Inside the Office: WOC 2018 visit

Posted on | November 24, 2017 | Category: Newsletter

A few weeks ago, three of us from the IOF Office took our customary trip to visit the upcoming WOC organisers. This time, we made our way to Sigulda in Latvia, to meet the WOC 2018 organising team there. After a late arrival on Friday night, we kicked off the meeting on Saturday morning with an introduction explaining each person’s role. The team from the IOF Office consisted of Sports Administrator David Wästlund, SG/CEO Tom Hollowell, WOC Senior Event Adviser Daniel Leibundgut and Office Administrator and Anti-Doping Officer Kirsty McIntyre. It was great to see many key persons from the organising team present, for example Jānis Lazdān, Event Director, Inese Purgaile, Event Secretary , Girts Mamis, Finances, Aija Pakalna, Media, Daniels Karklins, Technical Director, and Karina Putnina, ceremonies, among others.

“For many organisers, it’s the first time they are organising WOC. We in the IOF Office, however, do it every year.” Tom started off by saying. “It’s important to note that this is not an inspection, but rather an opportunity for the organisers and the office to get on the same page ahead of the months of work to come. We have a lot of experience and knowledge to share, and we want to help you to organise the best WOC ever.”

We then split into smaller groups, discussing everything from communication, media and ceremonies to arenas, embargoed areas and courses. In the afternoon, we visited different potential locations for the all important athlete party!

On the way back to more meetings, we stopped off at a viewpoint looking out over some of the terrain for the Long Distance and Relay. I found it very exciting to imagine these forests, now gray, in vibrant green, setting the stage for the World Championships in roughly nine months time.


Jānis and David looking out over the WOC terrain.

Since I started working at the IOF, we have visited the organisers of each upcoming WOC during the winter months. As a small federation, we tend to conduct a lot of meetings via phone or video call (in an attempt to save both money and the environment), but this is one of the meetings which we have found to be invaluable to hold face to face, as it is such an important part of building a good relationship with the orgnising team.


What a team! Left to right: Girts, Jānis, Tom, Kirsty, Karlis, Daniels, Daniel and Inese.  

As the athletes head into winter training, we will be working hard to bring them the best WOC we possibly can. See you in Latvia next summer!

Kirsty McIntyre, IOF Office

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