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2001

II Skishow 

 

In life it is often so that if you wish something very hard it may succeed. This was the case with the second ski show in 2001.

In the calendar policy of FIS there had been a new trait for quite a time and, therefore, it was started to organise world cup competitions immediately before title competitions. The dates for the World Championships in Lahti were established, whereas they had to be preceded by a world cup stage as a so-called prologue to the world championships. And there was the idea – why could it not be at Otepää, the more that it is only a short journey from here to Lahti.

 

Everything went smoothly also in the lobby work done by the Estonian Ski Association – our decision was supported by ski associations in the Nordic countries and, which is more important – influential support came from Vegard Ulvang, who had recently quit competing. The world of skiing also remembered the positive experience at Nuustaku few years ago.

 

The spring calendar conference had to become the last threshold there. The first-round reading was so favourable to us that the calendar had to be finally decided at the session held the following morning without any problems. And then, suddenly, some forces appeared on the scene – already in the evening a paper started to circulate where Otepää had been replaced by Kuopio. The most tight-lipped persons to offer any explanations on the matter were the Finnish Ski Association and its president. However, the calculation by our northern neighbours proved weak – different countries expressed their discontent with the replacement and, finally, Ulvang made the final decision – Otepää and discussion finished !

 

This was what preceded the second ski show and tried to move the focus of the highest attention of the world of skiing away from us. The elite from nearly around the world, who had trained their shape in competitions at home for several weeks already, and also the top company of the press, attended the show. By the speed of the sportsmen on taking the rise at Tehvandi, already medals for the World Championships in Lahti were predicted. By the twelfth hour before the World Championships, the going of our men seemed to be improving as well.

 

By reminding once again the crisp morning of the day of the competition with the snowy track corridors and the later uncompromised struggle, all we can do is to feel happiness that it all came true. I believe that most of us do not remember anymore the rain and mud in the evening before the competition. The change of weather during the night and a slight freeze made Tehvandi a top arena by the morning.

 

How good it would be to stop at this point or to talk only about how the gold medal was later brought to Estonia from Lahti. However, unfortunately, from behind the curtains of the ski show of Otepää, there were later discovered things that did not soil only the reputation of the World Championships in Lahti but tried to bring Nuustaku down as well. As investigation revealed, on that beautiful morning, around Karupesa there were matters in progress that gave rise to doping scandals still alive in ski sports. Thus, the prologue of the World Championships was played also that way and a ladleful of genuine ski tar was spilt towards the honey pot of Otepää. It is a pity that things went this way in Lahti, however, luckily there was still enough magnificent sun for Tehvandi ski show, and people felt sincere happiness.

 

Author: Kaarel Zilmer

Photo: Kaarel Zilmer

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