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Peter Hutton, Director Sports Partnerships, Facebook (UK / USA / Global)
“Sarah has impressed me for years by her willingness to listen, learn and lead.
She understands that innovation is central to growing sport and I am confident in her ability to lead the organisation into a new era.”
“I was delighted to learn that you are a candidate for the FIS presidency and I wish you the best of success.
As we know, International Federations are generally change-resistant, especially with respect to leadership and yours, to date, for some 90 years, has been a textbook case.
In a sport that has welcomed a healthy balance of gender participation on the field of play, an unbroken record of male leadership, plus aggressive campaigning to extend that state of affairs speaks poorly for the kind of diversity you would bring to the position, not to mention the collaborative leadership you have been able to generate in your position as Secretary-General.
In these difficult times for good governance in sport organizations, we are seeing, all around us, many disastrous outcomes of failure to adjust to modern standards. We need leaders who present themselves for the right reasons, with the right programmes, the right standards, who can achieve the best for their sports and not for personal self-aggrandisement. It is disappointing to see ongoing willingness to sacrifice sport values for personal gratification.
In post-Covid times, organizations and institutions which consider financial and other support for sport will, increasingly, be looking for demonstrable commitment to the kind of social values you would bring to FIS. I hope the members understand the importance of demonstrating such values, not just talking about them.
I am proud to applaud all of the great qualities you would bring to the position.”
“Over the last 13 years as President & CEO of Rossignol Group, I have continuously followed the path Rossignol has taken, successfully, for decades: invest in junior athletes and clubs globally, play a major role in the international and national competition circuits around the world, attracting young people and communities to participate in our sport.
Despite our efforts, and those of our global snow sport community, we are all facing many challenges - our sport participation is not growing, exposure of our sport is not strong, we rely on live events to project the emotion and excitement of our sport, and our televised product is boring.
We need a new approach, to create strong stories and events - every weekend should be an incredible chapter of a thriller.
We need to be more digital, reaching children and young people and entire communities online. We need to engage with the leading snow nations and connect with emerging markets - these are our new generation.
We need to get skiing back to centre stage and we don’t need the same old recipes: now is the time for game changers.
This is not just about turning the table upside down - this is about moving to a new era, about managing this needed change, with the highest respect to everyone.
We need a team approach, with a leader who is willing to align all forces to create the dynamic we need.
Sarah is by far the best person to lead skiing back to being a top sport worldwide and I fully support her. She knows perfectly the machinery and she understands the stakeholders.
She has the respect, engages with the whole community, has the biggest will to coordinate this approach, and understands the new approaches we need to take to really boost interest in our sport and participation.
She is also a strong, neutral leader and can work closely with all parties, nations, athletes and suppliers to ensure solid control of an agreed plan and execution.
Sarah is the one."
“I have known Sarah since the launch of Leaders in Sport in 2007 and have no hesitation endorsing her candidacy for the President of the FIS.
She is a true leader and visionary, with an outstanding reputation and unrivalled connections around the world of sport, from teams, leagues and federations all the way through to brands, suppliers and the media.
What marks her out for me is her desire to continuously learn, her energy, authenticity and her desire to make a difference to the sport and community she is so passionate about.
Sarah carries her values with her wherever she goes, and actively promotes diversity, inclusion, fairness of competition and sustainability - all of which are essential for a leader of any progressive International Federation.
I know the sport will be better with Sarah at the helm and I fully support her candidacy for President."
“I have known Sarah Lewis OLY for many years as a sport administrator and as an Olympian. Sarah was the first one to fill in our survey on post career health because by experience she places the well-being of the athletes first.
I am convinced that the skills she inherited from her journey as an Olympian, dedication, honesty, hard working, straightforwardness and embracing all cultures would help her to become a great leader, should she succeed in her candidacy to the FIS Presidency.”
“In my decades working in sport it’s been rare to come across a Sport Federation leader as focused, experienced, committed, dedicated and caring as Sarah.
I had the pleasure of getting to know her during her long and successful tenure as General Secretary at FIS.
Sarah can be clear and direct, which is a huge personal asset in that you know where she stands and where you stand.
As a result not only can you work better and smarter, but also she achieves better results for her organization.
I support her in her candidacy to lead what I expect to be a new, vibrant FIS based on the vision she lays out on her website sarah-lewis.com.”
