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Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis

Please find the President´s Video Message here.


Dear IBSF Family,

The 2020/21 IBSF season was heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. We had just succeeded in finishing the 2019/20 season successfully with the 2020 Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Championships in Altenberg, Germany, before the word "lockdown" became our constant companion for the following months.

Whilst initially we were still hopeful to be able to run the 2020/21 season without any restrictions, we quickly realized that we had to have a plan "B" available. Thus, our office team kept working on concepts in close contact with medical experts, other International Sports Federations, local health authorities and, particularly, with our track owners throughout the summer. The scope of the concepts we developed was not to fight "against" the pandemic but “to favor” the possibility to hold the events. Right from the beginning the IBSF Executive Committee had decided and set the objective to conduct events in all series, even if the number would perhaps have to be reduced. In any case, the utmost was to be done in order that the athletes could at least be guaranteed training opportunities and, at best, a competition. Our office team did an excellent background job in this regard, while our coordinators worked closely and tirelessly with all of you on a daily basis. The IBSF team was reorganized and new areas of responsibility, such as the position of the hygiene officer, were created. The constant exchange with the track managers or the organizing committees on the latest developments on site were a major guarantee for success. When drawing up the COVID-19 prevention guidelines, it was very important for us to apply the concept in order to protect not only our own athletes and officials, but also the local population. In this regard, I wish to express my appreciation to all persons involved, be they the athletes, officials, volunteers or track staff, for having kept discipline day by day. We thus conducted almost 20,000 tests last season and had a total of 18 positive cases that were immediately quarantined.

In this context I would like to express my special thanks to all track owners worldwide. They granted great flexibility and commitment, especially in setting up and implementing "test centers" on site.

I would also like to mention the willingness of the North American track owners to renounce the scheduled World Cups in order to grant the feasibility of the entire World Cup series or, as in the case of Lake Placid, to allow even the move of the World Championships. This was a great gesture of solidarity in the best sense of our sport.

In total, 43 nations participated in 131 events at 9 competition venues in the disciplines of bobsleigh, skeleton and Para bobsleigh worldwide last season. We were able to offer the athletes more than 12,000 runs. All this was obtained despite the difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I would like to thank you very much for your common engagement to make this season possible despite the challenging and extremely stressful overall situation. We all had the same goal in mind, which made us grow even closer together: SLIDING!

I wish you all a relaxing time after the season and a good preparation for the 2021/22 Olympic season! Stay healthy.

Yours sincerely

Ivo Ferriani

President

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