EOC 2023 in Lillehammer: Per Olav Andersen’s greeting

8 Aug 2023

EOC 2023 in Lillehammer: Per Olav Andersen’s greeting

For the European Sprint tour on the Via Querinissima, it was time to visit the city that hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics, as Veneto will do in 2026, after a brief stop in Trondheim. 

On Saturday, August 5, the organizing committee took part in an orienteering competition in Trondheim with the presence of NTNUI Orienteering, a historic club linked to the city’s university and winner of the prestigious 2023 Tiomila night orienteering relay. Among the orienteers at the start were Alessandro Bedin, a PWT Italy athlete and member of the delegation, and former world champion Stig Berge, who is still active today : “Orienteering is a perfect sport, in particular for older people. You can continue to compete even at a very old age. I still continue to practice it even at the age of 81”.

On Sunday, August 6, Gabriele Viale, General Manager 2023 EOC, and Mauro Gazzerro, FISO Veneto President, instead met with Per Olav Andersen, CEO Olympiaparken, and Erik Unaas, a member of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the Confederation of Norwegian Sports, in Lillehammer, in the Håkons Hall, arena of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. Merethe Sandum, manager of the regional tourism board Visit Lillehammer, and Bernt Bjørnsgaard, former orienteering world champion and EOC ambassador, have intervened. 

“Olympiaparken, the arena for the ice hockey finals at the 1994 Olympics, is still in use and operational – says Per Olav Andersenas are all the other centers from that edition. Besides that, we work as organizers of international competitions in winter sports, including Nordic climbing, ski jumping, biathlon, cross-country, tennis and handball. We are eager to see what Italy will do for Milan-Cortina and, if possible, we will make a contribution by working together with the organizing committee. I personally would love to take part as a spectator in the European Championships in Veneto”

“We have a long shared tradition in winter sports between Italy and Norway – comments Erik Unaas, who also helped found the Park World Tour Italia orienteering association – We hope to cooperate in the upcoming 2026 Olympic Games, but also in the area of other sports, traditional and new. My background is in orienteering, one of the main sports in my country. I look forward to visiting Veneto for the European Championships in October and to seeing more and more Italian athletes in Norwegian competitions”. 

Preceding the meeting was a visit to Hotel Nermo, which has hosted national teams for training retreats and competitions since 1994, led by owner Johannes Nermo. 

Only two stops remain at the conclusion of the tour: Gothenburg and Venice!