I put on skis aged 5 and as a sporty youngster
I immediately took to skiing and loved everything about it.
My ski racing activities began on the dry slope and snow aged 12, quickly progressing to the England junior squad aged 14, and on to the British Junior Ski Team at 15.
At 15 I left home in London, England, to attend a Ski Academy in Moutiers, France, and I have been a citizen of the world ever since; during my alpine ski racing career, working in the snow sport industry and with FIS.
Competing in the World Championships at 23 and at 24 representing Great Britain at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary were indescribable highlights of my life.
FIS SECRETARY GENERAL
IOC PROGRAMME COMMISSION
I was honoured to be awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to skiing by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in May 2018.
Following my retirement and working across the ski industry and media, I spent nearly four years as Alpine Director of the National Ski Association of Great Britain, including as Team Manager and Director at the Albertville ’92 and Lillehammer ’94 Games & World Championships in ’91 and ‘93. In 1994 I took up a new role at FIS of Continental Cup Coordinator.
After two years as FIS Director, in 2000, the Council appointed me as Secretary General, a role I served for more than 20 years.
I consider myself truly privileged to have spent the last 27 years of my career living in the heart of the Alps and the ski world, less than ten minutes from FIS Headquarters.
During this period FIS has grown its membership to 135 National Ski Associations, with more than half of these countries organising FIS competitions, and heading to Beijing 2022 with the FIS disciplines representing more than half of the Games programme.
I have taken every opportunity to promote FIS and snow sport, including as a Member of the IOC Programme Commission, serving on three Olympic Winter Games Coordination Commissions (2018, 2022 & 2026) and the Youth Olympic Games (2020 & 2024), and overseen the FIS activities at five Olympic Winter Games.
I have made it my mission to understand the global landscape of our National Associations, I was myself Alpine Director of the British Ski before joining FIS where a fundamental part of my role was regularly communicating, meeting face-to-face and actively participating in competitions and events around the world visiting activities in 59 member nations over the years.
I have secured many opportunities to maintain the profile of FIS as a leader in international sport, serving as Secretary General of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federation (AIOWF), in 2000-2002 & 2014-2020, as AIOWF Delegate in the SportAccord Convention Steering Group from its foundation in 2002-2020, and as Chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Observers at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
During the past six months, I have taken the time to think deeply about what matters to me, and prepare for the future.
I have gone back to school to undertake the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Business School Inspirational Leadership programme. Additionally, I have conducted extensive research across the sport ecosystem to create the FIS Piste Map and further expanded my wide high-level network across the sports industry and winter sport tourism. For the last six months I have also been serving as Lead Mentor for the first global winter sport innovations start-up accelerator, establishing highest level connections across the digital, innovations, commercial and private equity communities.
Consequently, I am even more equipped for the challenges of serving as President, to provide leadership, support and direction.
What won’t change from the Sarah you know is my total commitment to the organisation and permanent accessibility and responsiveness to everyone - membership and staff.
Now I am ready and completely prepared, working together hand in hand with the National Ski Associations and Stakeholders, for us to lead the world’s largest winter sports governing body to its full potential and rightful place, as your President.
Together we can achieve more.