The Championships in Liberec have come to a close; the whole world speaks highly of them
01. 03 2009 20:00:00
(Liberec, own) The last event, the 50 km Men´s race, was on the schedule of the 47th FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009 today. The last world champion from Liberec, and the last medal. Only the Closing Ceremony followed and the imaginary relay baton was handed over. The 47th FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009 came to a close. The world speaks highly of the Championships in Liberec. Rightly, we can be proud of it.
One day before the end of the Championships the International Ski Federation issued its final report. In assessing the past two weeks it is no different from what the members of the Organizing Committee would hear from competitors, officials of ski associations, some journalists but also from visitors from all around the world.
“We have experienced great championships here in Liberec,” Gian Franco Kasper, FIS President summarized on behalf of all his feelings only few hours before the close of the Championships in Liberec. In his words, the Championships in Liberec will go down in history as Championship of a new, modern are.
The Organizing team had covered a long and not always an easy journey. Almost 2,000 people tried hard for two weeks to create the best environment not only for athletes but also for visitors and other guests.
Liberec didn´t belong to sports only during the Championships but also to culture and entertainment. Today the city can sigh with relief with a clear conscience. We have stood the test. And considering the organizational and sport aspects of the Championships Liberec can proudly rank among such Championships like the ones in Oberstdorf four years ago.
“I would love to thank so much all those people who have taken part in the preparations for the Championships in their entire history. My big thanks go to volunteers who showed to be the heart and soul of all big events and the Organizing Committee wouldn´t do without them. I highly appreciate their involvement at the moment when Liberec had suffered from masses of snow which didn´t let anyone rest for a while,” Katerina Neumannova said only a couple of minutes after the close of the Championships. “I would also like to thank all fans who created a truly unique atmosphere in Vesec and Jested. More than 170,000 lovers of skiing and sports sent a clear message to the whole world that Czech people have sports and skiing deep in their hearts,” President of the Organizing Committee added.
What were the worst moments during the Championships for her_ “The hardest day for me was the opening day. We had dealt with numerous problems till four in the afternoon. Final preparations were made in the very last minutes. Then I had to cast all my worries aside in a single moment and regardless of being tired I had to smile at everyone and fulfil my social engagements,” Neumannova described.
Although we wished for medals very much, it is only Lukas Bauer who can take a silver medal from Liberec for the 15 km race. Unfortunately, the Men´s relay didn´t come off as all expected. “It was a very pleasant surprise for me to see Czech fans cheering on the team till the very end although they knew it wouldn't be a success.” Neumannova added.
During the Championships the organizers were also able to break the record of attendance at a ski event in the territory of the Czech Republic. It was the Men´s relay event on Friday that a record number of 37,000 spectators came. “Apart from that we have to praise the Czech TV for an outstanding job at the Championships in Liberec. Their coverage was broadcast by TV channels around the world. We want to thank them so much for an excellent cooperation at the Championships,” said Katerina Neumannova.
“These FIS Nordic World Ski Championships mark a new milestone in the history of our championships. It is the first time that a nation without many of their own national favorites has organized such successful championships. On several days there were very significant numbers of spectators at the venues and the final figure should reach to 180’000-200’000 spectators in 12 days. The evening medal ceremonies at the Liberec Medal Plaza, each night full with fans from around the world, were a truly emotional tribute to our best Nordic skiers,” said FIS President Kasper among others.
What happened over the last two weeks in Liberec_ What numbers can also be characteristic of the Championships in Liberec_ We name only few examples:
- All 20 Championships´ competitions took place here. One of the biggest nightmares of all skiing competitions didn´t come to life and the weather allowed us to organize not only all cross-country competitions, but ski jumping ones too;
- Dr. Edvard Benes Square in Liberec (called the Medal Plaza during the Championships) saw 34 world champions (thanks to team events there are more world champions than the number of events themselves) and experienced 9 winners ceremonies which altogether lasted more than 360 minutes;
- The Cross-Country Ski Area Vesec saw 17 competitions during the Championships lasting a total of 13:53:50 hours;
- Eda the rooster became the mascot of the Cross-Country Ski Area Vesec. One of those who would prepare the course from early morning hours for competitions was given the rooster by his friends.
- The Ski Jump Area Jested experienced 7 competitions;
- More than 1,000 starting bibs were used for the Championships;
- More than 16,800 persons passed through the official accreditationprocedure(accreditations or so-called “daily passes”);
- The Press Centre issued 45 press releases and over 25 press conferences took place lasting almost 9 hours altogether;
- More than 50,000 pictures were taken during those two weeks by Championships´ official photographers.
