Ski organization FIS votes for modernization with presidential term limit

After having had just four presidents in its first 97 years, the International Ski Federation voted on Friday to limit the term of leaders and add more women to the board.

Presidents will be limited to three four-year terms after an almost unanimous vote by member federations to update the FIS legal statutes.

Johan Eliasch was elected in June to complete the final year of outgoing president Gian Franco Kasper’s sixth and final term.

Eliasch, who stepped down as CEO of ski and tennis brand Head to lead FIS, is due for re-election in May. The new rule leaves him the right to stay until 2034.

The 12-year limit brings skiing into compliance with international sporting bodies such as FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.

Kasper’s 23 years as FIS President followed a 46-year career under the leadership of another Swiss official, Marc Hodler. Kasper died in July five weeks after the election to replace him.

The FIS statutes approved on Friday also require a minimum of three women on the governing body council. There was only one woman on the 18-member committee before the June election, where longtime former secretary general Sarah Lewis was a candidate.

A vote to change the name of the FIS was narrowly defeated despite majority support.

A proposed name change to the International Ski and Snowboard Federation failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority in a vote of 66-49.

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