Jan Dijkema elected new ISU President


Jan Dijkema is the new ISU president. The Dutchman, 71, won in the second round over György Sallak (Hungary), beating his rival 63 to 52. The two other candidates, Didier Gailhaguet (France) and Christopher Buchanan (Great Britain), withdrew after the first round.


At the press conference following his election, Dijkema pointed out the three priorities of his presidency: 1. Marketing, Promotion, Digitalisation; 2. Development and 3. Good governance and referred to his manifesto (published by insidethegames.biz here).


The new president mentioned the athletes’ commission twice, a project that apparently is especially important to him. The new commission’s members will be also part of the ISU Technical Committees and athletes will have a stronger voice. “It is important to have the athletes involved in the structure and decision making process”, Dijkema said, adding that such a commission is also a good basis to grow future ISU officials, by involving young people more.


Regarding the digitalization, the president said that he has plans ready but needs to discuss them first with his new council. As for the development commission Dijkema stressed that it is important to go new ways and to stimulate a multi-disciplinary approach to bring athletes from inline skating, ice hockey, gymnastics etc into contact with ISU sports.


Jan Dijkema has been elected for a two-year-term as the former ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta and the council had prolonged their term for two years until 2016, but the ISU will go back to the normal rhythm starting in 2018.


The new ISU Vice President Figure Skating is Alexander Lakernik (Russia) who follows David Dore (deceased). The new ISU council figure skating consists of four women Junko Hiramatsu (JPN), Patricia St. Peter (USA/new), Marie Lundmark (FIN), Maria Teresa Samaranch (ESP/new) and one man Benoit Lavoie (CAN/new). The full results of the elections are available at the ISU website. 


The ISU published as well a summary of the decisions of the ISU Congress.


In figure skating, the changes include for example:

·         Anonymity of judges abolished

·         Shortening figure skating program (reducing number of jumps, reducing warm up time   on the ice)

·         There will be 11 grades of execution as of the season 2018/19 (instead of 7 like now)

·         The best placed skaters after Short Program/Short Dance will be in the final two or three in a draw group