IFSS History

Photo: From left to right – Donna Hawley, Morten Aspaas, Larry Tallman, Glenda Walling President, Bob Levorsen, Valery Braun and Bernard Pepin.

Back in the early 80’s through the impetus of Bob Levorsen (California) and Glenda Walling (Idaho), ISDRA and ESDRA were suggested to jointly apply for IOC recognition. But the IOC recognizes only International Sports Federations and so recommended that the two organizations form a single international organization.

So in 1985 the IFSS was formed with ISDRA and ESDRA being its founding members. Glenda Walling of Idaho was elected President. Dona Hawley was appointed Secretary General. The other Council members were Morten Aspaas (Norway), Katy Frost (AK, USA), Bernard Pepin (France), Robert Levorsen (California, USA), Valerie Lougheed (Canada), Jürgen Lüber (Germany), Ewald Volk (Austria).

As a first step towards an application to IOC, the IFSS applied for membership and was approved in 1987 by the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF)  which groups together all the international sports federations. GAISF is a member of the IOC.

In October 1992 the IFSS was incorporated in the State of Idaho as a non-profit corporation under the Idaho Nonprofit Corporation Act and IFSS made its first application to IOC in 1993.

In 2012 the IFSS Headquarter was moved and registered from USA to Brussels (Belgium).

The latest development of the IFSS on the international sport scene is in 2011 when it was accepted as a member of the International Masters Game Association (IMGA) with the objective of participating in the Masters Games 2015. IFSS is also actively pursuing the possibility to be part of Youth Olympic Games 2016.

Glenda Walling remained IFSS President until 1998 being re-elected at each General Assembly every two years. In 1998 she was not candidate for re-election and Tim White (MN, USA) was elected. Tim White remained in this position until 2006 at which time he was replaced by Bengt Ponten (Sweden). In 2013, Helen Lundberg (USA) was elected President.

Since 1990, IFSS organizes World Championships, originally every year, now every other year. The European Championships previously under the responsibility of ESDRA (one of IFSS founding organization) is now organized by IFSS/European Director.

You will find below a list of major dates in IFSS since its Foundation.

Bernard Pepin

Executive Director


  • 1985 – IFSS is founded by ISDRA and ESDRA.
    Glenda Walling (USA) is elected President
  • 1987 – IFSS becomes member of GAISF/SportAccord
  • 1990 – 1st World Championships on snow (Sprint and Ski-Dogs)
  • 1992 – Incorporation of IFSS in the state of Idaho (USA)
  • 1993 – 1st IOC application
  • 1998 – Tim White (USA) is elected President
  • 1999 – 1st World Championships on snow Junior classes
  • 2001 – 1st World Championships Mid Distance (on snow)
  • 2002 – 1st World Championships Dryland
  • 2003 – 2nd IOC application
  • 2006 – Bengt Ponten (Sweden) is elected President
  • 2007 – 3rd IOC application
  • 2011 – IFSS becomes member of the International Masters Game Association (IMGA)
  • 2013  – Helen Lundberg (USA) is elected President
  • 2019  – IFSS signs MOU with Olympic Channel

Board elected at GA 2012 in Oslo, Norway: From left to right Christian Haeberli VP Economy, Helen Lundberg VP Sport, Bengt Pontén President and Arild Eidsvold VP Development.