In the blink of an eye, we said farewell to the world this week … until we meet again.
Elke Gundermann, the World Para Winter Sports Administration Coordinator who was on site for the 10-day 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships at the Otway Nordice Centre summed it up best: “The spirit of the world championship took over the whole city. I am truly impressed by the passion, dedicated commitment, and hospitality that everybody involved showed. The Caledonia Nordic Ski Club has proven itself as a world-class host and I can´t wait to come back.”
Prince George welcomed 200 athletes, guides and support staff February 15 – 24 and shared its community, love of sport and spirit. In total, the championships spanned 10 days, 17 countries, 90 athletes, 28 guides, and 171 medals awarded. In addition the championships reached millions of people around the globe – and an abundance of memories were created.
“The championship exceeded the expectations and created a truly memorable event for all participants. The team of volunteers and staff executed a perfect event in great venues and facilities, and set a new standard for future organizers,” said John Aalberg, IPC Jury member and former Nordic Sport Director for 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The championships came together with three years of planning, brought $5.2 million in economic benefit to the area and will leave a legacy that will endure and continue to develop Prince George and the region as a Centre of Excellence for years to come.
While severe winter temperatures prevailed throughout the championships, the sky was blue and the sun warmed the field of competition most days. The cold weather didn’t deter the athletes, volunteers or the condition of the competition courses.
Robin McKeever, Cross Country Canada Para Nordic Head Coach reflected on the experience: “Otway Nordic Ski Centre is one of the best ski areas we have ever been to in terms of organization, course marking and race trails. Combining proper sit-ski courses with standing courses is difficult but the racing was competitive, yet fair. Thanks for a great event.”
The level of commitment from the organizers, staff and volunteers was incredible.
“The Caledonia Nordic Ski Club delivered a truly excellent event demonstrating that Canadian organizers are second to none when it comes to organizing and delivering world class competitions. This World Championship sets a high bar for future organizers including Lillehammer in 2021,” said Len Apedaile, World Para Nordic Skiing Head of Technical Control and Officiating and World Para Nordic Skiing Race Director.
And the final word goes to local organizing committee Chair, Kevin Pettersen.
“It has been incredible to see everything and everyone coming together in hosting these 2019 World Championships,” he said. “The snow and weather conditions were fantastic, and the volunteer spirit was so energizing. We received such positive comments from our international guests as well as our locals who have seen the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club in true world class form. I’m so proud of everyone that has been part of creating this magic in Prince George. Thank you so very much.”