This is Ski Tour 2020

Ski Tour 2020

What is it that makes Ski Tour 2020 stand out? Guri Knotten Hetland has been a part of the whole process, from idea to reality.

– This is a compact tour that is situated in a region that might have the biggest interest for the sport of cross-country skiing in the world.

Guri Knotten Hetland, the CEO of Ski Tour 2020, is committed to the sport of cross-country skiing. A commitment that no one can question when she puts on her skies and try out the uphill sprint in the ski slopes of Åre.

– You get the best feeling for the course this way.

She is in Åre for the test race of the third stage of the Ski Tour 2020, the freestyle sprint in the ski slopes of the Swedish National Alpine Arena. A sprint course that ends with a 50 meter vertical climb.

– This might be the most spectacular stage of the Tour, says Guri Knotten Hetland.

With a little more than one month left to the opening ceremony in Stortorget in Östersund, the idea of a Mid-Scandinavian cross-country tour is close to becoming a reality. The planning started in 2015, and Guri Knotten Hetland has been a part of it since the beginning.

It all started when she became a part of the team behind the ambition to get Trondheim the World Championship. This is where the idea of a Mid-Scandinavian tour first came up, as a step in the right direction to a FIS Nordic World Ski Championship. The idea was put on hold for a couple of years before Guri Knotten Hetland and the former cross-country skier Mathias Fredriksson took it back into action and the planning for the Ski Tour 2020 began.

– It feels very good and exciting. I do feel some pre-competition jitters, but that is how it is supposed to feel. This is a really big event to arrange.

Ski Tour 2020 is a cooperation between the Norwegian and Swedish National Ski Associations, via the company Tour 2020 AB, and consists of six competitions located in Östersund, Åre, Storlien-Meråker and Trondheim. The different stages are divided between three local organizers. A cooperation that stands out according to Guri Knotten Hetland.

– The fact that three local organizers from two different countries works close together to create one coherent tour together with two National Ski Associations is a unique event.

And she continues,

– It is unique and very exciting.

One of the purposes behind Ski Tour 2020 is to make something extra out of a cross-country season with no Olympic Games or World Championship. The last time the tour was hosted by Canada, in 2016. But this time the concept will be more compact according to Guri Knotten Hetland.

– We are trying to stand out and to try to contribute to the sport by taking a more sustainable curse. One example that stands out is that the competitors are obligated to take the train between the different stages. That is something new, she says.

An idea that the International Ski Federation, FIS, found very intriguing and made it part of the competition rules, where the competitors must take the train to be able to compete for the Ski Tour 2020 podium.

– The response from the active skiers has been very good. That makes us very happy, says Guri Knotten Hetland.

Ski tour 2020 is working hard towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The train rule is one example. Another one is the fourth stage of the tour – the race between Storlien and Meråker. A course that is 38 kilometres long, men and women alike. An action towards the Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality and a decision that has brought up different reactions according to Guri Knotten Hetland.

– They have mainly been good. But the active skiers are divided, which is natural. But we are going to try this and see how it works out.

She herself has a background as an elite cross-country skier, but also as a trainer and TD. And now she leads the organisation behind the Ski Tour 2020.

– I am very passionate about cross-country skiing and I am committed to the sport. And this is a fantastic opportunity to be able to work with the sport.

Ski Tour 2020 is not all about the competition. For Guri Knotten Hetland it is about the 1 200 co-workers and volunteers that work across the border to create a cross-country skiing celebration that is something out of the ordinary.

– I want to honour the local organizers in Östersund, Meråker and Trondheim that has taken on the challenge to build something new over the border, and that puts in a fantastic effort. That is the key to why we are able to do this. It is very cool and inspiring.

This is Ski Tour 2020

Ski Tour 2020 is organized by the Swedish and Norwegian National Ski Associations via the company Tour 2020 AB. Local organizers have the responsibility for the implementation at each arena. Ski Tour 2020 is part of the official Coop FIS Cross Country World Cup in 2019/2020

Local organizers

Östersund, Åre: Sportkompaniet AB

Storlien-Meråker: Idrettslaget Varden Meråker

Trondheim: Granåsen Aktivum AS