Normally, in discussion conclusions follow arguments. Well, we want to up-end that and to start with conclusion: world’s cross country skiing really has two options:
Learn how Norwegians do things and effort to replicate them at home.
Or just move all the top-level competitions to Norway, period. Yes, the way the Ironman World Championship is held in Hawaii – and nobody seems to have a problem with that because “Hawaii does it best”
The Norwegians have honed the art of staging cross country skiing races to such extent that , putting it bluntly, races elsewhere are starting to look pale in comparison. Especially in the summer. Conversely, premier summer races in Norway are even better than their winter ones ( hint – it’s warmer and doesn’t get dark before lunchtime!)
There are three important factors in every event: money, television and top stars…oh, and did we mention money? Let’s mention it again, for emphasis .
Here’s how Toppidrettsveka, the last important skiing event of the summer season, solves the puzzle – and goes from strength to strength:
And no, despite solid sponsorship and local enthusiasm staging a three day event in three different locations ain’t a simple affair
Says the head of Toppidrettsveka, Harald Fladseth:
“We want to spend our resources primarily on designing good tracks / courses, which are just as hard and comparable as the athletes meet in the competitions during wintertime , at the World Cup. Therefore is Toppidrettsveka conceptualized as a tour with both sprints and distance-races in classic / skate. When we design these hard and long tracks on public roads, it is quite demanding in terms of costs. Police & security, volunteers, barrier material are just some of the keywords here…”
Demanding – but totally worth it, we could add
all photos are courtesy of Toppidrettsveka