Today, the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 Pokljuka (in cooperation with BMW) officially started with the evening opening ceremony, which took place virtually this time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Initially, Mayors of Bled Mr Janez Fajfar and Bohinj Mr Jože Sodja welcomed all the participants of this year’s World Championships. “I am proud that Bled and Pokljuka host the IBU World Championships Biathlon. This is one of the most important international sporting events this winter,” said Fajfar, while Sodja shared the feelings, “It is a great joy and honour to host a sporting event of such magnitude as IBU World Championships in our beautiful Pokljuka is.”
Mr Jelko Kacin, President of the Organising Committee emphasized that Slovenia is ready for the biggest winter sports competition in its history – the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 Pokljuka: “The organisers did their best to provide the best conditions in the fight for the title of the best in the world, but I am convinced that absolutely everyone who will visit this exceptional part of the Julian Alps in the next two weeks will feel good at Pokljuka.”
In addition to thanking all the partners in this resounding project, Kacin did not forget all the volunteers and their team leaders who, with diligence and sacrifice, as well as good mood and laughter prepared everything necessary for the top event.
The president of the Ski Association of Slovenia, Mr Enzo Smrekar, also did not hide his enthusiasm for another exceptional event. “The Ski Association of Slovenia is famous for its first-class organisation of major international sporting events. I am sure the upcoming spectacle in Pokljuka will be no exception.”
After the ceremonial parade of flag bearers and greetings from the national teams, which was concluded by the Slovenian national team member Jakov Fak, the “biathlon family” was addressed by Mr Olle Dahlin, President of the International Biathlon Union, who officially opened the Championships, “You stepped in with just three years notice to help the biathlon family in time of need. And now at a time when the biathlon family needs its World Championships more than ever, you ensured it can go ahead. This is your time. We cannot wait to enjoy world class biathlon over the next two weeks and celebrate our wonderful athletes.”
With the raising of the International Biathlon Union’s flag, brought by the most successful Slovenian athlete of recent history, Olympic and world rowing champion Iztok Čop, the last act before the peak of the 2020/2021 biathlon season – the World Championships in Pokljuka, which will take place at Rudno polje till 21st February – came to an end.