E.ON IBU World Cup Biathlon

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Friday, 10
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8 p.m. in Khanty-Mansiysk

People rushed to the entertainment center “Arena-Ugra” to see the opening ceremony of the World Cup Biathlon final stage: excitement and desire to plunge into the world of sports events united the residents of the city and its visitors, filling everybody with the holiday spirit. People gathered in a huge line before the entrance, hoping till the end to get to the ceremony. Those who took care of themselves and their nearest and dearest were looking forward to the beginning of the ceremony on the stands of ice arena. To my surprise, this huge line behaved quietly, the fans treated the work of the staff at the entrance with patience and sympathy. I looked at my watch – 20.30 – starting time of the celebration.

“Welcome to Ugra!”

The crowded stands of a great hall created an agitated rhythm of immediacy, even the air concurred with the people heartbeats. A unifying force of the show anticipation was reflected as fire in the eyes of the audience. Someone was sitting right on the stairs, someone was standing near the entrance, but even this could not spoil the perfect mood of the biathlon fans. Suddenly, a concentrated shade of the room was illuminated by a magical musical composition – the opening ceremony of the World Cup Biathlon final stage started – enthusiastically, breathtakingly, and melodically. Monumental settings, designed in the form of a running deer, illuminated from the inside all over the perimeter, amazed everybody by its realism: the deer’s eyes shone so brightly that the sports spirit penetrated right into the heart. Aerialists in white suits and skaters were a prelude to the inviting Olympic Flame inflamed in the center of the ice field. The burst of applauses, enthusiastic shouts – that was just the beginning.

Meanwhile, the time was ripe for the official part of the event: at first the greeting letter of Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of Russian Federation was read, then Natalia Komarova, the governor of Ugra lend wings to the audience by reading the lines of the famous Ugra poet Yuvan Shestalov: “Siberia in winter, and in summer shines to peoples through ages. And it warms the half of the planet and the sparks are in all languages.” Smiles lit up the fans faces – those words underlined the very essence of our region, traditional hospitality and the splendour of what was happening. A few minutes later, Anders Besseberg, the president of the International Biathlon Union, thanked all those who took part in organization of the Biathlon World Cup Final in Khanty-Mansiysk.

To the sound of solemn notes, the members of the Russian national team carried out the IBU Flag. Once Svetlana Sleptsova, Evgeny Ustyugov, Evgeny Garanichev, Andrey Makoveev, Dmitry Malyshko and Anton Shipulin walked down to the stage, the fans, expressing the full force of their love and support, burst into thundering applause.

The Rhythm Accompanies the Dream

– Hurray! – Rang out right over my ear – the girl sitting next to me with the Russian flag painted on her cheek, was even stamping to the beat of applause. I fully shared her delight and pride in our athletes.

The flag was raised, and “The Winter Tale” of the opening was continued by allegorical performance that fully conveyed emotions, feelings, thoughts, and the hard struggle of the biathletes, overcoming the distance from start to finish. Video projections and a fair amount of spectacular luminous objects resembled a huge planetarium, and the stirring music raised the morale of the spectators and the participants. A series of emotions shown on the screen with different color pieces was grasped incredibly easy and clear – there were the will and strength, bravery and courage, hope and desire, joy and confidence. The hall was still, the screen, and the ice became a magnet for the silence of all.

But the silence could not last long – the video was replaced by the choreographed performance of the singer. Her song got the nature of the room – people sang and danced while sitting.

– The rhythm accompanies the dream, believe your star that didn’t flashed yet! Faster and faster the time goes – her sonorous voice was enchanting, and the performance was supplemented with the skating groups that embodied the desire of each athlete to reach the podium.

The Scale of Thought and the Magic of Technology

The harmony of modern performance features and inspiring dance and music performances threw the audience into delight and it is understandable – no one expected such a scale. Even more surprising was the laser shows – electronic music, human-robot and his ability to control the “fire” showed the possibility of the athletes to write their names in the history of the sports world. The motif of victory ran through the whole show, and became its essence. Specific dances of the peoples of the North fully reflected the spirit of fire and overcoming – there was the sound of the drums, the music conveyed the inner strength of Ugra.

In the end of the ceremony the song “Sport. Ugra. Biathlon!” was sung. The song was performed by all the participants of the ceremony.

This year’s opening of the Biathlon World Cup final stage was absolutely different: the organizers managed to implement more ideas, thanks to a team of professionals and indoor setting. Everyone, who attended this tremendous performance, was pleasantly surprised.

By the way, I have visited the opening ceremony of the World Cup for the first time in my life, and I can say that after such show it is really difficult not to become a true fan of biathlon competitions.

Darya Tsumankova

Solemn World Cup Biathlon Finals 2011/2012 Opening Ceremony

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Medal count
Belarus 2 1 3
France 2 2
Germany 1 3 4
Norway 1 1 1 3
Ukraine 1 1 2
Finland 1 1 2
Sweden 1 1
Russia 1 1

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