24,300 spectators enjoyed the biathlon event in Kontiolahti


The three-day biathlon event in Kontiolahti was a success in every aspect. The three competition days attracted altogether 24,300 visitors – 7000 for Friday’s Sprints, 13,000 for Saturday’s Pursuit races, and 4300 for Sunday’s Relay competitions.

“We are totally satisfied with ticket sales, we exceeded our goals by far. What comes to atmosphere, Saturday was one of the best competition days we have ever had here. This is a splendid situation to start heading towards next year’s World Cup competitions (preliminary dates 5–11 March),” says Jarno Lautamatti, who was in charge of ticket sales.
Esa Haapala, who took up the duties of Event Manager on a short notice, is pleased with the successful event and the fruitful work of his organization.
“We have succeeded particularly in the seamless cooperation with our partners. The work done with Kontiolahti municipality, the city of Joensuu, the Regional Council of North Karelia and educational institutions has been extremely significant. The spirit within our group has been marvellous. On Saturday, the site was packed with people even during the men’s competition – a true biathlon culture has grown roots here. Top athletes’ comments on the good atmosphere here have been heart-warming.”
The event has offered valuable insight and ideas for future development, as well.
“The large spectator groups along the trail also gave us new perspectives for extensions of the track stands and for expanding spectator services. We have major opportunities here considering next winter’s competitions,” Haapala says.
Kalle Lähdesmäki, chairman of the Finnish Biathlon Association, is impressed by what he has seen and experienced in this collaboratively constructed event.
“An absolutely fantastic success! We achieved wonderful and close cooperation – the organizers, the Finnish Biathlon Association and the whole Finnish biathlon community.
Lähdesmäki gives abundant praise to all the volunteers in the event, the organizing committee, the Kontiolahti Sport Club and all other figures and organizations involved in the event arrangements.
“This has provided us valuable encouragement for next year,” says Lähdesmäki.