On The Road to Khanty Mansiysk Video
|14.03.2012, Khanty Mansiysk / IBU Info. Dept. JK|
|Scenes from the Airport, Airplane and Arrival|
|This E.ON IBU World Cup Biathlon season is rapidly coming to an end. The big “road” trip to Khanty Mansiysk for the World Cup Final means the end of the 2011-12 season is just five days away; sprints on Friday, pursuits on Saturday and mass starts on Sunday and the book on this season will close.|
As always, the trip to Russia is long, 3383 km…and tiring, crossing five time zones from Munich.
36 Hours and On the Road Again
Just a little over 36 hours after the end of the 2012 IBU World Championships, the athletes, teams, and support personnel were gathering at Munich’s Franz Joseph Strauss Airport for the flights to Khanty Mansiysk. This is just not a get a ticket and fly to the next World Cup program; it is a lot more complicated. First, this big jump involved almost 500 people and tons of baggage. Just as the World Championships were ending in Ruhpolding, behind the scenes in the team compound, three huge cargo trucks were loaded with skis, wax boxes, television equipment, timing gear; virtually all of the “heavy stuff” that needed to go to Khanty Mansiysk. All of this material would go on a dedicated cargo flight that would leave before the passenger flights. Personal baggage, in addition to that planeload went on the passenger flights.
The three charter passenger flights left from Munich’s Terminal 1, roughly 1:30 apart, with arrivals in eastern Siberia from 21:00 to midnight. Adding up the roughly 1:15 drive from Ruhpolding, 2 hours in the airport, 5 hours of flying, another hour in the airport passing through passport control and gathering luggage plus the time change made for a long and almost boring day.
Each year, this trip seems to get a bit easier. Ticketing and baggage went quickly, giving everyone time for a bit of late breakfast or early lunch, looking in the airport shops or just chatting about the past weeks or that long awaited summer holiday. The airplanes have been upgraded significantly in recent years –going from the old and noisy but efficient Tupolevs to this year Boeing 737-800s, but ironically without reclining seats! Meal choices of chicken, fish or sausage?...was interesting. Typical of the way athletes think, almost everyone had sandwiches and snacks and drinks to supplement the usual airline food. Other than a bit of turbulence for about 15 minutes, a generally easy flight with almost everyone chatting, watching videos, or sleeping.
Spring is Far Away in Siberia
Deplaning in Khanty Mansiysk, even via air bridge was a bit of a shock. After two weeks of temperatures that reached plus 12 Celsius, it was minus 15 in Khanty Mansiysk; spring is still pretty far away in Siberia! Someone seemed to forget to hand out the landing cards on the plane, so as soon as everyone hit the terminal, it was time to fill out the cards with passport and visa numbers in duplicate, quickly and hop into the passport control line. All smooth after that; most of the baggage was waiting. A quick run through another x-ray machine for the baggage and out!
The typical greeting of bread and salt was waiting as well as attaches for every nation and of course, fans with cameras. No question about who was the most popular athlete on flight two; three-time World Champion Martin Fourcade!
Then it was a quick exit to waiting busses and on to the hotels, and bed!
Late Afternoon Training
Training today starts at 15:30 local time, so there is plenty of time to rest and get ready for the last five days of the World Cup season.
The following video “On the Road to Khanty Mansiysk” is a compilation of scenes from the airport, on the plane, and arrival in Khanty Mansiysk. It might be hard to recognize your favorite athlete, they are in street clothes not racing suits!