“Knowing Sarah for over 20 years, I am always impressed by her immediate actions when asking for her assistance.
Reliable, passionate and innovative, that is how I see her and that is how I would describe my relationship with her.
The future will bring many new challenges for our sports! Sarah is the person to continue its successful path and will be a great leader to the FIS family as well as the entire skiing community.”
(Norwegian ski lift and mountain resorts association)
“My personal experience is that Sarah Lewis actively implements and promotes the vision and values of integrity and diversity throughout the snow sport community at all levels - from volunteers, to competition organisers, from the athletes, to the global brands supporting our events and initiatives, and to the ski tourism organisations that underpin our world of sport and recreation.
She fully understands and promotes the connection with winter sports tourism and the importance of using competition sport as a vehicle to promote the sport and travel, as well as boosting on-snow active participation. This is all so important for my work in Norwegian ski resorts and all mountain destinations for the future.
I am sure that as President of FIS Sarah can continue to contribute even more in the future to participation in winter activities and tourism.
I also personally think that it is high time that the diversity of winter sports is reflected in the FIS leadership - as a woman in the snow world, where sport, tourism and recreation come together so naturally, it is vital that the world’s biggest winter sports governing body steps up and fully represents the community.”
Simon Clegg CBE, previous British Olympic Association CEO, London 2012 Bid & Organising Committee Board Director and Chief Operating Officer of inaugural European Games in Azerbaijan (UK / International)
“I have known Sarah Lewis since the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, where she was an alpine skiing competitor and I was a team official having previously worked within the British Ski Federation.
Over that time our paths have crossed on a very regular basis and I have watched her career develop within the industry of the sport she so loves, into FIS and ultimately to the top professional position within the sport. I have witnessed with admiration the esteem and respect that she holds not just across the other Olympic winter sports but across the entire Olympic movement from Presidents down to more junior ranking Olympic officials and indeed volunteers.
FIS is facing an incredibly important decision after the 23 years of Gian-Franco Kasper's leadership. The new President will require strong vision and leadership to not only build on the existing strong foundations but to set FIS on a new course; one which ensures it becomes more commercially secure, more relevant to its member associations and more integrated with its wider stakeholders. I have absolutely no doubt that Sarah has the necessary skill set, drive, empathy, passion, commitment and most importantly experience to deliver these worthy objectives. Her commitment to introducing new transparent governance within FIS and her collaborative style will deliver a much more fit for purpose organisation.
This election should not be about gender or athletic credentials but about electing a leader who can transition FIS into a modern day international federation thereby enhancing its position within the Olympic movement and society as a whole. I have absolutely no doubt that in Sarah Lewis FIS has a Presidential candidate who can unite the membership and lead its member associations to a bright, exciting and secure future.
"It has never been business as usual with Sarah Lewis.
She is a gifted and visionary leader with an entrepreneurial touch who has consistently worked to transform sport to deliver ever increasing value for fans, athletes, sponsors, event organisers and distributors.
She has always pushed herself and those around her to deliver the highest results in seeking to transform the ordinary to the extraordinary.
At a time when sport is being confronted with massive change, Sarah’s inclusive, authentic and passionate approach to life, combined with a global mindset and constant curiosity about the next new thing, positions her perfectly to lead the FIS for the next generation."
Sree Varma, Founder & CEO, iSportConnect (UK / International)
"Sarah’s leadership skills are phenomenal and her vision of fostering innovations within the sports industry is impeccable. In my dealings with her, I found her to be astute and determined in her personality which makes her an excellent candidate for any position."
“I am writing as the International Netball Federation President to add my support for Sarah's candidacy for the role of FIS President.
Sarah and I first met when I was in a senior UK role for 20 years until 2019 and when Sarah was one of the very few women from the UK holding a significant leadership role in international sport. Sarah was asked on several occasions to share her experience with others from the UK who aspired to be able to make a positive contribution to the work of their International Federations.
She did so willingly and impressively and I was struck by Sarah’s energy and passion for her sport and her direct and clear communication style. While supporting the development of others, Sarah demonstrated sensitivity and integrity and grasped the opportunity to share her experience while promoting all that is good about FIS. I saw then that Sarah is a leader who has a global perspective, is experienced, knowledgeable, determined, committed and courageous.
