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Photo: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis
Rome (IBSF The IBSF Congress 2018 has been held at the Headquarter of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in the beautiful city of Rome, Italy on 26th to 27th of June, 2018. The focus was set on the election of the IBSF Executive Committee, the IBSF Auditors and Appeals Tribunal Members.

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All Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis

Already on the Pre-Congress hold on June 26th, 2018 the Executive Committee Members presented their reports for the last season. Vice-President for Legal Affairs Ben Sandford started with an overview of the last 12 months where Anti-Doping matters kept the Federation busy.

Peter van Wees, the Athletes´representative on the Executive Committee, referred in his presentation to the Gender Equality challenges each International Federation will face and how the IBSF could possibly find solutions which were based on statistics from Summer Sports and of the last Winter Games Editions.

The Marketing & Events sector was presented by David Tomatis with an overview of last year´s development. The IBSF Marketing & Media Partner, Infront Sports & Media AG, presented a very detailed and comprehensive overview of Media Datas and Marketing aspects. Stefan Krauss as representative of Infront gave very valuable insights of the latest developments in the Media and Marketing sector.

As every year, the presentation by the Vice-President for Sports, Darrin Steele, was followed with great interest. A main part includes the changes in the Rules for Bobsleigh & Skeleton, decided by the Executive Committee after they had been reviewed and recommendations were given by the various IBSF Committees (e.g. Sports, Material).

Closely connected to Sports is „International Affairs“ with the IBSF Development Program. Adam Pengilly, responsible Vice-President, informed all Members about the last year and the success the IBSF Development Program had been in the run up to the Olympic Winter Games 2018.

After a short lunch break the Congress participants were informed by the Vice President for Finances and Corporate Affairs, Andreas Trautvetter, about the fiscal year 2016/17 as well as the actual figures as of March 2018. The Budget for the upcoming season had been presented as well.

These presentations were followed by an operational overview given by the Secretary General Heike Groesswang. She informed about the various areas of work the IBSF office staff has to oversee and some key figures related to it .

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After each presentation the Delegates of the 41 National Federation Members present had the opportunity to raise questions to each of the reports.

The Pre-Congress closed with the presentations by the hosts for the BMW IBSF Worldchampionships 2019 – Whistler (Canada), 2020 – Altenberg (Germany), 2021 – Lake Placid as well as the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, given by the Sports Dircetor Mr.Lixing Tong.

The Congress day on Wednesday, 27th of June, was opened by the CONI President, Giovanni Malagó who welcomed all participants in the historical home of CONI. He wished all Members and guests a succesful Congress in Rome. President Ivo Ferriani thanked the host for this unique Congress location and handed over a small gift .

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The welcome words were followed by a minute of silence to those who passed away in the past year. President Ferriani took the chance to commemorate in particular Corrado dal Fabbro (ITA) , who served the FIBT (now IBSF) as Vice President for so many years – his expertise and knowledge have massively contributed to the development of the Federation. Also Günther Gscheidlinger, former Secretary General of the German Federation and well known for his contributions at FIBT Congresses, passed away only recently.

After the official role call, the Minutes of the last Congress, held in Salt Lake City, USA in June, 2017 were approved by the Congress.

It was followed by the reports of the external and internal Auditors and the release of the Executive Committee by the Congress. The proposed budget was confirmed in addition.
Before the election started each candidate had the opportunity to present herself respectively himself.

The President´s election showed the results of 38 votes for Ivo Ferriani (ITA) and 5 votes for Fritz Burkard (SUI ).

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As Ms.Sarah Storey had informed the President and Secretary General in the morning of the Congress day that she would only stand for the position of Vice-President of International Affairs the following Vice-Presidents were elected by a „show of hand“ as agreed by the Congress:
Darrin Steele (USA) – Vice President for Sports
David Tomatis (MON) – Vice President for Marketing and Events
Andreas Trautvetter (GER) – Vice President for Financial and Corporate Affairs.

The following election were conducted by secret ballots:
Vice President International Affairs:
Stefaan Freeling (BEL) - 28 votes
Sarah Storey (CAN) - 11 votes
German Glessner (ARG) – 4 votes

Vice President Communication
Przemyslaw Piesiewicz (POL) - 38 votes
Peter Van Wees (NED) - 5 votes

Vice President Legal Affairs
Martins Dambergs (LAT) - 22 votes
Ben Sandford (NZL) - 18 votes
Void - 1 vote
(as one Member Federation holding 2 votes left the Congress only 41 votes were available for the Vice President Legal Affairs)

The re-elected President Ivo Ferriani thanked all leaving Executive Committee Members for their contribution and dedication to the IBSF over the past four years, he then welcomed the new Members of the IBSF Executive Committee.

The election of the IBSF Auditors saw the following result:
Anders Huuse (NOR)
Luis Vazquez (PRI)
Gertjan Kempers (NED)

The Congress also decided on the composition of the Appeals Tribunal:
Ben Heijmeier (NED)
Stephen A.Hess (USA)
Sander Kevelaerts (BEL)
Stephen Rowland-Jones (GBR)

The Congress then approved the amendments to the Appeals Tribunal regulations which were presented by the Executive Committee.
The proposal by the Swiss Federation to change the voting rights for the Executive Committee was withdrawn by the Member.

Before closing the Congress the President took the chance to honour the following persons:
• Luis Vazquez for serving the IBSF (former FIBT) for 20 years
• Anders Huuse for serving the IBSF (former FIBT) for more than 25 years

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The Secretary General of the Italian Winter Sports, Ms.Loretta Piroia was awarded a glass statute for the support in the organization of the Congress. The FISI volunteers received small gifts as well.

Additionally, the excellent work of the translators with the great expertise of the long-standing simultaneous translator of the IBSF, Petra Lossner and her colleague was appreciated by all Congress participants with great applause.

The Congress was then officially closed.

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