If you happen to be in Joensuu during the spring term, and if it happens to be a year in which the IBU Worldcup takes place in Finland, experiencing the cheerful atmosphere of a Biathlon race in Kontiolahti is an entry on everyone’s bucket list you cannot miss. Even if you are not a big fan of sports, the happy atmosphere is a great event to attend and watching the race in the snowy, Finnish forest against the backdrop of beautiful Lake Höytiäinen is surely something I will not forget.
If you are familiar with the gripping sport you will know where this blog entry is heading. If not, let me back up.
Biathlon is a combination of fast-paced cross-country skiing and precise shooting. Depending on the discipline the athletes are racing along the 2-4km long rounds 3 or 5 times and in between stop to aim their small-bore rifles at targets with a diameter as small as 115-45 millimeters (standing or lying down while shooting) and in a distance of 50 meters. Being able to hold your hand as steady as it is necessary to successfully do this after the challenging tracks (including steep climbs like the famous Kontiolahti ‘wall climb’) is a true mystery to me and fuels the fascination for this extravagant sport. Continue reading “Hyvää, Kaisa!”