The IBU Biathlon World Championships 2012: 90 days and what's Happening

The new stands will allow about 16,000 spectators the best possible view of the finishing line and the shooting stands

The preparations for the IBU biathlon world championships are far from being finished. The world wide largest winter sports event this year will take place from 29 February through 11 March 2012 in Bavaria's Ruhpolding. Ever since hosting the biatholon world championships 2012 was awarded to Ruhpolding in September 2008, much effort has been made to make this event the greatest world championships in biathlon history.

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However, even today, 90 days before the starting signal, the organisation committee has quite a bit left to do, starting with kitting out about 1200 volunteers: because this year, all the supporters of the biathlon world championships will receive the new helper outfit so one can recognize them amongst the 25,000 cheering fans.

The huge “igloo” at the entrance to the Chiemgau Arena caused some confusion during the summer months. Actually, it was the depot of last year's snow to ensure training possibilities on snow beginning  already in November. This idea of storing snow has been put into practice since 2005. This year for the world championships however, not only 8000 m³ of snow was stored throughout the summer as in previous years, but about 11.000 m ³. Last week a 30-40 cm thick layer of the snow was spread out over the trails. In the best case, many of the German athletes will get their final edge for the up-coming winter season beginning this week. The training possibilities are focused entirely on the German national team.

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Not only the helpers and the stadium are getting decked out for the big event; Ruhpolding's town centre also aims to be a champion crown pleaser. The store fronts are hanging out flags and shop windows are being decorated in world championship style, the spa park is being transformed into a party zone and the pedestrian area has been expanded and received a face-lift. As is already well known, biathlon events in Ruhpolding are hallmarked not only by exciting and fair competitions in the arena, but also for providing great fun for party oriented fans.

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The construction of the stands is nearly finished, but a few final touches still need to made. The new stands will allow about 16,000 spectators the best possible view of the finishing line and the shooting stands. Due to changes in the entrances, about 1,200 more fans can take their place in the stands than during the trial run in January 2011. Now we are simply waiting for the cheering crowds.

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