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The Championships in Liberec have come to a close; the whole world speaks highly of them

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...

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It all depends on the team, claims Zora Honzlova

25. 02 2009 10:00:00

(Liberec, own) Zora Honzlova, member of the International Ski Federation FIS, former Czechoslovak cross-country skier, and member of the Jury at the Winter Olympic Games in Turin in 2006, Director of the E-ON Golden Ski Ceskomoravske vysociny competition, who plays an active role in cross-country skiing also has a very important role at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009.
* What exactly is your job here at the WSC in Liberec_
I am Assistant Chief of Cross-Country Competition. I am a sort of link between the Chief and Jury and personnel such as Chief of Stadium, Chief of Course and other people who are responsible for technical background of the competition.
* Is it a demanding job_
No, it´s not that bad if you have a good team around you. It depends on the team which forms gradually.
* You have been in cross-country skiing for a long time; you are a former skier for Czechoslovakia. What was your greatest sport achievement_ 
I don´t k now.
* Alright. When I say “sport career”, what is it that comes to your mind first_
Liptovsky Hradok. I lived there for thirty years, I competed for a single club there, I never was in a different club, I ran for Tesla Liptovsky Hradok and for Czechoslovakia, for nobody else ever. Well, trying to remember... Several times we won national championships, together with the other girls we won the Universiad, so we were academic world champions. We came fifth in relay at the World Championships in Lahti in 1989, I finished in about 18th place at the Olympic Games in 15 km classic technique in 1992. A rather ordinary career.
* Did you ever think during your active sport career that you might get involved in skiing even after finishing your career_
No, not a bit.
* What was it than made you stay_
A lucky coincidence. Basically, my husband is Director of Sport Club in Nove Mesto na Morave and it somehow followed that I was always involved with skiing, so I have stayed on. But when I was still skiing, I didn't think about it.
* I know you are very busy here. Can you manage to see some other competitions during the WSC in Liberec_
I don´t think so. Last night I made it to see Elan.
* Did you like it_
The first time I saw the band it was thirty years ago when we arrived at a cultural hall in a small city in Slovakia. Last night the hall was crowded – so I have liked Elan for a long time.  
* Is it one of your favourite bands_
The most favourite.
* Are you satisfied with the course of the Championships as regards your work_
A good team of people has been formed here, because they come from all over the country. All try to do their best. There are people here from Nove Mesto who I know well and I know I can rely on them. They have huge experience in organizing cross-country competitions, even if World Cups “only”. Of course, this is a bigger event, but they can tackle everything in a professional way thanks to their experience. They know how to prepare for their work, they know how to do it and cooperating with other people is no problem for them. I cannot really complain of the team at all.
* Do you ever return to the cross-country trail_ Have you tested the Cross-Country Ski Area Vesec_
Certainly, and several times. As Assistant Chief of Competition I have to put on my skis and together with the Technical Delegate, it is a duty. Apart from that, I work as Technical Delegate, the same thing Marco Mapelli does here, for a different competition. In Nove Mesto I train a group of 15 to 29 kids. My life revolves around skiing.
* It looks to be your perpetual and lifelong love_
Considering my age, yes (she is laughing).
* Has it ever been considered that the WSC could take place in Nove Mesto na Morave_
No, you can´t organize it there as there are no jumping hills. It is about money in the first place. The World Championships in biathlon will take place in Nove Mesto in 2013. This will even be a bigger event. We begin to prepare now. We have widened the course, built tribunes and shooting ranges and it makes it possible to use the area all year round. There is a permanent team of people who look after it.
* To return to the WSC in Liberec, what is daily programme here at the Championships_
Today I left for the sport area before 7 am and I haven´t been in my room since.
(The interview is taking place around 6.30 pm, author´s comment).
* Can you describe it a bit, please_
When the starts take place about noon, we arrive at the stadium at 7 am, we must finish some paperwork, then we have to test the course, make sure that everything is ready and coordinate everything. The competition takes place then. It is all about communication and cooperation. Then we have to prepare some other things, move to the Tipsport Arena for meetings that start at 5 pm, than we have a meeting with the Chief of Competition and it is evening already.
* And the winners ceremony follows.
Well, I might make it today.
Many thanks for the interview from Romana Matuslikova.





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