The mascot of the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships taking place in Finsterau, Germany, from 10-19 February has been named as ‘Filu’ the lynx.
Filu represents the wildlife of the Bavarian National Park, which is home to some of the world’s last wild lynx.
The name is a combination of the words Finsterauer and Luchs – translated to Finsterau lynx - and was submitted by Jasmin Denk from nearby Mauth through a Facebook competition.
Ms. Denk will receive one of the 360 lynxes produced for the Championships as a prize, as well as a spa visit.
The name Filu was announced by the head of the Local Organising Committee and Chairperson of the district council Dr. Olaf Heinrich; District Adminstrator, Sebastian Gruber; Member of the Provincial Parliament and President of the Bayerwald Ski Association, Max Gibis and Chairperson of the SV Finsterau sports club, Christian Eder.
Dr. Heinrich emphasised that Finsterau 2017 is a fantastic opportunity for the region. In addition to the sporting importance, he celebrated the "unparalleled collaboration" of all participants involved in the implementation.
District Administrator Gruber mentioned the general sporting value of the World Championships, and how hosting around 135 athletes from around the world is very important for the region.
Gibis, who is also the vice chairperson of SV Finsterau, sees the Worlds as a great chance to build on the World Cups held in the venue in 2011 and 2016 and an indication by the club of their commitment to Para Nordic skiing.
After heavy snowfall the night before, the announcement of the name was completed in the new festival hall, built specifically for the Championships. Numerous volunteers are working around the clock to deliver a successful competition.
Finsterau 2017 will feature biathlon and cross-country skiing and will be the last major competition ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
For more information visit the Finsterau 2017 website. https://www.paralympic.org/finsterau-2017