he IBU Congress closed today with Ruhpolding, Germany earning the right to host the 2012 Biathlon World Championships with Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic selected for 2013.
The five venues vying for the two available Championships staged aggressive marketing campaigns, over recent days as they attempted to win this coveted event. Nove Mesto na Morave, Ruhpolding, and Oslo hosted either a dinner or luncheon for the Congress delegates. These events featured their regional food, drinks, and entertainment, combined with a big dose of politicking and endorsements from high profile athletes and politicians. The efforts of the organizing committees highlight the value of an event like the Biathlon World Championships in terms of the local economic impact, as well as the television and media exposure for the region or community. Officials from Ruhpolding estimated the initial economic impact on their small community of 8500 people at 15 million Euros ($21 million).
Ruhpolding, an annual stop on the World Cup circuit, hosts the Biathlon World Championships for the fourth time, with 1997 being the most recent. Their plans include a complete rebuild and expansion of the stadium to better accommodate both competitors and spectators.
Nove Mesto na Morave is a well-known cross-country venue, which recently built a new shooting range and expanded their stadium. Further improvements, including more spectator stands and new team facilities will be completed before 2013.
Other business covered today included updating of the IBU Anti-doping rules, mostly to bring the IBU Rules in compliance with changes in WADA and IOC rules.
The Congress also adopted a change in the prize money structure for the World Cups and World Championships. Starting this season, prize money will go to the top 10 places in Individual, Sprint, Pursuit, and Mass Start competitions. Previously, prize money went to the top eight places.
St. Petersburg, Russia hosts the next IBU Congress in the autumn 2010.
The United States Biathlon Association is the National Governing Body for the sport of biathlon in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Biathlon Union. The US Biathlon Association supports the US Biathlon Team and development of the sport on all levels within the United States.
TD Banknorth is the title sponsor of the US Biathlon Team. Lapua, adidas®, and Exel Ski Poles are supporting sponsors of the US Biathlon Team.