Last summer there were debates on if these World Championships would be postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic. Fortunately for all, FIS and the Organising committee decided to keep it in the calendar and after lots of hard work and implementation of strict safety protocols we were racing in this wonderful and challenging track of Oberstdorf, Germany.
Arriving four days prior our first race, we had enough time to prepare ourselves and ski in the racing tracks. I was surprised by the good weather as we had just left our home town in Greece with full of snow. We were skiing in the athletics/football stadium, even at our family's olive tree farm. See below :)
World Championships Team Hellas: Anastasiadis Nikos, Charalampidou Konstantina, Maria Ntanou, Antoniadis Angelos, Ioannou Eleni, Gastis Athanasios, Kotsalou Ioanna, Velivassis Dimitris, Tita Nefeli, Karamichas Kleanthis, Ladopoulou Voula, Christos Titas + Anastasiadis Giorgos and Angelis Apostolis
The discipline of sprint is definitely not my favourite but prior each start i keep training my mind that i will face it as one great, hard and fast interval training. To be honest, sometimes i enjoy the skating sprint event. My performance at the previous world championships in Seefeld 2019 was not bad at all, for a Greek female xcskier. I had finished in the 78 position out 110 ladies competing that day, with 253 FIS points (click here for the result). Unluckily, the result in Oberstdorf was not equal but that's was ok for me. I had three more races to go.
Outside of racing, the best part of #Oberstdorf2021 was to enjoy skiing together with my fellow athletes on the training days under the sun (we got some weird face tanning). With Karen Chanloung THA, Vedrana Malec CRO, Dimitris Velivassis, Kleanthis Karamichas + image with Nzumbe TAN, Nick TTO and Torin USA watching the sprint finals.
Usually we don't get to race in skiathlon races often, however i do hope one day i will finish this race. This time the classic and skating track was almost the same so it was difficult to not get lapped by Terese Johaug.
For the first time ever, the greek team entered the team sprint competition in a FIS Nordic World Championships. Proud and grateful that i was part of the history with Nefeli Tita. We finished 26th out of 28 strong teams. #teamhellas <3
Highlights from our team sprint race :)
With one race to go, i had Monday to get ready, test my skis, relax and get ready prior the 10km final event of my mission at the World Champs. Every day the weather conditions were warmer and warmer, therefore the ski selection was changing respectively.
With the bib number 73 and time 13:51 i started my 10km 'battle with myself' in Oberstdorf 2021. Until the first 5km my pace was really solid, i was feeling strong with good breathing rhythm, until the 6th kilometer, when for a reason i started feeling my skis going slower. Perhaps the snow became more mushy than the first round and in addition to that i felt really dehydrated. I was thinking ''if i had that spare second to drink some water, or even the snow grrr''. The last two kilometers i kind of woke up of my ''lethargy'' to make up the lost time. Finished in the 80/88 position. Every moment, every experience is a lesson that we take to become better and exceed ourselves. My goal was to give all i had in the race and i succeed in that.
An image equal thousand words, highlights from my 10km below:
With my performance in the 10km freestyle - and the 272 FIS I managed to open our country's basic quota for the Beijing Olympics 2022. (To achieve this an athlete must bring a result below 300 FIS points in the World Championship).
I am thankful i had the opportunity to participate in this event, which takes place every two years, and with all the sanitary measures taken so that all teams were able to compete in a safe environment for our health.
Thanks to all who supported my efforts for the Championships 🌺
See you soon....
@images by daily_skier