The World Orienteering Championships 2023 should be held in the destination Flims Laax Falera. The Swiss O Week provides the framework with public races. After the submission of the application dossier through the Swiss Orienteering Federation by the end of 2018, the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) has inspected the application last week. Swiss Orienteering had turned in the application dossier by the end of 2018 in cooperation with the tourism destination Flims Laax Falera and the association Swiss Cup. The concept is presented in detail on 24 pages of the aspired organisation of the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) around Flims. The application dossier has left nothing out, from the running areas, the accommodations, die finish arenas, the members of the organising committee, the public races, the funding, up to the first ever e-WOC. One component of the concept is the intention that the Swiss Orienteering Week should be organised as a framework program for the spectator races. How those two events should be interconnected chronologically and organisationally is not quite clearly defined yet. However, it is clear that the SOW participants will be able to follow the WOC final races live on site and also experience their own six beautiful stages in the fascinating mountains of Flims Laax Falera.
On 16 and 17 May, Aron Less (HUN) visited the destination Flims Laax Falera as representative of IOF. He was shown all planned infrastructures, WOC-terrains and realisation ideas on site in order to be personally convinced of the very high quality of the WOC-candidacy. Even though WOC was clearly in the foreground of the visit, the organisational link with SOW 2023 was also a recurring theme. Aron Less also said that the “combination of WOC with the consistently high-quality SOW is a very winning concept that certainly will only bring benefits for both events”.
WOC 2023 is considered a “forest WOC” and the athletes will be running the following three events, middle- and long-distance races as well as the relay. The terrain around Flims offers optimal conditions for such a “forest WOC”. In addition to two or three stages on the championship maps, SOW will certainly move other stages over timberline to follow its typical customs. Laax-Murschetg with the rocksresort will become the actual centre of WOC 2023. All WOC-participants will live there, and one WOC-arena will be set up within the resort area. All necessary logistical functions of the OC are also consolidated in rocksresort. Aron Less was very satisfied with the results of his inspection. The IOF-inspector was very impressed by the attitude of Flims Laax Falera Management AG being in charge, the White Arena and the three local communities. They all wanted to offer exciting and high-level orienteering competitions in a unique environment.
Decision on WOC 2023 and thus the venue for SOW 2023 Finland has also turned in an application besides Switzerland. IOF will decide on 15 August about awarding WOC 2023. On conclusion of his visit, Aron Less said that «WOC 2023 will probably be the most compact in orienteering history: the accommodations, the event centre and the fantastic running areas are all accessible within shortest time on foot. There is nothing better than that”. Therefore, the WOC-candidacy team is in good spirits and the Swiss O Week is looking forward re-hosting its event in the imposing mountains of Flims Laax Falera.