The Race to celebrate is on
Finally. The long wait is over. UCI 2017 Road World Championships is formally declared open. And what a way it started!
We are about to embark on the “Race to Celebrate”. Saturday’s grand opening ceremony in the city center of Bergen was the start of eight days of cycling races with the best of the best. But not only that; it also marks the start of many sporting and cultural activities for everyone!
To make sure this formal opening would become a memorable event, the organization had put together amazing artists from the region to make sure this really would turn into a grand opening party and not merely a formal opening! Already half an hour before the start of the ceremony the Torgallmenningen square was filled with people!
Welcome to Bergen
The late afternoon sun framed the event with the atmosphere enhanced with flashing backdrops and pumping music. Excitement was in the air. The programme included captivating poems hailing the stunning region of Hordaland, local musician and hip-hoper Lars Vaular got the audience jumping, and with performances of traditional folk music and powerful dancing from Shang, this was an event for everyone.
Marte Mjøs Persen, Mayor of Bergen, welcomed the cycling family of the world, emphasizing the importance of unity that an international championship, with 86 nations competing, will contribute to. Tonie Mikkeline Eide and Tor Jaran Apold then performed a magic music piece of world famous composers Ole Bull and Edvard Grieg. Both composers are Bergen natives and Eides clear voice and Apold’s soothing violin enthralled the audience which surely felt proud of their city. And even more when Norwegian Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland, also praised the magnificent surroundings, acknowledging the 2,000 volunteers and the impact this initiative will have for both sports and culture.
The official opening
President of UCI, Brian Cookson, continued to speak on the beauty of Bergen and then officially opened the Championships. Cookson also, jokingly, stated he now knows everything about the salmon industry. Continuing, Cookson said Bergen, after being labeled as a UCI Bike City last year, should be seen as an example to other cities for their work with cycling infrastructure, pushing learning experiences for children to use their bike more and promoting cycling in general.
To sum up the feelings of the athletes, their dreams and hard work, the official hymn of UCI 2017 Road World Championships was performed by Flurt and Yvonne Sivertsen, “Someone at the finish line”. The lyrics really understanding the mindset of the riders!
The end of the start
The organization behind UCI 2017 Road World Championships wants to create a truly spectacular and inspiring event. Not only through exceptional athletic performances, but also through creating buzzing events for spectators and visitors. This opening ceremony was no exception!
To finish the opening ceremony, Fargespill made the stage burst into color and joy! Children from 35 nations coming together with an extraordinary energy. Showing what the vision of the race is about.
And of course, welcome back to the Torgallmenningen square for medals ceremonies and other events during the championship week!
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