“Everything has worked fine and as hoped”


Biathlon World Cup Kontiolahti offered six competitions in four days earning recognition for the atmosphere as well as the organizational matters. The Event was attended by 23 000 spectators, with the biggest crowd on the final day. The mass starts on Sunday were cheered on the spot by 8300 spectators.

In the organizing work by the Sports Club Kontiolahti, Municipality of Kontiolahti, City or Joensuu, Regional Council of North Karelia and a large number of cooperating partners were involved in total about 800 persons.
– Everything has worked fine and as hoped. Improvements made on the basis of previous feedback for instance in trackside spectator zone services have proved to be functional. I wait with great excitement the feedback gathered by spectator inquiry for further development of the Event, the Event Manager Tomi-Pekka Riihivuori said.
Spectator transportation from Joensuu and Kontiolahti made the transfers as easy as possible. The shuttles transported during the first three days 2800 persons, on Sunday expectedly about 2500. The shuttle transport from Kontiolahti was used in three first days by 750 persons. In 2017 the shuttles from Joensuu were used by 6500 persons in three days.
– This year the shuttles from Joensuu cruised exceptionally from the parking area of Vesikko recreational Swimming Hall. In the future the shuttles are intended to cruise from the city center. The possibility to have the shuttles from the city center near the Central Square also was explored, but unfortunately we couldn’t make space enough for that big number of busses and, on the other hand, the parking area near Vesikko offered enough of parking lots. Shuttle transfer has been working well without any jams, Joensuu City Event Chief Mr. Markku Pyykkönen said.
As estimated by the staff of shuttle service, Russian tourists are well mobilized this year, but, sad to say, the home region audience has been less active than last year. The City of Joensuu was responsible also for the Spectators Tent with the services provided by Restaurant Kerubi.
– Spectator Tent services have worked well and there has been genuine party atmosphere. The DJs Aito Raappana and Vanilla Ass have won the hearts of the Biathlon spectator family, the duo has been photographed and followed in social media. The hit of the Spectator Tent have been hot drinks, which were practically sold out, Pyykkönen says.
The Biathlon World Cup is for the region of North Karelia the most important winter event, the yearly renewal of which is essential. This year the municipality of Kontiolahti together with the Organizer obtained a large-scale letter installation “Kontiolahti Biathlon” from the students of Riveria Vocational School to bring joy to the event guests. Special effort was put on creating community spirit and visibility of local entrepreneurs in cooperation with the Association of Entrepreneurs in Kontiolahti, Kontiolahti Enterprise Service Ltd and Joensuu Region Development Agency Josek.
– We offered entrepreneurs a chance to utilize the local event in their marketing and put up a joint stand. Furthermore, we handed a handheld fan to spectators. Functionality of shuttle transfer has got a lot of thanks, the mayor of Kontiolahti Mr. Jere Penttilä says.
President of the Finnish Biathlon Association Mr. Kalle Lähdesmäki in once again satisfied with the quality of Kontiolahti World Cup.
– Arrangements seem to have executed well both on the basis of my own judgement and feedback. Spectators found the spot really well also on Thursday and Friday despite of only one competition per each day. It has been great to hear that people have noticed the smiling faces and hospitality of all those involved in arrangements, things have been going smoothly, Lähdesmäki says.
Kontiolahti is bidding for new international competitions also on years to come. The decision on the timeframe of the next World Cup season is expected from the IBU in the nearest months.

Photo: Tino Kolehmainen