WOC 2023: Switzerland has submitted its application
The World Orienteering Championships 2023 will be held in Flims. Today, the Swiss Orienteering Federation submitted the application files to the international governing body. It is an application containing the most important basics and will draw attention to an event held for the first time ever.
The concept of possible World Orienteering Championships (WOC) around Flims is presented in detail on 24 pages. It describes all aspects from the running areas to the accommodations, the finish arenas, the members of the organizing committee and the funding of the event up to the first e-WOC: nothing is missing in the application dossier. An equally detailed brochure and a 2-minute video clip will leave no doubt open.
WOC 2023 is planned to be held from 10th to 16th July 2023. WOC 2023 is considered a “forest WOC” and the athletes will be running the middle and long distance races as well as the relay. In 2019, the format of the forest WOC will be held for the first time and afterwards alternately in the following years of the Sprint WOC which in turn includes mostly the short and urban orienteering disciplines. The alpine terrain around Flims Laax and Falera offers an optimal orienteering area: the woods and meadows are technically challenging and considered by insiders as an orienteering gem. With the Rocksresort in Laax Murschetg an ideal infrastructure is already in place and will serve as Event Centre. Medal ceremonies and other events in the supporting programme will also be held there. Thus, Laax Murschetg becomes the actual centre of WOC 2023 as the athletes are lodging in the Rocksresort or in nearby hotels such as the Peaks Place, the Laaxerhof or the hotel Signina during their stay at WOC. “WOC 2023 will probably be the most compact in orienteering history: the accommodations, the event centre and the racing areas are within walking distance. That should provide for an extraordinary atmosphere” quotes Jürg Hellmüller, president of Swiss Orienteering.
With the application for the international titles in 2023 the orienteering nation Switzerland also wants to set new standards in the field of e-sport. It is planned that the first E-World Orienteering Championships will take place in less than five years where gamers will compete for medals for the first time in virtual terrain. Such a vision fits perfectly to the destination Flims as they are particularly active in the area of digitalisation such as their project of drone races
Swiss Orienteering Week with 4000 racers Aside from a new, innovative idea, WOC 2023 will also continue doing well-tried events. Parallel to the World Championships, the Swiss Orienteering Week (SOW), a popular multi-day orienteering event over 6 stages for recreational athletes will be held. The same event already took place in 2011 around Flims and attracted over 4000 racers from Switzerland and 30 other nations. “With the Swiss Orienteering Week we will bring a very interested and enthusiastic audience from all over the world into the finish arenas of WOC”, says Marcel Schiess, OC-president of the Swiss O Week 2023. And André Gisler, Tourism Director in Flima Laax Falera, says: "Together with the organizers, we want to offer exciting and outstanding competitions in a unique environment."
Speaking of the organisation committee: the organisation of WOC is assumed by the Association Swiss Cup that has been putting on orienteering world cup races for over ten years. In addition to 23-time orienteering world champion, Simone Niggli-Luder and her husband Matthias who both will be responsible for the implementation of the competitions, other long-time organisers of orienteering competitions can be found in the organising committee. As an example, Brigitte Grüniger Huber, OC president of the orienteering world cup finals 2008 through 2016 will be presiding as chairwoman.
In the coming spring the decision of IOF is expected to show whether Switzerland will hold yet another time the World Orienteering Championships after 1981, 2003 and 2012.