2013 International Trial Competitions end at Gazprom’s Biathlon and Ski Complex
External Relations Directorate, Gazprom Sotsinvest
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In the run-up to 22nd Winter Olympic Games a series of trial competitions took place at the Integrated Biathlon and Ski Complex of Gazprom, including the Biathlon World Cup round, Russian Cross-Country Skiing Championship as well as the Russian Championship and the final round of the Paralympic Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon World Cup among athletes with orthopedic and visual impairment.
Not only Russian sportsmen had a chance to try out the tracks during these competitions, but the representatives of other countries as well. According to the participants of all the competitions, the track was “difficult, but it singled out the strongest ones”.
“What surprised me most was the stadium – it is much bigger than I could imagine. It’s very impressive. I think such stately constructions may attract many fans here,” said Martin Foucarde after the finish.
This year the tickets to competitions became publically available, that’s why sportsmen felt the spectators’ support, the fans were cheering the sportsmen with applause and national flags.
Apart from the stadium and the tracks prepared on a high international level, competitors and spectators were impressed by the nature of Krasnaya Polyana, as much attention was paid to preserving it during the sports venues construction.
“There are so many trees around! Nowadays stadiums are deforested, which makes the scenery unnatural. But here everything is much closer to nature – and I like it,” said Raphael Poiree, three-time Olympic medalist.
In conclusion of international trial competitions at the Biathlon and Ski Complex of Gazprom, Russian Paralympians won three gold medals in cross-country skiing.
According to Sergey Shilov, six-time Paralympic champion in cross-country skiing, “the track at Laura is wonderful, very interesting, the whole competition is in spectators’ full view. The organization is none the worse, or maybe even better than at any international competitions.”
After summing up the results of the international trial competitions, both spectators and sportsmen supported Anders Besseberg, President of the International Biathlon Union who said, “The biathlon stadium in Sochi is all set for the Olympics.”