Johan Eliasch, FIS President since June 2021, was in Crans-Montana this week to meet the members of Club 5 Ski Classics, an organisation that brings together the organisers of the major races in the Alpine Skiing World Cup. This was an opportunity for the Swedish-British businessman to talk about his relationship with the Valais resort, for which he has a deep appreciation.
What are your links with Crans-Montana?
Crans-Montana is an iconic ski and golf destination, it has gained its golf reputation over many years. It's a beautiful place.
How did you feel about the resort being chosen in May as host of the 2027 World Championships?
It was the obvious choice! I'm very confident, I think there will be a lot of interest in the World Championships here, it's very exciting. When the FIS Council overwhelmingly agreed to award them to Crans-Montana, I was not really surprised, the bid itself was excellent. In 1987 the World Championships here were great, and I think with the improvements that are going to be made, especially to the finish stadium, it's going to be perfect.
Can we expect to see the World Cup finals in Crans-Montana in 2026?
We haven't decided yet, but Crans-Montana is not guaranteed to be hosting them in 2026. But to be honest, do we need to test Crans-Montana before 2027? I don't think so (editor's note: the Men's Speed World Cup could stop off in the resort in 2025). We don't need to test Saalbach in 2024 with a view to 2025, so...
Is Valais a region you particularly appreciate?
Yes, I love this region. As a child, I spent a lot of time skiing in Zermatt and that's how I got to know Franz Julen (ex-Intersport CEO and organiser of the 'Speed Opening') so well.
DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana