Over 200 Masters athletes participated in the middle-distance ski orienteering race in Seefeld. In demanding terrain you need high levels of endurance and excellent technical skills but you must also choose the best route. As soon as the starting shot is fired athletes have very little time to study the map. After that, the cross-country skiers start off in the area around Seefeld.
One contestant was ‘Helmut Conrad’ from Germany who competes in summer orienteering runs as well as winter at WWMG 2020. The 79-year-old who started for the UPS TU Dresden went with the start number 162 in the race.
Another starter is the Swiss Yvonne Welti who told us in the interview what needs to be considered when it comes to ski orientation. The ski orienteering race has a long history; it was first documented in Scandinavia at the end of the 19th century. Athletes have to use a map to approach a certain number of items as quickly as possible. The map contains detailed information about the terrain such as hills, subsoil, obstacles, etc. An electronic chip, on which each point is acknowledged, serves as proof of the correct completion of the contact points. A special compass, skis, poles and a map holder are required as equipment.
The card is carried in a card frame attached to the chest, so that the hands remain free to hold the sticks. We only receive the card 15 seconds before the start. Only then will we know what to expect.
Yvonne and her friend Carmen Kappenberger, who also started in class W35, were actively supported by their grandma and children. Grandma told us that Carmen had switched from athletics to ski orientation to take part in an EM or World Cup. Carmen won the Sprint Ski Orienteering age group W 35 on Wednesday. As we can see, WWMG 2020 has its own stories, but they all have one thing in common, the joy of sport and the community of athletes from different continents.
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