IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships - Opening Ceremony

The 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships were opened in Solleftea, Sweden, on Sunday (24 February) with a colourful ceremony.

From 25 February to 5 March, more than 150 athletes from 15 countries will compete for podium places in cross-country skiing and biathlon events just one year before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games take place.

Rita van Driel, IPC Governing Board member, said: "In just over one year's time most of us will be getting ready for the next Paralympic Winter Games.

"I am confident that many athletes will be using these Championships to check where they are at with their own preparations for next year, whilst keeping a close eye on the performances of their competitors.

"Since the 2011 World Championships in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, a number of great rivalries have developed on the nordic skiing circuit and I expect these to take centre stage here this week.

"I'm also delighted at some of the new young talent emerging and believe some of them will surprise us here in Solleftea by coming out of nowhere to win a medal or even a world title."

One of the rivalries to look out for is between two Russian sit-skiers. Multiple Paralympic and world champion Irek Zaripov will be challenged by his compatriot Roman Petushkov, as he tries to defend his gold medals from the last World Championships.

All events from the Championships will be streamed live on the IPC's YouTube channel, www.YouTube.com/ParalympicSportTV.

For more information on the 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships, please visit the event website at www.ipcnordicskiingworlds.org.

You can also follow the action on Twitter @IPCNordic and like the sport's Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/IPCNordicSkiing.