— Published 7 June 2021

Johan Eliasch is FIS’ new boss


It’s a new era for the International Ski Federation (FIS). After the very long Gian-Franco Kasper episode (1998-2021), the body has chosen a Swedish-British billionaire, Johan Eliasch, to preside over its destiny in the upcoming year. Head Group’s boss was elected at the end of last week without leaving any illusion to his three rivals. Nominated by the British federation, Johan Eliasch won the election in the first round, with 54% of the votes (65 votes). He beat Switzerland’s Urs Lehmann, who received 21% (26 votes), Great Britain’s Sarah Lewis (12% – 15 votes), and Sweden’s Mats Arjes (11% – 13 votes). 59-year-old Johan Eliasch succeeds 77-year-old Swiss Gian-Franco Kasper, who was absent from the virtual FIS Congress for medical reasons. Johan Eliasch was elected for one year, to finish the mandate that Gian-Franco Kasper had wished to shorten. He will be able to apply for a full four-year term next spring. The new strongman of world skiing has both Swedish and British nationality. “I am incredibly touched to have been chosen as President,” commented Johan Eliasch after the results were announced. “I would like to thank the FIS for organising such a professional virtual congress. I would especially like to express my gratitude to Gian-Franco Kasper, whom I have known for many years. We would not all be sitting here today without him. I will be committed, open-minded and transparent. I want to be a president who represents all nations and all disciplines.” After the presidential election, the FIS Congress elected the 16 Council members. Frenchman Michel Vion was largely re-elected with 109 votes, as were two of Johan Eliasch’s defeated rivals, Urs Lehmann and Mats Arjes.