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Leho Haldna: Best WSOC ever!

A common opinion among the participants at the 22nd World Ski Orienteering Championships in Krasnojarsk, Russia was – best World Championships ever in Ski Orienteering.

We had Live-TV from all competition days, a lot of journalists, hundreds of volunteers. I would estimate the total number of organisers as four-five times higher than the number of participants.

The FISU Winter Universiade Organising Committee used our event as the first test event for 2019 Winter Universiade. For the city of Krasnojarsk and for Russia the Universiade 2019 is an extremely important event. Therefore, we can say we were lucky by organising our WSOC in Krasnojarsk.

The out-of-forest part at the championships was extremely important and especially all the ceremonies were held on a very professional level. During the opening ceremony, the local governor gave IOF a letter with greetings to WSOC participants and organisers on behalf of President Mr. Putin.

On behalf of IOF I would like to thank the city of Kransojarsk, the Organising Committee of the Winter Unverisade 2019 and WSOC 2017, Russian OF, event organisers and all volunteers. Special thanks to our Ski Orienteering Commission member and Russian Orienteering Federation Vice President Mr. Alexander Bliznevski. Alexander is from Krasnojarsk and his contribution to the success of WSOC was outstanding.

The success of WSOC compensated the mixed feelings in the Ski Orienteering community after ESOC, WJSOC, EYSOC and WMSOC organised earlier this year in Finland. There was a very good number of ski orienteers but unfortunately bad snow conditions and a small area compared to the amount of competitors. The situation in the forest was not always pleasant for participants and caused unexpected falls and also damage to equipment. Our ski orienteering event organisers are chasing for large number of participants and maximise income but in Finland it affected the event quality, especially for youth and masters. Our resources are limited but maybe it’s too much to combine four major ski orienteering events.

The Ski Orienteering season is over and in two months, May 24th we have World Orienteering Day. We had 250 000 participants worldwide in 2016. Let’s reach together half a million participants during WOD in 2017!

/Leho Haldna, IOF President

Throwback to WSOC; all event highlights are published on Olympic Channel.

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