“The World Championships in Solleftea, Sweden, is the competitive highlight of the season.”
With 100 days to go until the 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Solleftea, Sweden, the IPC has launched the event website, www.ipcnordicskiingworlds.com as well as a new Facebook fan page for the sport (www.facebook.com/IPCNordicSkiing)
In the last major event before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, more athletes than ever before are expected to compete.
“The World Championships in Solleftea, Sweden, is the competitive highlight of the season,” said Rob Walsh, Chairperson of the IPC Nordic Skiing Sport Technical Committee.
“By itself it is important, and as a qualification race and preparation race for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games it is even more important.
“During the World Championships and the subsequent test event in Sochi in March we expect to see many athletes trying to position themselves to make a strong statement at the Paralympic Winter Games in 2014.”
With improved courses and updated facilities at Solleftea, Walsh says that the location will offer a top quality competition.
“The whole thing is just going to be one big exciting party,” said Walsh. “Each race is going to be exciting.”
For the first time at a world championships, skiers will compete in a new-format cross country relay, in which a country can make a team of two, three or four athletes, covering four legs (two classic and two free). The teams may consist of any combination of athletes sitting, standing or visually impaired, women or men, as long as the total percentage is below 350 for category 1 or 380 for category 2.
Canada’s Mark Arendz competed in the event in last season’s world cup. He says it allowed for a more diverse and exciting relay.
“The new format is not only exciting for the athletes and teams but also the spectators because the lead changes so much and the winner really isn't decided until the finish line.
“It was one of the toughest races I did in Norway, though at the same time it was the most enjoyable to race not only for myself but for the team,” said Arendz.