Olympic veteran John Aalberg becomes Director of Sports of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011

(Oslo, September 29th 2009) John Aalberg (49) will take up the position of Director of Sports of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 in April 2010. “I am fantastically pleased and proud. John knows more than anyone else in the world about big, international events in the Nordic ski disciplines,” says Åsne Havnelid, CEO of WSC 2011.

Aalberg is currently both director of sports and arena manager for Nordic disciplines (cross country, ski jumping, combined and biathlon) for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and consultant for the Winter Olympics in Sochiin 2014. He has previously been responsible for cross country at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, worked on sporting preparations for Turin in 2006 and the World Championships in Sapporo in 2007 and has undertaken many World Cup commissions for the FIS.

“John has an enormous amount of event expertise to offer us.He is assuming the Director of Sports role, which is an extremely important one for us.We are focusing on the competitors and facilitating the best possible sporting conditions.I am proud to have got John on our World Championships team,” says Havnelid.

Aalberg grew up in Stjørdal in Nord-Trøndelag, but moved to the USA in 1983, where he completed his education as a computer engineer.Since then he has lived in the USA and Canada.Aalberg was an active cross country skier for many years and competed for the US ski team at the Albertville and Lillehammer Olympics in 1992 and 1994.
Stringent FIS requirements
Aalberg sees the World Championships job in Norway as an exciting challenge.
“As a Norwegian emigrant, it will be fun for me to be part of a ski world championships in Norway. And I like a challenge. I know that the FIS sets some stringent requirements for World Championships organisers, perhaps especially in skiing’s home country. I can use my experience to get the priorities right,” says Aalberg, who has worked closely with the FIS on previous championships.
Espen Bjervig is leaving the job of Director of Sports of the World Ski Championships 2011 in October after receiving an offer from his previous employer that he could not say no to. Havnelid is therefore working on a transitional solution for the period until Aalberg is in place in the World Championship Pavilion in Oslo.
“We have a competent organisation, a skilful assistant sports director in Lasse Ottesen and experienced people at the Norwegian Ski Association and the Federation for the Promotion of Skiing who will be important supporting players until John is in place,” says Havnelid.

The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships at Holmenkollen will be held from 24 February to 6 March 2011. The trial WSC (a World Cup event) will be held at Holmenkollen on 13 and 14 March 2010.
For more information about WSC 2011, see

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