Katerina Neumannova, President of the Liberec 2009 organizing committee took the time to answer the following 10 questions after the official Final Inspection conducted on Monday 13th October.1) In your view, just after the FIS Final Inspection, is everything on track?
In principle, yes. We started pretty much from zero last summer but are nevertheless progressing according to plan. We still expect a lot of work during the autumn, but we will manage everything.2) How does your autumn look like - where is the most remaining work?
We will have to evaluate tenders for suppliers of temporary infrastructure, grandstands, large video screens, containers and their installation. We still also need to solve details for the ceremonies and related events. And there will be a series of training sessions for the volunteers and staff, for example.3) What is the status of the competition facilities?
The Cross-Country venue Vesec is ready; we are waiting only for the pre-built stands and facilities for the teams in mobile containers. Work on the jumping hill in Jested – primarily on the surrounding areas and access road - will be completed in the autumn.
4) What are you most nervous about?
The weather. It can facilitate our work in Liberec, but it can also make it difficult for us.5) How are you prepared to respond to milder than expected weather?
In addition to producing snow directly in Liberec, which will begin as soon as we have the first frosts, we have prepared two other places in the mountains where we will produce snow reserves in case we need to bring snow to Liberec.6) The teams will stay in the renovated university buildings. What kind of accommodation and services can they expect?
They can expect comfortable living in single rooms, where two rooms share a bathroom. Services will be at a 3 * hotel level and a cafeteria will be open continuously from morning till late evening. An advantage is additional facilities such as opportunities for leisure activities, a gym and meeting rooms, all of which can be used by the teams.7) How will you solve the accommodation situation for the rest of the participants, especially the media and spectators?
Accommodation for the media is planned partly in Hotel Babylon in Liberec, partly in the new flats in Green Valley and in some other hotels in the vicinity. Visitors will stay in Liberec and its surrounding area or in Prague, from where they will reach Liberec in approximately an hour.
8) How is it with the volunteers - are you fully booked or do you need more people to sign up?
We have more than a thousand volunteers at this time. We need around 800. New volunteers are still registering which makes us happy. We would like to have some reserve. Of course we welcome especially those who have experience from last year’s test events and volunteers from among athletes and recreational skiers.9) How many spectators do you expect?
This is difficult to estimate now. We believe that in the days with especially interesting competitions where the Czech competitors are challenging for medals there will be up to 30’000 spectators a day. In addition, the Liberec region will have their spring holiday, so we want to attract schoolchildren and their families.10) What is the role of the Czech team for your event and how do you work with them to promote the event?
The best advertising for us are the results of the Czech skiers. A lot of fans are especially looking forward to great performances by Lukas Bauer (editor – winner of 2007/08 overall FIS Cross-Country World Cup and Tour de Ski). The summer season went well for the Czech ski jumpers as well. We do not want to disturb them, but Lukas Bauer just attended a dinner during the Forum Nordicum and the Czech teams will participate in some events that we organize to promote the championships.