Beautiful, sunny and warm late summer days in the city of Sapporo greeted the participants to the Final Inspection for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships just 5 months — or 163 days to be precise – before the event gets underway. A significant milestone for the FIS Nordic Disciplines, this will be the first time the championships will be staged in Japan and Asia.*
Two days of technical inspections together with the host broadcaster as well as preparatory discussions preceded the seven-hour general meeting. Following the opening by FIS Vice President, President of the Japanese Ski Association (SAJ) and Vice President of the Sapporo Organizing Committee, Yoshiro Ito, General Secretary Hishashi Sasaki led the 161-page presentation. The respective OC department directors presented their status reports with detailed diagrams, charts and explanatory comments as the FIS Technical Delegates, Race Directors and Marketing and Communications Director as well as the EBU and APF representatives added their feedback. Constructive dialogue and collaboration between all parties summarizes the spirit of cooperation among the parties.
A special highlight of the championships will be the events that will take place in the magnificent Sapporo Dome, including the Opening Ceremony on Thursday 22nd February. The Dome is a flexible multi-purpose facility which can be set up with different surfaces and is home to the city’s successful baseball team the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and the football team Sapporo Konsadore as well as numerous other events. It is quite appropriate for a nation renowned for being at the forefront of innovation to host the first indoor ski championships competitions, including the Cross-Country individual and team sprint and the Nordic Combined sprint events, at the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
Yoshiro Ito concluded: â€œWe are satisfied with the assessment from the Final Inspection and can now refine our preparations in the short time left before the championships commence. The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships is Sapporo represent a vital opportunity to promote Nordic Skiing in Japan and Asia, and we are determined to make the most of itâ€.
Representatives from the Organizing Committees of Liberec and Oslo, hosts of the championships in 2009 and 2011, attended the events, notably through the FIS Technical Delegates in Sapporo for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined, Roman Kumpost and Torgeir Nordby, who will transfer their knowledge and experiences to their respective teams in the Czech Republic and Norway after the conclusion of the 2007 championships.
*This statistic does not include when the championships were still part of the Olympic Winter Games.
Sarah Lewis and Yoshiro Ito