North Pole Economic Development Corporation (NPEDC) is pleased to announce North Pole, Alaska has been selected by the International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) to host the 2013 Winter World Championships (WCh). The decision was announced in Oslo, Norway at the IFSS General Assembly on Friday, June 8th.
This prestigious international event brings together scores of the top mushers and skijorers from around the world to compete in a variety of different races and categories with the winner in each class being crowned World Champion. The WCh takes place every two years with the venue rotating between North America and Europe. It last took place in Norway in 2011, and prior to that, in Quebec in 2009. It was last held in Alaska in 2001.
Paul Brown, NPEDC Board President says, “We are honored to have been selected by IFSS as the Race Giving Organization for the 2013 WCh. This honor wouldn’t have been possible without the support and cooperation of a variety of organizations, including the Alaska Dog Mushers Association, Two Rivers Dog Mushers Association, Salcha Ski Club, Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City of North Pole, Fairbanks North Star Borough, and the City of Fairbanks.”
“We look forward to the challenge of hosting a phenomenal event in Alaska’s Interior. There is a reason we are the ‘Dog Mushing Capital of the World,’ and we’re excited to share our love of the sport with competitors from around the world,” says Buzz Otis, Executive Director of NPEDC, “Many people played a key role in making this effort a success. In particular I’d like to thank our Board President Paul Brown and Executive Assistant Kathy Fitzgerald. They both went above and beyond the call of duty to prepare a bid that was professional and thorough within a very short time-frame.”
Otis continues, “This premiere event will have a fantastic impact on our community, not only from an economic standpoint, but also from a cultural standpoint, with people from all corners of the world coming to our area. In addition to the competition, we plan to host a variety of other events so the public will be able to interact one-on- one with these fabulous athletes of all different cultures.”
Tentative dates for the event will be February 22 – March 17, 2013. Event categories include Junior, Sprint, Mid Distance, Long Distance, Open, Skijoring, and Pulka. More information will be provided as details are finalized and the event approaches.