Toppidrettsveka – Another Lesson To World As To How To Stage Event – And Move Skiing Forward

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:

Toppidrettsveka’s budget is approximately 1,1 million euros – that alone puts the annual competition in Trondheim ahead of the most of the FIS World Cup stages. What’s even more remarkable is that only 15 % of the sum comes from municipal contributions – and whopping 85% from commercial sponsors. Why are the companies ( including large ones- like BMW , BN Bank or energy giant Equinor) want to spend that much of rollerskiing event?
Main one is a television exposure. With NRK broadcasting all main races, cumulative television audience reaches 1.5 million – that’s in a country of 5.3 million people!…
Do not discount the actual event spectators: that famed final race of the event on the streets of Trondheim brings out over 20000 people
…that be naive to think that all these people are hard-core skiing fans ( altough many are). Norwegians know how to grow stars out of elite skiers – domestic and foreign. Like Alex Bolshunov, arguably the most popular foreign skier and big star of competitions. And yes, doing selfies for hours is a part of the job – and Alex is as good at it as at classic style ski racing
…Or Frida Karlsson who’s off- and online popularity is already stratospheric and keeps, keeps on growing
…and, of course there is Johannes Klaebo, the most famous dweller of Trondheim of our days and total local hero
..add breathtaking vistas serving as races’ background, that practically scream “come and visit”
Toppidrettsveka lure the best by offering free accommodations that effectively turn into mini camps for top skiers – a massive argument for the said top skiers to come & run in all races.

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…”

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Demanding – but totally worth it, we could add

all photos are courtesy of Toppidrettsveka

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