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Executive Director of the International Federation of Sleddog Sports Bernard Ppn: "Karelia is a perfect place for development of sleddog sports"

On January, 19-20 the settlement of Pryazha will host the International Middle-Distance Sled Dog Race On the Land of Sampo. The press conference devoted to preparation and staging of the international races took place in Petrozavodsk on the eve of the race.

A.Voronov, V.Semyonov and V.Simonov

A.Voronov, V.Semyonov and V.Simonov

Representatives of the steering committee established by the order of the Head of the Republic Vladimir Semyonov, Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia and Chairman of the Mushing Federation of Karelia, Alexander Voronov, Minister of Youth Affairs, Physical Training, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Karelia, and Director of Scythians Tour Ltd. Viktor Simonov took part in it.

Executive Director of the International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) Bernard Pépín and President of Latvian Federation of Sleddog Sports, internationally certified judge, Race-Marshal of the International Middle-Distance Sled Dog Race On the Land of Sampo Girts Eldmanis also took part in the press-conference.

Bernard Ppn and Girts Eldmanis

Bernard Ppn and Girts Eldmanis

Chairman of the Mushing Federation of Karelia Vladimir Semyonov has reminded journalists that International Sled Dog Race will take place in Pryazha for the second time, however, this year it has the status of one of the World Cup stages in mushing. The decision on it was made on the initiative of the International Federation of Sleddog Sports, as the race of 2012 held as the Championship of Russia were of great interest both to athletes, and to the audience.

Karelia has everything for such competitions: beautiful nature, snowfields, good transport communications and the necessary infrastructure, Vladimir Semyonov emphasized. Of course, it was not so easy to get ready for the competition of the international level, but we are sure that competitions will be held up to the mark.

Participants of the press-conference

Participants of the press-conference

More than 50 crews including sportsmen form Finland, Sweden, Czechia, the Baltics, Canada and China will take part in the race On the Land of Sampo this year. All the strongest racers of Russia have staked claims to take part in it. Winners will gain prize money amounting from two thousand to five hundred euros.

Within two days the judging panel under the direction of the judge of the International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) Girts Eldmanis from Latvia will watch the course of the race. As the Race-Marshal has mentioned, the level of preparation for the race this year is pretty much different from the previous.

B.Ppn, A.Voronov and V.Semyonov

B.Ppn, A.Voronov and V.Semyonov

The progress is obvious, Girts Eldmanis said. The number of racers that will take part in the competition has increased, there are new signs on the route, five new bridges have been constructed. It is necessary to make finishing strokes for preparation of the track, and all that we want is good weather for the race.

Executive director of IFSS Bernard Pépín who has made the first inspection of the track in Pryazha before the race starts, will have to study all conditions of the race and to report his opinion to the management of the International federation, as well as to help to improve organization of the competition for its further development. As a whole, he said, the racing track in Pryazha is convenient for staging such competitions.

Karelia is a perfect place for development of sleddog sports. Development of this kind of sports, especially in nordic countries, is very important for us - Bernard Pépín said. Today, except for Russia, sleddog sports develop actively in the north of Europe, in France, Canada and in the USA.

At the press-conference

At the press-conference

According to Alexander Voronov, Minister of Youth Affairs, Physical Training, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Karelia, transition to a new international level will allow to make the race one of the features of our republic and grant the republic the status of one of the mushing development centers.

Today we discuss what it is necessary to do to let Karelia take part in the competition for the right to host the World Sled Dog Race Championship held every other year, he said. This year it will take place in Alaska, and at participation of the International federation we can make an application to host the championship in 2015. In many respects such decision will depend on success of this race.

The length of a line the race On the Land of Sampo will make 42 kilometers and 195 meters. It is the marathon distance indissolubly connected with Olympic traditions. As the Minister has pointed out, organizers of the competition together with the IFSS intend to launch an initiative to include the sled-dog race in the list of Olympic kinds of sports. Only once in history this sport was in the program of the Third Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid in 1932. In prospect, the sled-dog race may become a part of the program of the Olympic Games of 2022. One of immediate tasks is to join the cultural program of the Olympic Games of 2014 in Sochi.

I suppose, that by a joint effort of the International and Karelian federations of sleddog sports, the Government of Karelia, administration of Pryazha region, other organizers and sponsors of the competition we will manage to fulfill our plans, Alexander Voronov said.

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Created: January 18, 2013. Last updated: January 18, 2013.
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