World Cup – from a different view

FasterSkierMarch 10, 2004

Media coverage of World Cup skiing is always based on athletic results and stories – and should be. However, sometimes it also behooves to look at what it takes to organize large events, perhaps just to appreciate all the work and effort that is behind successful events. The athletes are the actors, but the volunteers and event organizers make it all happen.

I write this article on the airplane back from three weeks of attending large events in Europe; two weeks of following the FIS Cross-Country World Cup as a Technical Delegate and Jury member, and one week as a participant and observer in the FIS Masters Cross-Country World Cup. These opportunities make for a unique chance to experience what goes on behind the scenes of large Cross-Country events in Europe.

The FIS Cross-Country World Cup is the highest level annual series of events in our sport, and is limited to the approximate fastest 100 skiers in the World, based on selecting the best 4 skiers from each of the participating 25 nations. Press and media follow this series of events through the winter months, most notable by live TV coverage from every race. The events travel from country to country around (mostly) Europe, and each Organizer is responsible for taking care of the entire traveling “circus”. In addition to providing certified competition courses and venues, some of the “taking care of” includes organizing hotel rooms and food (four meals a day), paying for travel expenses, hosting information meetings, social events and award ceremonies, preparing waxing facilities both at the hotels and at the venues (at a size of about 200 square feet per team), organizing transportation between hotel and venue (several times per day), etc.


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