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Editorial for vacation alias 200 days remaining till launch

06. 08 2008

The timer placed in the main plaza in Liberec shows 200 days remaining to the FIS World Ski Championship launch. Liberec and its vicinage will quite soon immerse in the Championship atmosphere that will attract not only hundreds of world’s best athletes but also interesting personalities, tens of thousands of spectators, ski fans and visitors.

Liberec is going to be in the middle of February next year in the “field of vision” of many TVs, radios, newspapers, but also internet websites. As well as Peking that has recently been hosting the Olympic games. It has been a year now since Kateřina Neumannová was established a president of the Organizing Committee, which carries out the Championship. For us, as her team, it is an opportunity to recapitulate what we have achieved and what workload we have managed to perform. And also what is ahead of us. In the following days we are going to make our readers familiar with single members of the Organizing Committee and we are going to make you acquainted with their point of view at their work. I believe that the inside view will help you make your own idea what a regular day of an OC member is like.
Let me start with my point of view that I would like to introduce to you. I entered into office in a difficult time that was full of emotions and brought-to-the-boil issues that unfortunately had almost nothing in common with sport and Championship preparations. As a press agent I was first in line and often got direct hits. I truly believe though, that we managed to convince those, who were supporters of the idea of Championship holding, that we are good at what we because we do it with passion. 
I have been observing that we made a new, good working team, which is able to cooperate. That we proved for example during World Cups. Although World Cups received contents, mainly from the FIS, I often even nowadays hear they were not successful. But I only hear those opinions from those who do not understand sport or who need it for pushing forward their own interests. Should we receive those denouncements criticizing Championship preparations, we void these comments.
Naturally expert recommendations and opinions from national ski federations or International Ski Federation is another pair of shoes. It is necessary to follow their instructions and we have always tried to do so. Last season was very unfortunate for us: Lack of snow and warm weather turned out to be a disaster for many tournaments across the entire Europe. Nonetheless we did hold the races in Liberec in spite of the unfavorable weather conditions – although members of the Organizing Committee had to deal with things, which they were upbraided for afterwards. For example artificial snowing. Though we began to use snow guns the very first day we could have.
It is clear that we are not flawless and we have also stumbled. We are aware of our mistakes and we have learned our lesson. Whoever went to other European tournaments after having seen the World Cups in Liberec, everybody was unpleasantly surprised. Athletes had to compete nearly only on rocks and sand in Sweden since the quality of snow was very poor. Local people carried snow themselves in different races throughout Europe; some of them used trailers to help carry snow to venues.
The Organizing Committee also had its “trial by fire”. To me it was unbelievable to watch the whole team that was able to incorporate in one body and join forces. World Cups gave us an opportunity to try everything and also to unite our team. I am happy to see it at the Organization Committee meetings that we can draw from the experience of World Cup holding. Regardless of the fact that somebody who did not like „our company“ is leaving and got another job offer. I am truly sorry that due to a few staff changes the Organizing Committee has been in the media recently being presented in an „incorrect“ way. But that does not mean we will founder because somebody said that we carry out an „......average Championship in the better case“. More then 40 OC members do not think so and neither do FIS, APF and NSA representatives. And their opinion we respect and appreciate the most.
Members of the Organizing Committee do not “only” have the Championship ahead of them. In our schedule, so called time axis, there are also other events taking place in both Ještěd and Vesec venues during coming months. Within the frame of cooperation with volunteers we prepare different trainings for them, we will hold Ski jumping Finals of summer Grand Prix, Continental cup in Ski Jumping, Continental Cup in Cross country skiing and Alpine Cup in Nordic Combined.
So before the Opening Ceremony 18th February 2009 the Organizing Committee will have organized other successful events, I believe.
I am confident that the ones who intend to come to see races held within the World Ski Championship will not make a mistake. After having them carried out it will be fair to judge how we managed to hold them.
We will be glad indeed if you help us carry out this Championship. We, here in Liberec, are able to prepare the venues, accommodation, transport, program, TV broadcasting, simply everything that has to do with an event of a great relevance, but there is one thing we are unable to prepare. That is ATMOSPHERE. The atmosphere of skiing feast will depend on you, skiing fans and audiences, who will come to Liberec as well as it will depend on the inhabitants of Liberec who will be hosting Championship participants.

We are looking forward to meeting you all, whether during the Championship itself or during events that will predate the main event. We would also like to meet you all here, on this website.

Zdeněk Soudný

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