Lillehammer 2021: Snow sports spectacular

Joint World Championships to be held for the first time in Norway

A cross-country skiing course full of snow Lillehammer, Norway will host the 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships © • Al Tielemans for OIS/IOC

History will be made in 2021 as Lillehammer hosts the first joint World Para Snow Sports Championships in Para alpine skiing, Para Nordic skiing and Para snowboard from 4-15 February.

The Norwegian city has a long history of organising major sporting events including the 1994 Paralympic Winter Games.

Lillehammer will host the biathlon and cross-country events while alpine skiing and snowboard will take place in Hafjell – only 15 km away from Lillehammer.

A total of 750 participants, including athletes, guides and coaching staff, are expected to take part in the World Championships. The Local Organising Committee will aim to recruit 400 volunteers to support the events.

“This is the first time the Para alpine skiing, Para Nordic Skiing and Para snowboard World Championships will be held together in one host country,” Dimitrije Lazarovski, Head of World Para Snow Sports said.

“Lillehammer has a long tradition of hosting major events and Norway is a country full of passion for snow sports so there could not be a better place for it. We look forward to working with the Local Organising Committee and our partners in the next three years to deliver great events,” Lazarovski added.

Cultural and entertainment programme

Norway’s Ski Federation in partnership with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports, Norway’s Biathlon Association and Norway’s Snowboard Association will be the championships organisers.

Foundation VI is the main partner of the Worlds which also receive support through Norway’s Ministry of Culture.

“We are happy and proud that the Para Snow Sports World Championships will come to Norway. We will take the opportunity to set a good standard for the organisation of the event. At the same time, we are humble and proud that external actors such as the Foundation VI and the Ministry of Culture will contribute for the championships to take place on Norwegian snow,” Erik Roste, President of Norway’s Ski Federation said.

“When Norway hosts the World Championships we want to give the events the frame they deserve. In all World Championships there is an expectation of a cultural programme and events that entertain [the public] and highlight the region. This should be an essential part of the concept,” Roste added.

Forty days of competition in the region

In addition to the World Para Snow Sports Championships, the organisers have agreed with World Para Snow Sports to host a series of World Cups and Europa Cups before and after Lillehammer 2021, representing a total of 40 competition days in the region.

“The World Championships to Norway is a dream coming true for me. It will be a great goal to aim for a world title at home,” said Skarstein.

The skier who also is a world champion in Para rowing said she expects the Para Snow Sports Worlds to have a big impact in volunteering in her country.

“It is a great opportunity to build more expertise and experience about volunteering in the upcoming years. Lillehammer and Norway have delivered fantastic events and festivals before and I know they can do it again. We can deliver a lot of entertainment every day.”