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Editorial by Katerina Neumannova

03. 03 2008

Dear friends and sport fans,

I used to compete for DUKLA Liberec for long and happy thirteen years. Now I have the honour to stand at the head of team, which has been preparing an event having no analogy in the Czech Republic – FIS Nordic World Ski Championship. The truth is that in the old days, right at the beginning of ski racing, Czechoslovakia hosted then best skiers.
The second World Championship in its history took place in Jánske Lázne. Back in the year 1925 a few of our great skiers registered their names in the historical charts, for example Otakar Německý, who won the 18 kilometer race. When we include the double hosting when the World Championship was held in Vysoke Tatry in the years 1935 and 1970, we are at the end of enumeration. Three times the International Ski Federation (FIS) entrusted us with the World Championship holding. Therefore I am very concerned to show, that we in Liberec are able to organize competitions at the world level as well as in Oberstdorf, Val di Fiemme, Sapporo, Lahti, Falun, Oslo or anywhere else. At the same time I know that it would not be possible without a team of enthusiastic people who pull together and fight for the same thing.
When I glance back to the history of Czech skiing, remote and less far-away one and add also the present, I recall names of many great athletes, who have become legends in white track, ski jumping hills or in other disciplines. I look up to those who were born a while ago in silent astonishment when I imagine the conditions they had to prepare themselves in. Names like Raška, Henych, Bečvář, Rygl, Ploc, Jeriová, Paulů, Palečková, Charvátová, Matura, Churavý, Sakala, Koukal, Bauer, Valenta, Janda, Záhrobská cross my mind. I do not think it is too immodest to say that I am one of them and let me also add that behind our sport successes is crowd of keen co-workers, coaches, wax technicians, doctors, masseurs and many others including many no name officials and volunteers who can prepare sport events on variety of levels. 
Right now we have a nonrecurring opportunity to prove that we are able to enter the world’s top league not only in terms of skiing but also in terms of organizing and matchmaking. Liberec can rank among the best names such as Lahti, Sapporo, Oslo or Val di Fiemme.
From my point of view the year 2008 will be a „zero year in the modern history of Czech skiing. Although there can only be one winner in a race, I truly wish that all of us in Liberec will win. Let’s prove with joint forces that the ski movement is unified, has a great strength and can stand the test and prevail over foreign countries when compared. I am looking forward to that moment when we will be admiring men and also (for the first time women) standing on jumping hills built on the slopes underneath Ještěd. The whole venue including both jumping hills has been reconstructed. Brand new building, so called jury tower has been built up as well as a new lift for contestants and other buildings that make a great Zone of interior for competitors, referees or media stuff. The access to the ski jumping venue has changed in principle and new main stand has been built up for audiences.
I confess now that I will probably be envious of my colleagues in white track, not only of their shape, but above all of the unrepeatable and hardly definable feeling to be on the base ready to compete. Maybe I will be sorry that I cannot keep up with them anymore skiing on the highest peak in Vesec, on the other hand I will cherish hopes that I have not gone too far from white track.
When I was strolling at the cross-country venue Vesec remembering in my memories different venues in other world sport centers I came to conclusion that our track will be said to be very demanding and strenuous among contestants. The track layout is going to be interesting for spectators since they all will have a great view of the course of events on the track.
And in the end I will look up to the athletes who will manage to compete in both ski jumping and cross-country skiing. I consider Nordic Combined to be a very demanding sports event.
I am pleased to cooperate with those who have decided to be involved. I am very happy that I was not out in my reckoning that most officials from different Czech ski clubs would offer their help. Thanks to their devoted work practically all active skiers will be able to take part in the Championship preparations. I appreciate the offer of help on the part of volunteers who will help us in different sections during the Championship. They already proved they were of big help within the World Cups held in February 2008.
I am not going to dissemble that I imagined my accession to office in the Organizing Committee differently. I do not want to turn back though and get back to events that have been commented so many times, although from my point of view some of them were beneath dignity. Be it so. Time will probably reveal, where the truth was and also what the matter was. It is more important for me now to look forward, towards the oncoming World Ski Championship. I am confident that the whole team of my co-workers will band over backwards to prepare this unique sport event although we are aware that the hardest part is still ahead of us. I am convinced that we will do our best not to disappoint the ones who trust us. Let me at this time thank to all of them.
I am positive that my life experience will also be valid during the World Ski Championship preparations - “Everybody must lose many races to be able to win the biggest and most important one” I as well as my colleagues will be very glad if this website becomes an objective information medium, where you will seek for information and guidance. We will welcome your recommendations and other comments that might also be interesting for others.
Yours faithfully
Kateřina Neumannová,
president of the OC FIS WSC Liberec 2009


(transl. vk)

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18. 2. 1988 v Halle/Saale

189 cm / 72 kg

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