Start of the alpine ski season and presentation of the new prize “Longines Rising Ski Stars” (Soelden, Austria)-
Sölden (Austria) / Saint-Imier (Switzerland), 26th October 2012 – As the alpine ski season is about to start, Longines presented this Friday during a press conference in Sölden the new prize “Longines Rising Ski Stars”, which is reflecting the brand’s commitment to supporting young sportswomen and sportsmen. The Swiss watch brand will be the official timekeeper for the World Cup Alpine ski competitions and the World Ski Championships organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Longines is particularly happy to be back in Kitzbühel. In Sölden, Longines also presented the official watch of the season, a chronograph from The Longines Saint-Imier Collection, which embodies the close relationship between the brand and the small village where Longines was founded 180 years ago and still remains today.
During the press conference held this Friday in Sölden for the opening of the alpine ski season Longines presented its new prize: The “Longines Rising Ski Stars”. It will be awarded at the end of the 2012/2013 ski season to the best young female (under 21) and male (under 23) athlete taking part in the FIS World Cup. The prize consists of a trophy, a Longines watch and a cheque for 20’000 CHF; it will be awarded at the closing of the season.
Charles Villoz, VP Sales Longines International, said: “This new competition reflects the commitment of the brand to supporting young sportswomen and men, just as the “Longines Future Tennis Aces” tournament organized by the brand in Roland-Garros for young tennis talents under the age of 13 and the “Longines Future Racing Stars” race for young and promising European jockeys from France, England, Germany, Ireland and Italy that is run during the Prix de Diane Longines.”
FIS Chief Race Director for the men’s Alpine, Günter Hujara commented: “When you know how difficult it is to break through in the very competitive and tight field of the world’s top athletes competing in the men’s FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, it is absolutely correct to focus on the extraordinary performances by the best young athletes and bring them to the spotlight of the global audiences.”
Atle Skaardal, FIS Chief Race Director for the ladies’ Alpine, added: “This is an excellent initiative. Besides underlining the great cooperation between FIS and Longines, it will provide an additional highlight for the circuit to be keenly followed by the fans and will surely also be well-received by the racers.
As official timekeeper for the FIS Ski World Cup and World Ski Championships, Longines is also proud to be back in Kitzbühel. The brand, which began its long association with competitive ski in Chamonix in 1933, had provided its timekeeping know-how for the Hahnenkamm races for the first time in 1948. For many decades, Longines has accompanied the technological development of this prestigious competition, bringing many innovations to the increasing requirements of timekeeping and the audience. In 1993 for example, Longines developed a new technology for displaying on TV the intermediate time of the athlete compared with the fastest competitor of the race.
The official watch of the season is the Longines Saint-Imier Collection Chronograph, a model fitted with the L.688.2 column-wheel movement exclusively developed and produced for Longines by ETA. The case is made of steel and has a diameter of 41 mm while the black dial shows the hours and minutes and has a small second at 9 o’clock and a date aperture as well as the chronograph functions: a center sweep seconds, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock. This model is fitted with a steel bracelet having a folding safety clasp.
Last but not least, Longines would like to take the opportunity to wish its Ambassador of Elegance, the Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, every success in the coming events.
FIS is the governing body for international skiing and snowboarding, founded in 1924 during the first Olympic Games in Chamonix, France. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIS manages the disciplines of Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, including setting the international competition rules. Through its 112 member nations, more than 6’000 FIS ski and snowboard competitions are staged annually. Specific initiatives are undertaken by FIS to promote snow activities as a healthy leisure recreation, notably for the young.
For more information, please visit www.fis-ski.com.