The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships debut in Asia from 22nd February to 4th March. FIS President Gian Franco Kasper will open the Championships at the official Opening Ceremony at 18:00 (10:00 CET) tomorrow Thursday, 22nd February.
More than 480 athletes representing 49 nations have been entered to compete in Sapporo, accompanied by at least the same number of officials. Whilst 125 ladies from 33 nations and 197 men from 47 nations are registered to compete in Cross-Country, approximately 68 athletes from 17 nations will participate in the Nordic Combined events and 93 athletes from 21 nations in Ski Jumping. At least 1150 international media representatives will be on-site to report as a total of 54 medals will be awarded in 18 events.
“By staging the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo, Japan we are hoping to promote the development of the FIS Nordic disciplines throughout Asia, especially in China and Korea.. The Japanese already have long traditions in Ski Jumping but we would like to make them equally excited about Cross-Country,” said Gian Franco Kasper.
The competitions will begin with the Cross-Country Skiing sprint races in the classical technique on Thursday. The races will be held at the Sapporo Dome and have already been sold out to an impressive capacity of 30,000; the finals will be staged after the official Opening Ceremony as of 19:30 local time (11:30 CET).
This will be the first time that Cross-Country championship competitions are held indoors, as well as the first time Cross-Country title events are held at night. The competitions in the Dome will continue on Friday with the Cross-Country team sprints and Nordic Combined sprint event, for which the skiing race will also be staged indoors.