Latvia’s Einars Fogelis has been elected International Luge Federation President ©FIL

Latvia’s Einars Fogelis has been elected International Luge Federation (FIL) President at the governing body’s virtual Congress today.

Fogelis succeeds long-serving President Josef Fendt, who has stepped down after 26 years in the role.

Fendt had declared earlier this year that he wanted Fogelis to succeed him.

Fogelis now becomes just the FIL’s third President in its 63-year history.

He had served two-years as FIL secretary general, having previously been vice-president for technical affairs from 1994 to 2018.

“I am very pleased about the trust placed in me by the delegates of our National Federations and I would like to express my sincere thanks," Fogelis said. 

"Today, however, my special thanks go to the long-time President Josef Fendt, with whom I had the opportunity to work and learn together for two years as Secretary General and since 1994 in the FIL Executive Board."

Fogelis has served as Latvian Olympic Committee vice-president since 2012, following eight years as secretary general.

He has also served as President of the Council of Latvian Sports Federations since 2014 and the director of the Latvian Olympic team since 2012.

His roles have also include working as the track manager, chief engineer and director of the Sigulda Bobsleigh and Luge Track from 1983 to 1994, as well as the director of the Lavian Ministry of Education’s sport department between 1994 and 2004.

Fendt leaves the organisation having spent 36-years within the Executive Board.

He took over on a temporary basis in 1994, following the death of the organisation's first President Bert Isatitsch of Austria.

Fendt had been elected permanently on June 25 in 1994 at the governing body’s congress in Rome.

The Congress also approved the election of the United States' Dwight Bell as secretary general to succeed Fogelis.

Bell’s election opened a place on the FIL Executive Committee.

Romania’s Sorin Buta was elected to the position over Canada’s Steve Harris.

The virtual meeting included a presentation by Fogelis of the governing body's new strategic plan, which has been titled “Slide 2026”.

The plan was approved by members.

"The current situation forces us to reorder our priorities and to move towards the main goal: a strong sport and a strong federation in the Olympic Movement," Fogelis said.

"In our new presentation of the FIL strategy 'Slide 2026', important topics such as the promotion of athletes and youth commitment in sports will be addressed.

"Since the last Congress in Ljubljana, we have all together devoted a lot of attention and work to the development of the FIL strategic plan.

"I am very grateful to many colleagues from the FIL circle for their selfless work and the time they have invested in the development of this new strategic plan."

The meeting saw Altenberg announced as the host of the 2024 Luge World Championships.

The German track is set to host the World Championships for the third time, following editions in 1996 and 2012.

FIL confirmed Winterberg in Germany will host the 2022 Junior World Championships, due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the cancellation of the 2021 edition at the venue.

Altenberg has been announced as the host of the 2024 Luge World Championships ©FIL
Altenberg has been announced as the host of the 2024 Luge World Championships ©FIL

"I would like to thank the members of the FIL Congress for their positive vote and am pleased that we will be able to make up for the hosting of the Junior World Championships in Winterberg in the 2021/22 season,” said Stephan Pieper, managing director of the Winterberg Sports Center.

The 2023 Junior World Championships were awarded to Bluden in Austria.

The majority of the members of the FIL Executive Board were present for the meeting in the Austrian town of Großgmain. 

Delegates of the 52 national member federations voted online using an electronic voting system.

The Congress announced a gold medal of honour will be awarded to Germany’s Christian Krähe, the chair of the governing body’s legal committee.

The honour aimed to recognise his voluntary work in the role having been named chairman back in 1994.

Wolfgang Harder was awarded the silver medal of honour for 24 years of media work at the FIL, while Gerhard Kirchner receives the same honour for 14 years work on sled technology at the highest level for international athletes.

The certificates and medals will be handed over personally later.