year-old Ismo Hämäläinen (FIN) was appointed as a new training base coach in Ruhpolding. In that function, he will support Jochen Behle, the long-time head coach of the German team, in the World Cup. Hämäläinen will be also the responsible coach for the German ladies team while Oberhof’s training base coach Cuno Schreyl is responsible for the men’s team. As the third training base coach in Oberwiesenthal, Janko NeuberAndreas Schluetter - a former top athlete - will work together with Claudia Kuenzel and Manuela Henkel. completes the German World Cup team. The sprint training group will continue to be trained by Ismo Hämäläinen. As additional training support in Oberhof, Andreas Schluetter - a former top athlete - will work together with Claudia Kuenzel and Manuela Henkel.

Ismo Hämäläinen

Ismo Hämäläinen

In Sweden, Per-Åke Yttergard, previously Head of Nordic Disciplines, was named Head of Sport with main responsibility for the national team. Inge Braten’s position as Cross-Country Head Coach will not be filled. The Swedish men’s team will be coached by Bengt Sattin, replacing Thomas Alsgaard who retired earlier during the season. Sattin will be assisted by Lars Selin. Joakim Abrahamsson remains in his position as the Swedish ladies’ coach along with Magnus Ingesson.

In Austria, Bernd Raupach replaced Franz Gattermann as Head Coach of the Austrian Cross-Country team. He has three training base coaches at his side: Gerald Heigl, Heinz Mühlbacher and the former World Cup athlete Alexander Marent.

There have been some small changes in the coaches’ team in France as well: Pierre Mignerey has been appointed as Head of Cross-Country, replacing Jean-Pierre Burdet. Olivier Michaud, with the assistance of Anael Huard, will train the ladies’ team, while the established coaching team Roberto Gal and Christophe Deloche are responsible for the men.

Pierre Mignerey

Pierre Mignerey

Following the motto ‘Never change a winning team,’ the teams from Norway with Age Skinstad in the lead, FinlandEstonia (head coach: Mati Alaver), USA (head coach: Pete Vordenberg), RussiaSlovenia (head coach: Ivan Hudac) will c (head coach: Magnar Dalen), (team leader: Jury Tcharkovski) and ontinue towards Liberec 2009 with the existing staff.

However, not all staff changes are complete yet. After the retirement of Barbara Broger as Chief of Cross-Country and the completion of the cooperation with Giachem Guidon, Swiss Ski will announce its new Cross-Country leadership as soon as possible. Following the election of a new President of the Italian Winter Sports Federation, a final confirmation of the coaching crew there is also still outstanding.