The competition is organised under the aegis of the International Orienteering Federation by the Romanian Orienteering Federation, the Karapt Tour Orienteering Club, the Miercurea Ciuc Municipality and the Harghita County Council. The opening ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday evening in the courtyard of the Miko Castle of Miercurea Ciuc, the central Harghita County.
The first event, a medium-track orienteering contest, will be held on Wednesday at the Tolvajos Pass. Organisers say the competition is a prelude to the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, as ski orienteering is considered an Olympic game, although it has not been included in the Olympic schedule.
‘As a conclusive sign of ski orienteering belonging to the great family of the Olympic movement, the contesting athletes will start their parade at the opening ceremony of February 9 from the Olympic Monument of Miercurea Ciuc that was erected by local sports lovers in honour of Harghita County’s participation in the Olympic Games,’ organisers say in a press release.
The Ski Orienteering World Winter Week will present the entire family of ski orienteering. Besides the world’s best orienteering athlete, both masters and young talents will compete in separate contests during the four days of the event.
Orgnaisers say the European Ski Orienteering Championships, a world cup stage, the World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships, the U17 World Championship and the U20 European Youth Ski Orienteering Championships will all be simultaneously held during the event.
‘Ski orienteering is a sport that provides perfect harmony with nature. Competition in this area is sustained by a combination of the human motor instinct and movement toward a desired direction, and it does not require any specific infrastructure. Ski orienteering bring people back to nature, on hills, meadows and in forests,’ organisers say.