Highlights of Sledding and FIL history
First international sled contest. Competitors from Australia, England, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland started on the 12th of February in Switzerland on a 4-km road between Davos and Klosters. The ex aequo winners: the Australian student Georg ROBERTSON and the mailman Peter MINSCH from Klosters - both within the time of 9 minutes and 15 seconds.
Austria, Germany and Switzerland founded the "Internationaler Schlittensportverband" (International Sled Sport Federation) in Dresden/ Germany.
1st European Championships in Reichenberg (at that time Kingdom of Bohemia, today Liberec/ Czech Republic). The first European Champions: Rudolf KAUSCHKA/ Reichenberg, Karl LÖBEL and Erwin POSSELT, double seater/ Gablonz (today Jablobnec/ Czech Republic).
New founding of the "Internationaler Schlittensportverband" (International Sled Sport Federation) in Dresden (GER). The members: "Deutscher Rodelbund" (German Sled Sport Federation), "Deutscher Bobverband" (German Bobsleigh Federation), "Verband Deutscher Schlittensportvereine in der Tschechoslowakei" (Federation of German Sled Sport Associations in Czechoslovakia) and "Österreichischer Schlittensportverband" (Austrian Sled Sport Federation).
2nd European Championships - for the first time with a women's class - in Schreiberhau (GER) (today Szklarska Poreba (POL)). Hilde RAUPACH/Schreiberhau becomes first female European Champion.
As "Section de Luge", the "Internationaler Schlittensportverband", now named "Internationaler Rodelsportverband" (International Luge Federation) joins the "International Bobsleigh Federation" (Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing/ FIBT), founded in Paris in 1923.
Resolution at the congress of the "International Olympic Committee/ IOC" at Athens (GRE): luge on artificial track is to replace skeleton as an olympic discipline.
1st World Championships on Artificial Track in Oslo/ Norway at the Holmenkollen with lugers from 8 nations. The first World Champions: Karla KIENZL (AUT), Anton SALVESEN (NOR), Hans KRAUSNER and Josef THALER (AUT).
Foundation of the "International Luge Federation" (Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course/ FIL) on the 25th of January in Davos (SUI) with delegates from 13 nations. Bert Isatitsch from Rottenmann (AUT) is the first president elected. At the congress of the "International Olympic Committee/ IOC" in Sofia (BUL), the FIL was admitted to the IOC.
Luge competitions are to be included in the program of the IXth Olympic Winter Games in 1964 in Innsbruck (AUT). This resolution is passed at the congress of the "International Olympic Committee/ IOC" in Munich (GER).
At the IXth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck (AUT), lugers from 12 nations compete for the first time. The winners at the artificial track in Igls:
- Ortrun ENDERLEIN (GER), Later changed to EUA* by the IOC
- Thomas KÖHLER (GER), Later changed to EUA* by the IOC
- Josef FEISTMANTL und Manfred STENGL (AUT)
- Ilse GEISLER (GER), Later changed to EUA* by the IOC
- Klaus BONSACK (GER), Later changed to EUA* by the IOC
- Helmut THALER und Reinhold SENN (AUT)
- Helene THURNER (AUT)
- Hans PLENK (GER), Later changed to EUA* by the IOC
- Siegfried MAIR and Walter AUSSERDORFER (ITA)
* = EUA (Équipe unifiée d’Allemagne / All-German team)
1st World Championships on Natural Track at Inzing (AUT). The winners are: Delia VAUDAN (ITA), Werner PRANTL (AUT), Damiano LUGON and Andrea MILLET (ITA).
1st Junior World Championships on Artificial Track in Lake Placid (USA). The winners are: Elena BUSLAEVA (Soviet Union), Hans-Joachim SCHURACK (German Democratic Republic), Jörg HOFFMANN and Jochen PIETZSCH (German Democratic Republic).
Bert ISATITSCH from Rottenmann (AUT), President of the FIL since its foundation in 1957, is re-elected for four years during the 38th FIL Congress in Albertville (FRA).
New elections are postponed to 1994. This was confirmed at the 42nd FIL Congress in Innsbruck (AUT). The reason for this is the changed Olympic Winter Games rotation. In future, there will be new elections every four years again - and this, always after Olympic Winter Games.
On the 8th of February, President Bert ISATITSCH from Rottenmann (AUT) dies unexpectedly. He was at the top of the FIL since its foundation in 1957. Josef FENDT from Berchtesgaden (GER), who was Vice-President for Sport until then, becomes Acting President. At the 43rd FIL Congress in Rome (ITA), Josef FENDT from Berchtesgaden (GER) is elected new President.
44th FIL Congress in Strbske Pleso (SVK).
