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2003

III Skishow

 

After the already familiar two-year interval between competitions, Nuustaku was again decorated for the world cup in the winter of 2003. A year earlier, the energy of our organising team had been directed to Scandinavian Cup and a new competition pattern introduced by Georg Zipfel, a German innovator of ski programmes, was tried out – a double pursuit. This was successful as well!

 

Otepää World Cup had to enter a new phase by the trial of 2003. It had to do it but it could not as one step could not be taken directly because of Force Majeure. The plan included two extremely exciting days –mass starts in the classical technique on the first and a hot sprint competition on the second day. Both of these were quite raw ski competition products, particularly for Otepää.

 

To make things work well, the tracks hade been made wider in the summer and new track areas were created. Moreover, there seemed to be luck with snow this time, although all tracks had bases of artificial snow as always.

 

And then there appeared the enemy who has won armies and killed many explorers. We all have met the enemy in winter, and this time it ruthlessly disarmed the ski army assembled at Otepää. The enemy was severe cold and bitter wind, biting us down to our bones in bare land.

If preparation for the world cup at Tehvandi and around it revealed the organiser’s disagreement with land owners, the coming of the severe frost was summarised by the title of a newspaper article – Nothing can stop frost but for land owners we have our measures! This is how the order of risk factors for the world cup was seen.

 

There were announcements of 25 degrees Celsius below zero and no sign of warming. It rather got worse and, at lower points, the thermometer showed thirty or more degrees on the morning of the competition. As always, one cannot rush in such situations – the more that the season and the World Championships were still ahead. Holidays of cold had arrived. The organisers dashed between the room and the thermometer outside. The programme became changed and the start of sprinters had to wait its turn. However, the organisers had decided certainly to carry out mass starts of the classical technique.

 

As a miracle, the signs of weather started to predict a change and when the chief of competition Tiit Pekk arrived from the track and withdrawing frost, his message was simple – it seems that the competition can take place tomorrow.

 

The competition was a real dish – mass start classical distances, where somebody is leading, the leader is changing, the others are left behind, the others catch up again, and everything is decided during the last metres.

 

It was a real top show of cross-country skiing, eliminating the last doubt about whether joint starts should be organised or not and providing total approval for the track of Tehvandi, where it was possible to organise such a top show. Among the audience by the track one could notice numerous professionals from different fields of life, who had come to witness the event – skiing at its most professional level. What especially twisted their minds up and down was the vigorous going of our own skiers – Kristina, Jaak, and Andrus. The audience could sense nearly at a distance of their breath what they had usually seen from a TV set. It all deserved mighty cheering that was endless. Everyone dashing by got their share of the cheering…

 

The entire world elite was moving towards their top shape for Val di Fiemme and the trial at Nuustaku was very useful to them.

 

Author: Kaarel Zilmer

Photo: Lembit Peegel

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