JÃ¼rg Capol and Uli Wehling, FIS Race Directors Cross-Country and Nordic Combined, respectively, paid a visit to Szczyrk and Wisla (POL) on Tuesday to inspect the progress of preparations at the venue for the 2008 FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships and the U-23 World Championships Cross-Country. This important event, the largest in the FIS Nordic disciplines after the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, is scheduled to be staged in the Szczyrk region from 3rd-10th February 2008. Located in the heart of the Beskidy mountains, Szczyrk is one of the most important winter resorts in Poland, along with Zakopane and Karpacz.
Organizationally, the preparations are on schedule and the organizing team is well-staffed and motivated. The general sports infrastructure in the area is solid. Due to the delay in receiving the necessary construction permits, however, substantial work remains to be done at both venues — the hills in Szczyrk and the Kubalonka Cross-Country stadium in Wisla — to ensure that the fields of play for the planned competitions are at the level required for Junior Worlds. All construction work is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks and update reports will be sent to FIS on a monthly basis. The organizing team has the full support of the Polish Ski Association and the regional political leadership to ensure a high-quality event as per schedule.
The Polish Cross-Country Ski Championships will be organized in Wisla in the season of 2007/2008 and the Beskidy Cup races in the FIS World Cup B Nordic Combined in January 2008 will serve as the main test event. The Szczyrk/Beskidy region will also serve as host for the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in 2009.