Two-month emergency teams have set up the World Cup finals in Quebec City to be transformed into a “dream” weekend for Patrice Drouin, the conductor of the orchestration. Thanks to Mother Nature and Sieur Harvey.
“We’re on a cloud. Alex [Harvey] has done incredible results. You have seen the battle he has just fought on the Battlefields … All the effervescence around the event, over the last few weeks, has accumulated towards an incredible weekend. We do not hear anything negative, everyone has fun, “said the president of Gestev, the company that agreed to organize this meeting after the withdrawal of Russia, in the wake of the doping scandal State.
According to Drouin, 60,000 spectators attended one of the three weekend events on the plains of Abraham. Last year, the two days of the Ski Tour attracted some 40,000 people.
The weather gave a good hand. After a cool day on Friday, fans enjoyed spring skiing on Saturday and Sunday. The author of these lines even suffered his first sunburn of the year!
Not a “sport of pepere”
Organizers, commentators and athletes were enthusiastic about seeing so many people interested in cross-country skiing. “I think there’s an interest in sport, at least in Quebec, in Quebec City,” said Alex Harvey. It’s not true that cross-country skiing is a sport of pépère, because people come to see. There’s a way to make it really appealing and cool, as much for five-, six- and five-year-olds as for grandparents. ”
Let us be frank, Harvey himself was the main attraction for the spectators, at the weekend. The new world champion has returned home in a splendid form to experience three exceptional races.
Equally important, he continued to personify the model athlete. Smiling, relaxed, generous of his time … On Sunday, after the race, he signed autographs for more than two hours. He then made a detour to greet the volunteers at the traditional post-event party. Interested in the many media present, he gave a multitude of interviews after each of the three events.
The arrival of the best skiers in the world will continue when Harvey retires, assures Drouin however: “We continue, we left, we are on an impetus.”
He reiterated Sunday his intention to bring this competition back every two years. North America is also listed on the International Ski Federation’s calendar in December 2019. “There are no other distance races in urban areas like the one we have just seen. We have a nice map on our side for continuity, “he said.
“We’d like to have more Alex”
Asked about the massive crowd massed along the 3.75-kilometer course, Alex Harvey’s father, Pierre, took the opportunity to launch a plea on athlete funding. “We’d like to have more Alex in Canada. Women Alex also, illustrated the former founder. If we had more support, we could produce more [leading edge] athletes. But we do not put a lot of money into supporting athletes in Canada. It’s a bit sad to see that. ”
At the passage of the Sun on the Great Alley Sunday, the … (Le Soleil, Jean-Marie Villeneuve) – image 3.0
As the sun moved across Grande Allée on Sunday, the spectators had just invaded the artery after Alex Harvey’s breathless end.
THE SUN, JEAN-MARIE VILLENEUVE
The merchants of Grande Allee do not return
André Verreault, Director of Action Promotion Grande Allée, simply does not return to the quality of the event delivered by Gestev this weekend in Quebec City. And he longs for the cross-country skiing event on the Plains of Abraham to become an annual rendezvous.
“I tell myself that we just discover a new winter event in Quebec!” Launches the Sun Mr. Verreault joined late Sunday afternoon, when he had just returned Plains of Abraham.
And he praises the craftsmen of Gestev. “They did something extraordinary on the Plains. It was really beautiful, “said the business representative of Grande Allée. Mr. Verreault is convinced that such a success can only facilitate the return to Quebec of such an event. “The decision makers of the [International Ski Federation] will not be able to do otherwise than say to themselves that we must return to Quebec, in my opinion. It was so hot ! Everything was perfect!”
Mr. Verreault admits to being surprised at the enthusiasm aroused by the event. “I was far from suspecting that the people of Quebec had such a special attachment to this sport. […] There was an effervescence that one does not usually see, “which is welcome in traders at this time of the year, he admits.
As the sun moved across Grande Allée on Sunday, the spectators had just invaded the artery after Alex Harvey’s breathless end. During the three days of competition, Fabio Monti, owner of L’Atelier, saw his attendance doubled for lunchtime. “We were lucky, the temperature was really exceptional,” he said. Exceptional to the extent that several businesses have improvised on Saturday and Sunday, terraces for guests wishing to enjoy the sun.