Our journey through the knowledge of the beautiful competition locations continues thanks to the words of their Mayors. The new Mayor Giacomo Possamai talks to us about Vicenza, the stupendous city of Palladio which will host the Sprint Knock-Out on 8 October, valid as a World Cup Final, with an EOC Tour challenge.
You know and practiced orienteering. What was your experience with this discipline and what are your memories about it?
“I got to know this sport at Muttoni middle school with the gymnastics teacher Sergio Caveggion, who passionately accompanied us in the discovery of this discipline, also making us participate in exciting school competitions. I really appreciated the sporting aspect and also the mental one of the orienteering, since it requires testing your own cognitive abilities, stimulating concentration and creativity”.
How is the Municipality of Vicenza preparing to relate in this new mandate with major sporting events?
“Vicenza has always been a friend of major sporting events and wants to be more and more, both nationally and internationally. Not only that: we think that sport should have a central role for citizens. To achieve this goal we are working on several fronts: the enhancement of sport in the neighborhoods, interacting with associations, parishes and sports facilities and also involving citizens in the care and custody of the play area facilities; we want to encourage sporting events in collaboration with local schools and institutions and bring sport back to places in the city such as Parco Querini and Campo Marzo; we aim to create cycle and running paths along the river banks and to plan the maintenance and energy efficiency of sports facilities, with particular attention to the elimination of architectural barriers. In summary, we want to build a more active and mobile city, which provides everyone with the opportunity to exercise in complete safety”.
How is Vicenza preparing to welcome the Europeans, representative of an eco-sustainable discipline with a low environmental impact?
“The environment is a topic very close to our hearts: one of our priorities is making Vicenza a more sustainable city. This is why we are committed to halving emissions and making Vicenza a pilot city in terms of energy communities. Disciplines such as orienteering are therefore welcome, an eco-sustainable sport with a low environmental impact and an activity that allows you to consciously explore the territory, promoting knowledge of it, while respecting the environment. To welcome the European Championships, we are therefore working with the organizers to best organize the Knock-Out Sprint, a competition whose characteristics include speed and the simultaneous participation of several athletes, scheduled for 8 October, when Vicenza will welcome the international community of orienteering, for the first time in the peninsula. It will be a competition valid as World Cup final. The final will unfold in the heart of Vicenza. The competition arena will be in Piazza Matteotti, overlooked by the Teatro Olimpico and Palazzo Chiericati”.
Do you think that the Europeans can represent an important driving force for Vicenza in terms of tourism, especially for a Scandinavian public?
“Like any high-level sporting event, the European Orienteering Championships represent a fundamental opportunity for promotion, as well as growth, for our territory. We will show the historical, artistic and architectural beauties of Vicenza to the numerous sportsmen and enthusiasts who will arrive in the city or who will follow the event. The realization in the historic center of the Sprint knock-out will in fact be an opportunity to highlight and let the public discover not only the Palladian monuments, but also the squares, the many alleys, arcades and bridges that may be less known but equally unique and suggestive. The most spectacular points of the route will be the subject of TV coverage broadcast in ten countries, for an estimated total of 12 million viewers. Our goal is that this international sporting event, and others that we intend to host, are not an end in themselves, but act as a fly for the enhancement of the territory and for the growth of the Vicenza brand”.
What uniqueness of Vicenza will amaze the over 2,000 participants?
“Vicenza is a city with an extraordinary artistic and cultural heritage and a pulsating reality of life, events and cultural activities. It is the city of Palladio: with monuments such as the Basilica Palladiana and the Teatro Olimpico it has been recognized as a Unesco site. The museum circuit boasts the Civic Museum of Palazzo Chiericati, the Naturalistic Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Risorgimento and the Resistance, the Galleries of Palazzo Thiene, the Church of Santa Corona, in addition to the aforementioned Palladian Basilica, a national monument, and the Olimpico, the covered theater oldest in the world. Vicenza knows how to amaze with its artistic and cultural life, with multiple events in the historic center and increasingly also in the neighborhoods. I therefore invite the sportsmen and enthusiasts who will participate in the European Championships or who will follow them from afar to come and discover and be enchanted by our territory”.
What’s your message to the orienteers who will compete in Vicenza?
“The City of Vicenza awaits all those who will take on the challenge of these Europeans with open arms: the wonders of the city are waiting to be discovered and will make the Europeans even more interesting. Good luck to the participants!”