The Cream of the crop of Austrian sports journalism at the PillerseeTal

From Sunday to Tuesday the annual conference of Sports Media Austria, the association of Austrian sports journalists, was held at the PillerseeTal. The IBU World Championships Biathlon 2017 was the main subject of the top-class meeting.

Around a hundred sports journalists have been following the invitation of Sports Media Austria to this year’s conference at the PillerseeTal in the Tyrol. The deep interest in the home WCH 2017 was already apparent at dinner. “The Biathlon World Championships will be the sports and media event this coming winter. We already experience the large interest from many journalists”, Konrad Walk, mayor of Hochfilzen, summed up the event.

Biathlon World Championships as the „centerpiece of the conference“
Attendance of the „centerpiece of the conference“ as Mag. Hans-Peter Trost, ORF Sports Director and SMA President, has announced the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2017 was accordingly large. The journalists have been able to get impressions of the preparations not only from the presentation of Franz Berger (OC Biathlon) but they have also been able to check out the modern venue on site. A total of 20 million Euros went into new buildings, a state-of-the-art indoor shooting range, new grand stands, extended roller ski courses and much more. “Most of the construction has already been completed and all projects are on schedule”, reported Mr. Biathlon Franz Berger who particularly acknowledged the part of the Austrian Armed Forces. “All the buildings have not just been constructed jointly with the Military but have also been designed in such a way that a full re-use is guaranteed”, according to Berger.

Medals as a goal
ORF commentator Didi Wolff coaxed out the sporting aspirations of the Austrian Biathlon stars Lisa Hauser, Simon Eder and Dominik Landertinger who have already been back in training for two weeks. “The WCH has already started for us. We have been training for the big goal, the home WCH, for 14 days”, Dominik Landertinger, Olympic medalist and World Champion, boiled it down to an essence. ÖSV biathlon coach Reinhard Gössweiner was very pleased about the last season and the preparations for the home WCH. “The modern venue of Hochfilzen provides us with top training conditions. It is especially important to fight for the medal ranks at a home WCH”, according to Gössweiner who clearly defines the sporting aspirations. Special guest Andreas Birnbacher from Germany who will spend next winter as a coach on the course had a good hint: “Instead of athletes building up too much pressure, a home WCH should bring joy – sportive achievements will ensue then. Too much pressure is rather harmful.”

From Euro to Rio
The highlights of the sports summer, the Football European Championships and the Olympic Summer Games of Rio were also on the agenda of the conference. Security at the Euro 2016 is currently the main topic for the host, the participants and the media, as Dr. Günther Marek of the Department of the Interior reported.

The timely completion of the sports venues along with security are the pressing topics for the Rio Olympic Games. ÖOC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mennel is convinced that the Rio Olympics will be a success across all areas.

A big hand was given to Mag. Markus Pichler (General Manager Special Olympics 2017 GmbH) and the athletes’ representatives of the Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria which will be held in Styria in March 2017. Franz Berger of the OC Biathlon spontaneously offered the organizers a presentation platform in the course of the Biathlon WCH Hochfilzen.

At the final journalism awards Josef Geisler, Deputy Gouvernor and member of the regional government in charge of sports, pointed out the important status of sports events and the large media attention connected to it for the federal state of the Tyrol.

Time to get to know the region apart from sports
The extensive program of the Sports Media conference gave enough time to get to know the recreation offers of the PilerseeTal. Guided tours of the Kitzbühler Alps region, wellness and outdoor sports were offered. The journalists took enthusiastically to a combination competition of biathlon, archery and rappelling at the main square of Fieberbrunn. “It is important to us to show the journalist not just the WCH but also the surroundings and to put everyone in a good mood”, said Florian Phleps, tourism association executive.

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