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<October 2001> FAI News Archive

29/10/2001 | Posted by Thierry at 06:14 PM

Gilbert Felli at the Opening Ceremony of the 94th FAI General ConferenceMarking the Aero Club of Switzerland's 100th anniversary year, the FAI's 94th General Conference was held at Montreux on Lake Geneva from 17-19 October 2001. The Conference was opened by the Director of Sports of the International Olympic Committee, Mr Gilbert Felli, who brought a special message to FAI from the new IOC President, Dr Jacques Rogge.

During the Opening Ceremony, FAI Gold Medals were presented to Round-the-World Balloonist Bertrand Piccard, to Yuri Koptev, Director of the Russian Space Agency, and to former FAI President Eilif Ness. Swiss Long-Ez pilot Hans Georg Schmid received the Louis Blériot Medal for his double
circumnavigation of the earth (west-about and east-about), and the Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev was awarded the Yuri Gagariun Gold medal for his pioneering first expedition to the International Space Station.

The Conference debated the future form of the World Air Games and the possibility of having parachuting on the programme of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. It was decided that the centenary FAI Conference in 2005 would be held in Paris, the city where FAI was founded.

New members were admitted to FAI from Albania, Chinese Taipei, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Delegates rounded off their stay in Switzerland with a visit to Château d'Oex, the launch site of the Breitling Orbiter III balloon in which Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones circumnavigated the earth in March 1999.

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