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Off-track Skiing World Championship history

Everything began in the winter of 1997 when Heikki Haavikko was at Iso-Syöte. He had his forest skis on top of his car and some youngsters were wondering, what on earth they are for.

In the spring of 1997 Heikki was cross-country skiing on the swamps of Liekokylä and was wondering how swamps could be utilized during the winter. There is plenty of space for people to ski through on these vast swamps, he thought, and you don’t even need any tracks when you have forest skis. In the old days there were never any tracks. When children skied to school they made their way through virgin snow, and in the evening they used the same track to get back home. So Heikki spent one week in the wilderness and these ideas evolved in his mind.

But one man couldn’t organize such an extensive off-track skiing event alone, so he contacted his work associate Antti Härkönen. Antti worked within forest industry, so he was immediately interested in the idea, when he heard it. He brought the subject to Pudasjärven Urheilijat, a local sports club, and introduced Heikki to Heino Ruuskanen. Heino on his behalf introduced the idea to the municipality of Pudasjärvi. So already in the autumn of 1997 an organizing committee had been nominated to take the idea further.

The first competition was decided to be held at the spot where the whole idea had been originated in Heikki’s mind at the swamps of Liekokylä.
The amount of participants in the first year surprised organizers positively, and so the competition has been held every year since. The popularity of the event keeps growing and every year there are more participants than before. The media has played an important role on making the event known.

We are constantly improving the competition by sending feedback questionnaires to the participants. The place where the competition is held varies from year to year.

Marko Koivula

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

  • Results of teams
  • Results of individual skiers
  • Results of participants with snowshoes
  • Number of participants: 448 (400 with skiis, 48 with snowshoes)

2000

1999

1998

  • Number of participants: 128