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Big Air in Saudi Arabia: “It’s nonsense”, protests the president of the French Ski Federation

2024-02-27T16:04:44.741Z

Highlights: Big Air in Saudi Arabia: “It’s nonsense”, protests the president of the French Ski Federation. “What impact will it have on the world? », asks Fabien Saguez. This competition is not part of the World Cup calendar. To attract athletes, the country on the Arabian Peninsula resorted to money, as revealed by L'Équipe on Tuesday. The trip was fully covered and the prize money far exceeds the usual amounts. Each participant also received money for their visit.


The freestyle competition, which takes place in Riyadh until Thursday, is completely out of step with the climate emergency, according to Fabien Saguez. The saying


In Riyadh, this Tuesday in Saudi Arabia, the weather was more encouraging to put on your hat and shorts than a ski suit.

Up to 25 degrees on the meter.

However, a big air event did take place in the city.

This freestyle ski competition started Monday and ends Thursday.

An ecological absurdity for many observers, including the president of the French Ski Federation (FFS).

“We have a fairly clear position: it’s nonsense,” says Fabien Saguez.

It is not understandable for us to go to these competitions.

We can only position ourselves against it.

The ecological situation is not ours to dictate!

Especially for mountain dwellers, we experience global warming every day.

»

“What impact will it have on the world?

»

This competition in Saudi Arabia, called “SnowBlast KSA Cup”, is not part of the World Cup calendar.

This event is financed by private funds, it is not taken into account by either the FFS or the International Federation.

To attract athletes, the country on the Arabian Peninsula resorted to money, as revealed by L'Équipe on Tuesday.

The trip was fully covered and the prize money far exceeds the usual amounts.

Each participant also received money for their visit.

However, Fabien Saguez does not intend that the financial dimension justifies everything: “Whatever the situation of an athlete, at no time can we put the financial and environmental aspects at the same level.

A young person who does freestyle and tells himself that it will pay off his season, I can hear him.

Now, what impact will it have on the world?

What will be the view of public opinion?

»

The president of the FFS excludes any possibility of sanctions for the French athletes present in Riyadh.

There are several of them, like Antoine Adelisse, Alexis Ghisleni, Enzo Valax and Kaditane Gomis.

“There is no question of punishing anyone, this competition is not even part of the Federation’s calendar.

Everyone makes their choices and takes responsibility.

» Fabien Saguez notes the lack of communication between the federal teams and the skiers regarding their participation: “Even a country like Saudi Arabia is aware that this is not very virtuous.

Everything happened in direct contact with the athletes.

»

Also read “We play with fire”: cancellations, climate change, controversies… Alpine skiing will have to adapt

The president of the FFS calls for individual awareness of each athlete.

“It’s not necessarily a structural problem, I really believe in everyone’s action.

If someone has 800 km to travel, they must ask themselves whether it is better to take the car, the train, the plane.

Just that, where the impact may seem minimal, it must be said.

»

“The vision of all countries is not the same”

But Fabien Saguez also points out the lack of coherence within institutions.

In October 2022, when it learned of the attribution of the 2029 Asian Winter Games to Saudi Arabia, the FFS expressed “its astonishment”.

In a press release, she judged this project “absurd and totally opposed to what is desirable for the planet”.

“When constructing the World Cup calendar last fall, we voted against a majority of the proposals,” adds Fabien Saguez.

Some movements are inconsistent.

We need to start making changes, it’s a good thing to talk about it.

But these are international processes, and when you think about it, not every country's vision is the same.

»

Also read “The stars align and it becomes incredible”: in the secrets of Cyprien Sarrazin’s rise

The president of the FFS is thinking in particular of the double round trip of alpine skiers to the United States.

Events took place in Beaver Creek at the end of 2023, then in Palisades Tahoe last weekend and in Aspen on March 2 and 3.

Fabien Saguez reminds us: it is transport that pollutes the most during competitions.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2024-02-27

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