Our paths have since crossed in my role as an IF President, most memorably at the 2019 IF Forum in Lausanne. Once again Sarah was a speaker on a Panel sharing experience with others …this time on athlete representation. Sarah was an excellent ambassador for FIS and is respected internationally. I have no doubt that she is a very credible candidate for the role of President.”
Bob Wheaton, Senior Strategic Advisor Alterra Mountain Company and former President and Chief Operating Officer of Deer Valley Resort, Utah (USA)
“I have had the honor and privilege of being involved with the FIS for well over 20 years in my tenure at Deer Valley resort in Park City, Utah.
During that time I have had the opportunity to work with Sarah Lewis on a number of different fronts. Whether the discussions were specific venue negotiations, technical issues regarding sport or overall perception of the FIS on the worldwide platform, Sarah has consistently displayed a deep understanding of the issues while still being able to grasp the effects on the overall health and well being of the staff, NGBs, athletes and the organization as a whole.
Watching her abilities to navigate the environment of multiple organizations with sometimes very different agendas attempting to come together for a common resolution has been nothing short of admirable.
She consistently produced results that demonstrated a high level of respect for her by all involved, and even when there was a difference of opinion from participants, when discussions concluded there was a clear direction and plan to move forward.
Suffice it to say that Sarah Lewis has my highest endorsement in her candidacy for the office of President of the FIS.”
Sabrina Ibáñez, Chair of the ASOIF Diversity and Gender Equality Consultative Group (International)
“For the sports world to enjoy long term growth and success, there is a real need for more diversity at leadership levels of International Federations.
“Balanced representation is crucial to all sports organisations at all levels, which is why I am very pleased to see more women candidacies - such as Sarah Lewis’ - for the role of President of an International Federation.
Luke Bodensteiner, Chief of Sport Development/General Manager Utah Olympic Legacy (USA)
As Secretary General of FIS, Sarah has been a driving force behind the innovation and expansion of FIS over the past 20 years. Within an organization known for tradition and status quo, she skillfully led the expansion of skiing and snowboarding events and disciplines within the Olympics, greatly expanding FIS’ organization, reach and profile, and transforming the organization to what it is today. In my experience working with her on many of these initiatives, I always found her to be open, creative, energetic and determined in growing the impact of FIS. This evolution has allowed many more national ski associations to have a meaningful seat at the table and has vastly expanded their opportunities. This transformation has also benefitted thousands of athletes by giving them a pathway to participate that reflects the most modern aspects of the sport.
Her efforts to modernize the governance of FIS, often despite the organization’s resistance to change, have also been well recognized and have laid the foundation for a further transformation. On issues like diversity, representation and gender equity in governance, this election is a unique opportunity for FIS to put a stake in the ground and truly commit to walking the talk.
As an Olympian, and as a global sports leader, it has been an honour to have served FIS - the world’s largest winter sports governing body - for twenty four years, twenty of these as Secretary General.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Johan Eliasch, the newly elected FIS President and Council Members in this new era of global sports.
I would also like to thank the National Associations, my colleagues at FIS headquarters, and the global snow sport community for our exciting collaborations over the years.
I have always made it my mission to understand our global landscape.
Now, as I pursue several exciting projects in global sport, I will continue to do just this - watch this space!
#sports #sportsmarketing #sportsbiz #futureisnow
The day has come - today we will see the first FIS President elected in the 21st Century.
How we envisage our collective future - and how we get there - has been central to our discussions these last few months.
It is clear there is no “one size fits all”, and it is 100% clear to me that we must find a model that fits and benefits everyone.
Join me today on Election Day! Together we will transform FIS into a global movement for skiing and snowboarding!
Watch the FIS Congress & Election live from 12.00 CET: https://lnkd.in/g-ftkrR
#AchievingMoreTogether #FIS #Skiing #Snowboarding
We are only 250 days to Beijing 2022 - with six new FIS events!
Today I can see exactly what I’ve been fighting for on behalf of our Sport as a member of the IOC Programme Commission, three Olympic and two Youth Olympic Games Coordination Commissions and as a leader of the FIS Delegation at five Olympic Winter Games over the last 20 years.
