Lillehammer, the Olympic town of 1994, is located in Oppland county, Norway, about 200 km north of Oslo. It has a population of about 27.000 inhabitants and is well-known as a Winter sports destination. Since 1993, Lillehammer has quite regularly hosted the Nordic Combined World Cup.
The Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena was built for the Olympics in 1994, and has become a major landmark in Lillehammer. It consists of a HS100 normal hill and a HS138 large hill. The ski jumping stadium has a capacity for 35.000 spectators, of which 7.500 can be seated. Traditionally many training camps are held at this facility in the Olympic city of 1994, the venues sees 80.000 jumps in winter and 20.000 in summer.
The cross-country races have been held at Sjusjøen Skisenter during the past winters, which is located about 20 km east of Lillehammer. It opened up in 2003 and it famous for its cross-country tracks. Sjusjøen also offers 5 km of roller ski tracks for summer training. In the summer of 2013, the old Birkebeineren ski stadium in downtown Lillehammer, also a 1994 Olympics venue, has undergone major reconstruction and will be used to host the cross-country competitions of both the specialists and the Nordic Combined athletes again and provide compact venues for all three disciplines.
Nordic Combined superstar Eric Frenzel grabbed victory in the second Individual Gundersen competition in Lillehammer today. The German finished a whopping 52 seconds ahead of Magnus Krog (NOR). They were joined on the podium by Akito Watabe (JPN) who crossed the finish line 52,6 seconds after Frenzel.
And the first win in Lillehammer goes to… Jason Lamy Chappuis. The Frenchman crossed the finish line 13,5 seconds ahead of Akito Watabe from Japan. The podium was completed by local hero Mikko Kokslien from Norway who finished 18,3 seconds after Lamy Chappuis.
After an impressive show of Norwegian strength at the Nordic Opening in Kuusamo, there can hardly be a more interesting place the Nordic Combined World Cup could go to on this upcoming weekend than Lillehammer. The traditional venue of the famed 1994 Olympics will wait with two Individual Gundersen competitions, a new cross-country venue and a brand-new concept.
Only one week to go until the season opening 2013/14 and the snow on location will most probably not be a problem. Today, the FIS snow control gave the green light for the competitions, both on the hill and on the cross-country track.
Although the winter was well on its way a couple of days ago, autumn apparently isn't quite ready to let go for this year as the Norwegian, French and Austrian team who had picked Lillehammer as their training/competition venue had to see. Due to the warm temperatures of the last couple of days, jumping on snow on Lysgårdsbakken was not possible, so a change of plans was due.
The wait is almost over! The season 2013/14 is about to explode into action and we can almost see the hustle and bustle of officials, service people, physiotherapists, journalists, coaches and athletes again who just have one question they would like to answer: who is this year's ultimate winter athlete? But let's take the time, lean back and have a look at every single venue of this extended season preview 2013/14.