More than 100 TASIS High School students attended at least one of the skiing, snowboarding, and sledding day trips to Splügen that were offered over the long weekend of February 25–28 in place of the School’s traditional Spring Academic Travel session. Students and faculty chaperones were treated to beautiful weather, excellent snow conditions, and the return of a treasured TASIS tradition: the Fleming Cup.
For decades, when the entire High School would relocate to a Swiss ski resort for two whole weeks at the end of the winter holiday—first in 1959 to Andermatt, out of necessity, and later to St. Moritz or Crans-Montana—the Fleming Cup was awarded to the skier who completed a slalom run in the fastest time.
“Everyone looked forward to the Fleming Cup,” said Director of Institutional Advancement Bill Eichner, who joined TASIS in 1983 and competed in his first cup that year. “It was an annual highlight and a major community building event. Every student and faculty member would either participate or watch.”
An early Fleming Cup race
This tradition was eventually phased out when the schoolwide ski trip was shortened to one week in the early 2000s, and the Fleming Cup was instead awarded to the winner of an annual hockey game that took place from 2004–2012. The cup then lay dormant for nine years until the beloved tradition was revived on the afternoon of February 27 at the Splügen Ski Resort.
With their friends and faculty chaperones looking on, 22 skiers and snowboarders competed for the 2021 Fleming Cup following a morning of practice runs—with skiers holding an obvious advantage. Matteo Di Bisceglie ’23 blazed down the mountain to seize victory and will have the honor of holding onto the cup until a new field of challengers attempts to wrest it from him next February.
Giovanni Ugolotti ’23, Mikhail Vasiliev ’23, and Marat Kurmanaev ’23 collected medals for posting the next three fastest times among skiers while Alexander Nikoloff ’24 and Luca Radici ’21 were the fastest snowboarders.
2021 Fleming Cup recipient Matteo Di Bisceglie
2021 fastest snowboarder Alexander Nikoloff
Academic Travel Director Natalie Philpot, who coordinated the Splügen trips, hopes to see the Fleming Cup become an annual event once again. “It is wonderful to see this tradition return to TASIS,” she said. “Now that the word is out, we expect to see many more students participate next year, and perhaps we can restore the faculty competition as well. We want this to be an exciting event the whole High School can look forward to.”