FIL President Josef Fendt announces retirement for June 2020
Berchtesgaden (RWH) After 26 years at the top of the International Luge Federation (FIL), President Josef Fendt has announced his retirement. “I will be opening up my post at the FIL Congress in Berchtesgaden in June 2020,” said the 72-year-old at the team leaders’ meeting at the Viessmann World Cup event on the weekend (29 February/1 March 2020).
Explaining his decision, he said that he wanted to be the one to decide when he left his post, and have more time for his private life. “I am handing over a well organised international federation with orderly finances and clear structures,” said Fendt in “haus der Berge” (House of Mountains) in Berchtesgaden.
He said that it was important to him to both announce his retirement and then actually retire for good in his home town of Berchtesgaden. The artificial ice track in Königssee will host the final races in the Viessmann World Cup on the weekend (29 February/1 March 2020) while the 68th FIL Congress will take place in Berchtesgaden on 15/16 June 2020. During the congress, the current Secretary General Einars Fogelis of Latvia will take over the post of President at Fendt’s request.
The Executive Board first appointed Fendt as a temporary President following the death of founding President Bert Isatitsch on 8 February 1994 in the direct run-up to the Winter Olympic Games. Fendt was officially elected as the President of the FIL at the 43rd FIL Congress in Rome on June 25, 1994.
During Fendt’s time in office, the FIL evolved into a modern international federation. Fendt – whose career as an athlete saw him win silver in the men’s singles at the 1976 Olympics – succeeded in getting the team relay onto the Olympic Winter Games programme and establishing it as an event. The two-time World Champion (1970 and 1974) founded the FIL office ion Berchtesgaden, launched the standardised safety helmet, and supported smaller national associations with innovative ideas like the free ride system and an extensive development support system.