1st European Championships for Horn Sleds in Telfs (AUT). The winners:
racing sleds women:
Martha BURGMANN, Emma STROBL, Manuela LASTA
racing sleds men:
Rupert HEINDL, Josef FUXSTEINER, Manfred HÄRTENSTEINER
Hubert PEER, Johann PEER, Gerhard GASSER und Martin PEER
45th FIL Congress in Ancient Olympia (GRE).
32nd World Championships on Artificial Track in Igls (AUT). The winners are:
- Susi ERDMANN (GER)
- Georg HACKL (GER)
- Tobias SCHIEGL und Markus SCHIEGL (AUT)
- Jana BODE (GER)
- Markus PROCK (AUT)
- Stephan KRAUSSE und Jan BEHRENDT (GER)
- Angelika NEUNER (AUT)
- Gerhard GLEIRSCHER (AUT)
- Steffen SKEL und Steffen WÖLLER (GER)
1st Junior World Championships on Natural Track in Aosta (ITA). The winners are:
- Christa GIETL (ITA)
- Reinhard GRUBER (ITA)
- Armin MAIR und David MAIR (ITA)
- Tina EL-NEMR (FIN)
- Daniele FIEILLER (ITA)
- Emanuele GIANELLI und Vanja DEME (ITA)
- Petra UNTERMARZONER (ITA)
- Eddy PERRIN (ITA)
- Borut KRALJ und Robi KALISNIK (SLO)
At the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, luge competitions are on the program for the tenth time. Josef Fendt is confirmed for the second time as FIL President at the 46th Congress in Colorado Springs (USA). India and Venezuela are accepted as full members. Participation in the congress is a record 32 member federations.
At the 47th Congress in Salzburg (AUT), the FIL makes a new attempt at having natural track luge accepted in the program of the Olympic Winter Games. The program for free-training run vouchers is introduced for artificial track. Björn Walden (SWE) is named honorary member.
The revised statutes of the FIL are approved at the 48th Congress in Oberhof (GER). Brazil becomes a full member, raising the number of members to 42, along with three provisional members. Motions before the congress to amend the International Luge Regulations (IRO) must from now on receive a 2/3 majority in the expert commissions.
At the 49th Congress in Warsaw, President Josef Fendt characterizes the support and development program in artificial and natural track as the “showpiece” of the FIL. The world federation devotes around 500,000 euro annually to support national federations and individual development programs. Argentina becomes a full member of the FIL.
A maximum number of 110 athletes according to the FIL’s quota participate in the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games. Taking part are 26 national federations, 16 receiving financial support under the “Olympic Solidarity” program. President Josef Fendt wins the election over his opponent Dwight Bell (USA) with 29 to 13 votes at the 50th Congress in St. Wolfgang (AUT) at which a record number of 43 member countries participate. General Secretary Svein Romstad and Harald Steyrer are confirmed in their positions, the latter as Vice President of Finance. The social highpoint of this anniversary congress is a ceremonial act. Honorary member Baron Eduard von Falz-Fein is awarded the FIL’s medal in gold with diamonds. In August, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejects the FIL’s request to have the natural track sport accepted in the Olympic Program for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turino.
The 51st Congress returns to the roots of the sport of luge: Davos was the venue for the first luge competition in 1883; in 1957 luge athletes separated from the FIBT and established the FIL. Margit Schumann (GER), 1976 Olympic champion and four-time world champion, Paul Hildgartner (ITA), 1972 Olympic champion in doubles and 1984 Olympic champion in singles, Klaus Bonsack (GER), 1968 Olympic champion in doubles, are all inducted into the newly-created Hall of Fame.
Nagano is the first Asian host for FIL World Championships. In addition, the congress is held for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere: Rio de Janeiro (BRA) is the site of the 52nd Congress. Croatia becomes a full member of the FIL. President Fendt celebrates his 10th anniversary in office. When he took office, the FIL’s budget was approximately 800,000 euro; ten years later total outlays are four times this amount; he reports that prize money to active competitors and athlete subsidies have grown by more than 400 percent. Josef Feistmantl (AUT), 1964 Olympic champion and 1969 world champion, as well as Hans Rinn (GER), 1976 Olympic champion in doubles and three-time world champion, are inducted into the Hall of Fame becoming the newest members.
Vice-President Jan Steler is honored at the 53rd Congress in Cesana for his 50 years of voluntary work. Australia again receives full member status in the FIL.
