Georgia Hosts 2023 Freestyle Ski, Snowboard World Championships
By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, May 21
Georgia’s popular alpine resorts Gudauri and Bakuriani will host 2023 Freestyle Ski, Snowboard World Championships.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) made the decision on Friday at the congress held in Greece.
FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper stated at the ceremony that electing Georgia as the host of the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships shows global appeal of the sport.
“These are our youngest disciplines, so it seems only fitting that a new, enthusiastic host nation steps in to welcome the World Championships,” he added.
Kvirikashvili congratulated the society and said the decision of FIS is of great importance to Georgia.
“This decision is of utmost importance as it will foster the development of winter sports in Georgia, building of modern infrastructure, and it will not only boost our country's visibility in the direction of winter sports, but will also advance Georgia to the premier league, and we are gaining a foothold on the world map of winter sports and winter tourism,” he stated.
Georgia's aspirations for hosting the 2023 Championship were conveyed to FIS President by the PM during their meeting in St. Moritz in February 2017.
During that meeting, Kvirikashvili provided Gian-Franco Kasper with detailed information about the Georgian Government's steps toward the development of alpine resorts and winter sports, including implemented and ongoing far-reaching infrastructural projects and investments.
Three months later, in April 2017, the Georgian Ski Federation put forward the country's formal bid to host the World Championships, followed by the Head of Government hosting FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis and her delegation in Georgia.
To inspect relevant infrastructure for the World Championships, the FIS Group of Experts visited the country repeatedly before making a final decision.
The Mountain Resorts Development Company at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, along with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Georgian Ski Federation were actively involved in the process.
Bakuriani, the popular ski resort with 4,000 permanent inhabitants, located at an altitude of 1,700 meters, has an old tradition in winter sports as an established training center used by top-athletes from various nations.
In recent years, the Mountain Resort Development Company, the state company in charge of developing Georgian Ski Areas has invested millions of Euros in rebuilding the infrastructure in the resort which displays a capacity of nearly 30 km slopes and a dozen lifts, including an eight-seat-gondola.
There are three distinctive areas dedicated to skiing at present - Didveli, Kokhta and Mitarbi. In order to host the numerous competitions on the program of the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, MRDC plans to develop a new part of Didveli which would also become a great place for a future ‘Snow Park’.
As for Gudauri, it is a ski resort located in Stepantsminda District, Kazbegi, near the Cross Pass, at an elevation of 2,200 meters (7,200 ft) above sea level.
Slopes in Gudauri are mostly above the tree line and are best for free-riders, considered to be avalanche-safe. The ski season lasts from December to April.