Drum roll at the presentation: “King” Ole Einar Björndalen comes to the European Championships

Helfer Oberhofer Oberrauch Widmann Volgger Vorstellung Biathlon EM Ridnaun 16 01 2018 b 250

Ridanna, 16 January 2018 - Six days before the start of the Biathlon European Championships in Ridanna on Monday, 22 January, the organising committee officially presented the big sporting event before media, sponsors and partners. At the press conference in the World of Mining, Ridanna Monteneve, Ridanna, there were gaps astonishment when IBU race director Felix Bitterling announced that the great Ole Einar Björndalen will participate in the European Championships in South Tyrol.      


For over a year Chair of the Organising Committee Hans Widmann, Competition Manager Manuel Volgger, the other members of the Organising Committee and the Sportsclub Ridanna have been preparing the Biathlon European Championships that will come to the South Tyrolean Biathlon centre in Val Ridanna for the third time, after 1996 and 2011. Now the waiting is over. “The preparations have now largely been completed. Of course, there is still plenty left to be done, especially on the track and in the stadium, but we are working according to schedule”, stated Voggler. 


This large sporting event is only possible because Ridanna and the municipality of Racines and Wipptal all work together. “We are extremely well supported by the local hospitality sector. Local companies are also supporting us. And without the 600 volunteers, we would be completely lost. A huge thank you also to all the media who report the event”, emphasised President of the Organizing Committee Widmann in his welcome address. Mayor Sebastian Helfer added: “It is good to see that there is this tremendous sense of cohesion and solidarity in our community. We are simply aiming to be a good host, following our motto: Being a guest with friends.” 



Finstral once again main sponsor of the Biathlon European Championships


Kristin Oberrauch spoke for the South Tyrolean top company Finstral: “We have always been committed to winter sports and we were keen to be main sponsor of the European Championships in Ridanna for the second time after 2011. In addition, Wipptal is a particularly important market for our company”, explained Ms Oberrauch. 


Biathlete Karin Oberhofer also took part in the press conference. “I am already looking forward to the European Championships and I already thank everyone who has helped to make it possible for us to fight for medals here. I will endeavour to do my utmost best. If you race in front of your own fans, you always want to do especially well. That is why this home European Championship is unique even for an experienced athlete like me”, commented the 33-year old biathlete. 



Further top stars are on their way


In addition to Oberhofer other members of the national Italian A-team are also expected. With Dorothea Wierer, Lisa Vittozzi, Alexia Runggaldier, Karin Oberhofer and Federica Sanfilippo in the women’s team and  Lukas Hofer and Dominik Windisch in the men’s team, the Italians have registered all their top athletes for these Biathlon European Championships. Whether these stars will ultimately be at the start will depend on the preparations for the Olympic games. 


IBU Race Director Felix Bitterling was also able to name other top starts who have announced their participation. Ole Einar Björndalen’s participation was confirmed by the Norwegian coaches. “French team members Simon Fourcade and Jean-Guillaume Béatrix are likely to compete for the Olympic qualification in Ridanna”, commented Bitterling. The IBU Race Director told the assembled media representative why the South Tyrolean Biathlon centre was chosen for the European Championships. “All biathletes love coming to Ridanna. As organizer of the IBU Cups Ridanna excelled in recent years. It was only a question of time until it was their turn again.”



Exciting competitions and a fantastic supporting programme


The competition programme in Ridanna begins on Wednesday, 24 January when athletes compete for the title of European Champion in the Individual races from 10:00 am. Friday, 26 January is all about the Sprint competitions starting at 11:00 am. The exciting Pursuit races will excite the many spectators on Saturday, 27 January from 1:00 pm, before  the title fights in the South Tyrolean Biathlon centre end on Sunday, 28 January with the Individual Mixed Relay (1:00 pm) and the Mixed Relay (3:00 pm). 


The supporting programme at the European Championships leaves no wishes unfulfilled. The spectator marquee in the stadium grounds will be the centre of entertainment from Monday, 22 January, when the band “Lederhosenfeeling” plays during the opening ceremony. For the roaring parties on Friday and Saturday evening President of the Organising Committee Hans Widmann was able to book two fantastic groups: Stockhiatla and Elchos. In the evening the marquee will also be the venue for the European Championships Awards Ceremony - another highlight for our biathletes. 



Live transmission and free entry to all competitions


The organisers are delighted that the competitions will be shown live on television from Friday to Sunday. The live images will be produced by EBU. 16 cameras will capture the races. The signal will be transmitted to dozens of television stations, such as Eurosport and Czech Television. For Val Ridanna this TV transmission represents priceless advertising, in particular for local tourism. 


In addition to live transmission, the operators also hope they will be able to welcome many fans to Val Ridanna and in particular to the stadium: For this reason, entry to all competitions is free. 



Biathlon European Championships - 22 to 28 January 2018


Competition programme: 

Monday, 22  January: Opening ceremony in the grounds of the stadium (8:00 pm)

Tuesday, 23 January: Official training

Wednesday, 24 January: Individual Men (10:00 am), Individual Women (1:30 pm)

Thursday, 25 January: Official training

Friday, 26 January: Sprint Men (11:00 am), Sprint Women (2:00 pm)

Saturday, 27 January: Pursuit Men (1:00 pm), Pursuit Women (3:00 pm)

Sunday, 28 January: Individual Mixed Relay (1:00 pm), Mixed Relay (3:00 pm)



Supporting programme:

Monday, 22 January 2018 

8:00 pm: Opening ceremony of the Biathlon European Championships

followed by entertainment in the marquee with the band “Lederhosenfeeling”

Tuesday 23 January 2018 

6:30 pm: Biathlon evening in the hotels/guesthouses

Wednesday 24 January 2018 

7:30 pm: Night-time hike by torchlight and athletes’ night in the Gratznhäusl

Thursday, 25 January 2018:

7:00 pm: “Ridanna Biathlon Dinner” in the Hotel Schneeberg (press, politicians, partners, sponsors)

Friday, 26 January 2018:

10:00 am - 7:00 pm: Entertainment in the marquee with DJ

8:00 pm: Awards ceremony Sprint races in the marquee

From approx. 8:30 pm: LIVE Band “Die  Stockhiatla”

Saturday, 27 January 2018: 

10:00 am - 12:00 noon: early morning get-together for a drink in the stadium

12:00 noon + 2:00 pm: Great fashion parade “Snow White and Fashion”

3:00 pm –  7:00 pm: Entertainment in the marquee with DJ

8:00 pm:  Awards ceremony Pursuit races

From approx. 8:30 pm: LIVE band - “ELCHOS”

Sunday, 28 January 2018: 

10:00 am –  5:00 pm: Entertainment in the marquee with DJ

Approx. 17.00: Closing ceremony of the Biathlon European Championships









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