Josef Fendt from Berchtesgaden is unanimously reelected as FIL President for the third time at the 54th Congress held in his hometown. In a runoff vote for the position of Vice-President, Harald Steyrer is the clear winner over his opponent Geoff Balme (New Zealand). Dr. Thomas Bach, Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) praises the FIL as a reliable partner of the IOC. The FIL is considered for the first time for an IOC body when President Fendt joins the commission on “Sport and Environment.”
On the occasion of its 50th birthday, the FIL meets in Innsbruck for its 55th congress. A total of three commemorative books provide a retrospective on the FIL’s history. A ceremony is held at which Leo Wallner (AUT), President of the Austrian Olympic Committee (ÖOC), Rene Fasel (SUI), President of the International Ice Hockey Federation and AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations) as well as member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Robert Storey (CAN), President of World Bob & Skeleton Federation honor the FIL. Vera Sosulia, 1980 Olympic champion, is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In Calgary (CAN) the FIL adopts the rules for the newly-created team relay competition to be included in the IRO. The goal is to move up this innovative competition into the program for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Sochi, Russia.
The congress of the International Luge Federation (FIL) held in Liberec (CZE) awards the 44th FIL World Championships for 2013 to the “Whistler Sliding Center.” Turkey and Tonga from Oceania are accepted as member countries. As a result, the FIL now has 52 member countries from four continents.
Josef Fendt is reelected for the fourth time as President of the International Luge Federation (FIL). At the 58th FIL congress in Sochi, Russia, delegates from 32 member federations unanimously confirm the 62-year-old Fendt from Berchtesgaden, Germany, by acclamation as the leader of the Olympic federation. General Secretary Svein Romstad (USA) and Harald Steyrer (AUT) are also unanimously reelected, the latter as Vice-President of Finance. Also confirmed in their posts are Einars Fogelis (LAT) as Vice-President for Technical Affairs, and Claire DelNegro (USA) as Vice-President Sport. In the natural track segment, the delegates elect Herbert Wurzer (AUT) as Vice-President Sport to succeed Werner Kropsch, deceased. Alfred Jud (ITA) is confirmed in his office as Vice-President for Technical Affairs (natural track).
The dream of the International Luge Federation, FIL, of a fourth luge discipline at the Olympic Winter Games has come true. On the occasion of the IOC Executive Board Meeting in London, the President of the International Olympic Committee, IOC, Belgium’s Jacques Rogge announced that the FIL Team Relay has been approved and will thus be a part of the Olympic program. As early as the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, not only medals in the disciplines women’s and men’s singles as well as doubles’ will be awarded but, for the first time, in the Team Relay too. Based on the experience gathered in Sochi, the IOC will then decide whether the Team Relay is worthy to be included also in future Olympic programs.
At the 60th FIL Congress in Riga, Latvia, the International Luge Federation (FIL) gave itself more modern and lean structures. The delegates from 31 nations passed a resolution which reduces the Executive Board by one third. According to the resolution, the Executive Board will consist of 11 instead of 16 members in the future.
From 2014 on, the Executive Board will be made up of the President, Secretary General, Vice-President for Finance, Vice-President Technical Affairs Artificial Track, Vice-President Sport Artificial Track, Vice-President Natural Track and two members-at-large. The Vice-Presidents for Asia and Oceania as well as the Executive Director will also be part of the Executive Board, but without a right to vote.
The FIL’s continental championships on artificial track will be carried out annually as part of the Viessmann World Cups (race-in-race).
The FIL Family continues to grow: The National Federation of Serbia has been granted full official membership. Serbia, previously a provisional member, had provided evidence of activities in the sport of luge so that its motion was accepted at the 61st FIL Congress in Istanbul (Turkey). The FIL now has 53 member federations – 50 full members as well as three provisional member federations (Israel, Kyrgyzstan and Thailand).
Hartmut Kardaetz was appointed Honorary Member in Istanbul. In doing so, the world federation honored the merits of the long-time Executive Director. The FIL now has six living Honorary Members: Erhardt Feuereiss (Germany), Chi-You Hsu (Taipeh), Tsuguto Kitano (Japan), Baron Eduard von Falz-Fein (Liechtenstein), Volley H. Cole (USA), and Dr. Milo Kriz (Czech Republic).
The FIL Team Relay celebrated a spectacular Olympic premiere at the Winter Games in Sochi. Gold went to Germany with Natalie Geisenberger, Felix Loch und Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt, who triumphed in the individual competitions beforehand.
At the 62nd FIL Congress in Innsbruck, President Josef Fendt was confirmed in his office for the fifth time. Also re-elected unanimously were Secretary General Svein Romstad (USA) and Harald Steyrer (AUT) as Vice President for Finances. Einars Fogelis (LAT) as Vice President Technical Matters and Claire DelNegro (USA) as Vice President Sport were reconfirmed in their positions.
