Welcome to Norway and Hovden!
Dear friends and collegues,
The last time we organized
the games six years ago, we chose Hafjell as location for our competitions.
The location had made its claim to fame by the Olympic Winter Games
that were organized there ten years earlier. And I suppose that some
of the glare from those days was still about.
By choosing Hovden to host
this year's winter-games, we've made an entirely different approach.
Hovden to most people is not a well-known alpine resort, even most Norwegians
do not associate it with these qualities.
However, with its location
in the midst of the mountains, skiing-conditions are superb. And you'll
be struck by the magnificent view of these mountains too, from our hotel.
You will also experience the vicinity of the different facilities at
our disposal, we're within walking distance from the ski-lifts, the
cross-country stadium, and the community centre, with its shops, cafês,
swimming-hall and skating rink.
For some of you, this is the
fourth time you've come to Norway to participate in the winter-games.
For others, this is the first time you're visiting this country, and
maybe even the first time you're taking part in the games. Hopefully
you will all find it enjoyable, and make use of the time spent, to renew
old friendships and establish new ones, to keep the stories and myths
alive, and to commit to the principles of fair play in the competitions.
And when the week is done,
treasure the memories of your stay, and guard them as precious tokens
of the exclusive community to which we belong: the great European family.
Head of the organizing committee Hovden 2010
It is with great pleasure I welcome you to Norway and to Hovden to take part in the Eurovision Sports Winter Games 2010. For the fourth time Norway and NRK are hosting the games, and I am particularly excited to welcome you all to Hovden – in the very middle of the skiing cradle.
Norway is the homeland of Sondre Nordheim. He was born in Morgedal, a few miles south of where you are, in 1825. Nordheim is the founder of modern skiing as we know it. He was exceptional in performance, but he also designed and developed the equipment that is used even today. He mastered the various forms of skiing, such as cross-country, slalom and ski jumping. He is probably also responsible for the saying that Norwegians are born with skis.
This winter has been an exceptional one in terms of skiing conditions. It is my sincere hope that you will all be able to share that experience as you are here. At this time of year you can feel the warmth of the sun, bringing promises of spring after a long winter. And in the outstanding surroundings of Setesdal I believe the conditions should be state of the art. This part of Norway is also amongst the most valuable in appreciating and conserving our cultural heritage. I do hope you get to sense that as well.
This week is about citius, altius, fortius – fastest, highest, and strongest. But it is also about colleagues and friends meeting to share the moments and experiences. And for those taking part for the first time I would like to welcome you in the EBU-family.
May the week be unforgettable,
and the disciplines be in the spirit of fair play.
Norwegian Broadcasting Corp.