- During the Championships the batteries in walkie-talkies were exchanged 9,870 times.
The Organizing Committee of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009 would like to express its sincere thanks to all those who helped the Committee in its work and supported it during the preparations and in the course of the Championships. Among all, to the Government of the Czech Republic and the Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek who personally took a patronage of the Championships. Next, to the representatives of the City of Liberec led the Mayor Jiri Kittner and also all inhabitants of the beautiful city under Jested.
The 47th FIS Nordic World Ski Championships are not a success of one person only, or that of the Organizing Committee, or of one city only. The whole world perceives it above all as a great success for the Czech Republic.
Therefore, many thanks to all those who have contributed to this success.
(so; transl. mc)
The winner of the last event of the 47th FIS Nordic World Ski Championships LIBEREC 2009 is known already. Rightly it is the phenomenal Petter Northug of Norway. He will leave Liberec with three medals. Silver for Russian skier Maxim Vylegzhanin was a great surprise today, Tobias Angerer of Germany took bronze. Czech skiers performed very well today: Martin Koukal finished in the 7th place and Jiri Magal in the 17th place. Also the Cross-Country Ski Area Vesec said goodbye to the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009.
Each morning the colorful migration of talented athletes, coaches, support staff and volunteers begin to trickling into the Harcov cafeteria that has now become the athletes village for the World Nordic Ski Championships. Situated in the center of the six building dorm complex, this cafeteria greets these individuals with delicious food where no one leaves hungry. Sitting in this microcosm of the world population you can not tell that each of them are competitors on the snow, each seeking a medal and the opportunity to stand on the Medal Presentation Platform the evening following their specific event. These athletes, both male and female, speak many languages, sit at the same tables and talk about many things. They laugh with each other, congratulate the winners from the day before and each demonstrate a true form of sportsmanship that is common on the World Cup circuit.
At approximately 19:30, punctual as you can be considering the snow covered, spectator crowded streets, Gian Franco Kasper, FIS President, walks up the steps of City Hall in the Medal Plaza for another in a long line of Medal presentations. Quietly he stands to one side surveying the growing crowd with country flags waving back and forth. The most prevalent being the Norwegian flag. That evening's dignitaries and winning teams arrive and he greets them with kind words and congratulations as they walk into City Hall for a pre-awards reception. Kasper remains at his his predetermined post on the steps.
Norwegian competitor Petter Northug will start in the last race of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009 with starting number two, but he is the favourite number one. The native of Strindheim, the second men in the World Cup standings, can run marathon as well as sprints.
After theme days devoted to some of the participating countries (the Norwegian or the Czech Days are certainly worth mentioning), Saturday was in the spirit of the European Union. A stand appeared on Regional Plaza promoting the Czech EU Presidency.
A huge drama took place on the large hill in Jested during the last event of the ski jumping part of the Championships. The Austrians took the reins in the team competition from the first jump and the Norwegian quartet gradually strengthened its position. But four teams fought for the fourth place until the last moment. It was the Japanese team to rejoice about the third place in the end. The Czech team finished in an excellent 5th place.
Today the American team again regretted the fault that almost surely had deprived the team of a gold medal in Nordic combined. A starting bib left behind had spoilt their chance of becoming absolute winners among the Nordic combined contestants. However, today Bill Demong made up for everything he had caused. Probably he will have to split up the gold medal he gained in the Nordic combined event on HS 134 Hill and a 10 km race among those whom he had deprived of their victory of Thursday. Pavel Churavy showed a very good performance after finishing in an excellent 8th place. Even though he had to borrow his skis from Martin Koukal.
Exactly a week after Justyna Kowalczyk stood on the highest level and took over her first championship title she won convincingly the 30 km free technique Ladies event today. Also the Russian team finally had a slice of the action with Medvedeva coming silver while bronze goes to the Ukraine thanks to Shevchenko. The Czech team didn´t make any surprise and finished in the fourth and fifth tens. Liberec saw another debut: for the first time in the history of Ladies´ marathon change of skis took place on the course.
Official information of JURY - 28. 2. 2009
Lamy Chappuis of France won the ski jumping leg of the final Nordic combined individual event on the large hill in Jested with a jump of 131 metres today. He was to start the afternoon cross-country run almost half a minute ahead of Finnish couple of Koivuranta and Ryynaenen. However, shortly after the ski jumps Koivuranta gave up the race due to health reasons. Our athlete Pavel Churavy jumped 122.5 m and in the current 12th place he is 1:03 minutes behind the leading competitor.