Peter Knauseder from Austria became the new Vice President Natural Track. Natalia Gart, President of the Russian Luge Federation, and Ed Moffat, former President of the Canadian Luge Federation, joined the Executive Board as members at large.
The 63rd Congress of the International Luge Federation (FIL) could well be seen as the start of a new era. At the Congress held in PyeongChang, the Korean city hosting the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in three years, the delegates from 38 nations adopted a whole series of landmark resolutions.
In 2016, the sprint event will be tested as a World Championship discipline. The chair of the athletes’ commission will be a voting member of the Executive Board with immediate effect. And the FIL will be opening up its coffers and making an unprecedented increase to the already comprehensive support it offers its member federations.
The FIL mourns Honorary Vice President Tsuguto Kitano. The long-time President of the Japanese Federation died on 16 December 2015 in Tokyo, aged 92.
An Ethics Code has been agreed at the 64th Congress of the International Luge Federation (FIL) in Lake Placid. This code defines the values and principles that govern the conduct and dealings within the world federation and with external organisations.
Honorary Member Dr. Milo Kriz, long-time Chairman of the Sport Commission, died on 10th July 2016 in his hometown of Prague.
Norbert Hiedl is the first Ethics Authority of the International Luge Federation (FIL). At the 65th Congress of the world federation (FIL) in Constanţa, Romania, the 68 year-old lawyer from Waltrop, Germany was elected. Ben Heijmeijer from the Netherlands was elected to be his successor as Chairman of the Court of Arbitration
Additionally, Secretary General Svein Romstad (USA) has announced his farewell in 2018. The 50th FIL World Championships will take place in Calgary, Canada in 2021. The host of the 1988 Olympics prevailed over Oberhof (GER). The cooperation with the sponsors Viessmann and Eberspächer was renewed through 2022 thanks to the contract with the sports marketing agency RGS.
The Germans Natalie Geisenberger as well as Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt achieved something historic during the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea: The trio won in women’s singles and in doubles, as well as in the Team Relay. They had already won all of these competitions in Sochi 2014 which makes them each the first to ever win gold medals with the consecutive numbers three and four. In men’s singles, the Austrian David Gleirscher goes down in the history books as the surprise winner of these Winter Olympics.
The end of an era: During the Congress in Bratislava, Svein Romstad (USA) resigns as General Secretary and becomes an honorary member. His successor is the Latvian Einars Fogelis. President Josef Fendt is confirmed in his office for the sixth time.
All FIL applications concerning the inclusion of more luge disciplines into the Olympic program were not approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Therefore, during the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, medals will be awarded to the winners in women’s singles, men’s singles, doubles, and Team Relay as before.
Thomas Schwab is the new Vice President for Marketing of the International Luge Federation (FIL). The Chairman of the German Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton Federation (BSD) was elected by the delegates at the 67th FIL Congress in Ljubljana (SLO). The latest member of the Luge Hall of Fame is Italy’s Armin Zöggeler. The six-time World Champion won six Olympic medals at six different Olympic Winter Games (2 gold – 1 silver – 3 bronze).
The worldwide spread of COVID-19 is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11. In contrast to other sports federations, the International Luge Federation, FIL, is able to conclude its 2019/2020 competition season as scheduled in both artificial and natural track luge. The provisional homologation of the artificially iced track for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (CHN) scheduled for March has to be postponed due to the pandemic and will now take place in October. The 68th FIL Congress scheduled for June is postponed to November and will be held online. The annual meetings of the Expert Commissions as well as the meetings of the Executive Board are held as video conferences for the first time. The FIL office is closed for several weeks and operations are switched to home office.
At the World Cup final in Königssee, FIL President Josef Fendt announces that he will step down from his office at the upcoming FIL Congress. He wants to decide for himself when he will resign his Office in order to have more time for his private life.
The automotive supplier Eberspächer takes over the title sponsorship of the FIL World Cup series from long-time title sponsor Viessmann in the 2020/21 season. In the 43rd FIL Luge World Cup winter - during the COVID-19 pandemic - all EBERSPÄCHER World Cup races as well as the 50th FIL World Championships take place in Europe. North American teams do not compete in the international races until January 2021. China does not participate in any of the championships and competitions and prepares exclusively on the new Olympic track in the Yanqing Sliding Center near Beijing for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in 2022. There, the 2021/22 Olympic winter is to start in November with the first EBERSPÄCHER World Cup, at the same time a test event for the big season finale in February 2022.
The 69 th FIL Congress had been scheduled for June in the Olympic city of Beijing (CHN) and has to be moved to September in Salzburg (AUT) due to the pandemic.