Our Olympic success has the single biggest impact on the profile of our sport. It means more promotion of the sport, more athletes can participate in the Games and more exposure for the FIS member National Associations. The Olympic revenues generated by the IOC through the Games means we can distribute more necessary funding to our members to develop the sport globally.
We must continue to get our Olympic future right at Beijing 2022 and beyond. With me as President, I am fully committed to achieving this crucial objective.
Join me on election day on 4 June. Together we will transform FIS into a global movement for skiing and snowboarding!
During my discussions about my candidacy for FIS President, I am listening carefully and hearing loud and clear that our members want governance changes and growth. As President, I will embrace all members and stakeholders and together we can make this happen.
Leaders across snow and global sport have spoken and they are echoing our needs - FIS needs a President who can deliver from Day One:
Join me in one week today on election day on 4 June. Together we will transform FIS into a global movement for skiing and snowboarding!
Listening to the global snow sport community has been central to my Presidential campaign. Our discussions have been open and rewarding.
I fully understand our community’s needs, the issues we collectively face, and our expectations for the future. In this spirit of transparency, I am making our dialogue public.
It is important that our entire community knows that I am serious about change where its necessary from day one:
Listening will continue to be central to my Presidency.
Join me on election day on 4 June. Together we will transform FIS into a global movement for skiing and snowboarding!
Just a few days ago the Future of FIS Working Group outlined to National Associations the 15 attributes it desires of the future FIS leadership.
With 2020 set to be felt by FIS and the global sports industry for years to come, 2021 will continue to be a vital period that will challenge the FIS leadership in expected as well as unexpected ways.
FIS needs a President who can navigate the scenarios to successfully lead FIS to a new and bright future embodying the 15 attributes laid out by the Working Group.
Today I would like to thank the National Associations for their continued support in my candidacy for FIS President.
We can, and will, achieve more together.
Join me on Friday 4 June for election day! Together we will transform FIS into a global movement for skiing and snowboarding!
#AchievingMoreTogether #FIS #Skiing #Snowboarding
Today’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is especially important for all of us in snow sport.
Over the last 20 years as Secretary General of FIS, we have seen more than 40 National Ski Associations join us from all five continents. We are now 135 nations-strong!
As FIS President, I intend for us to strengthen and build on the wide diversity of our membership and its representation in our governance. Let’s take this opportunity today to come together, celebrate our cultures and our future.
Join me in two weeks time on 4 June for Election Day. Together we will transform FIS into a global movement for skiing and snowboarding!
As the first female candidate for FIS President, I am honoured to serve our global ski and snowboard community. And as Belgium’s first candidate for a representative position in FIS, I am proud to serve every one of our members around the world.
Join me on election day on 4 June - together we will transform FIS into a global movement for skiing and snowboarding!
It’s been an incredible month connecting with National Ski Associations, stakeholders and supporters across the world - and the global media - since launching my candidacy for FIS President.
It is clear just how important this next era is for FIS, our sport and our athletes.
Yesterday was Labour Day around the world, and we have urgent work in front of us, with the pandemic continuing to affect everyone and our sport - but thankfully some things have not changed: an outstanding hard-working FIS family around the world who show resilience, focus and the fact that we are in this together, to do the best for our sport and to keep this intact.
I am ready and prepared to give everything to take FIS into an exciting future, to become a global movement for World Skiing and Snowboarding.
Let’s make change where change is needed - and let’s drive our sport forwards together!
Today is the one week anniversary of the launch of my candidacy for FIS President on 6 April, the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace!
Thank you for your messages of support and collaboration with the FIS Piste Map - a strategic plan for us to take FIS into an exciting future, to become a global movement for World Skiing and Snowboarding.
International Sport serves as a platform for Development and Peace and during events, official meetings and ski and snow sport competitions that I have attended in 59 FIS member countries, I have always taken great pleasure interacting and sharing experiences with others involved in ski and snow sports from all cultures and different backgrounds.
In sport we are all together and this friendship contributes to peace and understanding of our different cultures and beliefs.
The time has come - thank you everyone for your overwhelming encouragement for my candidacy for FIS President in this new era. My vision is for us to transform FIS into a movement for world skiing and snowboarding - join me www.sarah-lewis.com
#AchievingMoreTogether #skiing #snowboarding #snowsports #FIS