In two years’ time, Kuopio will host the World Orienteering Cross-Country Championships.
Before that, the World Cup finals will be held a year from ow on 26-29 September 2024.
The preparations are already well underway ad the orienteers are looking forward to the home games.
The domestic forest benefit
When the games are held in Kuopio, Finnish athletes naturally have a slight home field advantage. The forest terrain in Kuopio is physically more demanding than in Central Europe, for example.
“The type of terrain at the races is not really to be found elsewhere. There is a mixture of rolling terrain and open rocky terrain of the Finnish type,” – says Sakari Hyvönen, the general secretary of the races.
Local orienteers point out, however, that top level competitors are used to running on all kinds of terrain.
The power of encouragement
More than the familiar terrain, the orienteers’ performance will be influenced by the home supporters, who are expected to come in large numbers.
“We hope to get the same kind of buzz as at the last home championships in Vuokatti. There were about 15 000 spectators,” – says Hyvönen.
“The home audience will be a source of energy. Even if the performance itself is done alone in the forest, the final run through the race centre is done in front of the audience, and that is certainly a boost,” – says athlete from Kuopio Ida Haapala.
Join us to build the race
Even though we still have a couple of years to go before the Games, it will go by fast, with the qualifying rounds this autumn and the World Cup next year.
“The World Championships and the World Cup are intermediate events to get the organisation ready to compete, step by step, in the run-up to the World Championships. However, Kuopio has hosted Jukola relay twice, so we have experience of big races”, – Hyvönen says.
As always, there is also a need for volunteers at big events.
“You can find information on the World Championships website. And you can always ask how you can help. There is plenty to do,” concludes Hyvönen.
Kuopio World Championships website: Woc 2025 – World Orienteering Championships 2025 Finland Kuopio