For the second year in a row the orienteering community will have to do without O-Ringen, and it is once again the corona pandemic that stops the festival. O-Ringen Uppsala is now pushed forward till 2022. “It’s very sad but we see no other alternative”, says Linda Take, the president of O-Ringen.
For a long time, it felt realistic to hope for and believe in an O-Ringen this summer, the authorities gave positive signals from time to time, the vaccination process have started, and the rate of infection have at times been at a lower level.
Unfortunately, the rate of infection has gone in the wrong direction lately and this, in combination with an unpredictable vaccination rate, have led to a situation where O-Ringen now must pull the handbrake for the summer event that was planned for July 25-31.
- At around the same time as last year we are now once again forced to declare that the festival in Uppsala must be moved forward one year in time. It is very unfortunate that we need to postpone yet again, but in the current situation we see no alternative. O-Ringen has had a continuous dialogue with the unit for infectious disease control in Uppsala and the latest information is clear: It is no longer realistic to hope for an event the size of O-Ringen this summer, says O-Ringen president Linda Take, who continues:
- In all this misery we are still grateful that the signal was as clear as it was. O-Ringen is one of the largest sports events and organizers in Sweden and organizers, collaborators and participants must be informed in a reasonable time frame whether the competitions will be held or not.
O-Ringen AB is owned by the Swedish Orienteering Federation, Svenska Orienteringsförbundet. This Sunday the federation board made the official decision to move O-Ringen Uppsala to 2022. The decision was preceded by a careful analysis of the repercussions of such a decision.
Regarding the arrangements in subsequent years - Åre, Smålandskusten, Jönköping and Gothenburg - these are again moved forward in time.
Just like last year a thorough analysis of the economic repercussions have been made.
- When a huge event like O-Ringen is postponed, it has major financial consequences, both for O-Ringen and the Swedish Orienteering Federation. Just like last year we will have to introduce several cost-cutting measures and we are also dependent on continued state support to handle the situation. It is also possible that contributions from the owners will be needed to maintain the solvency of O-Ringen. Last but not least, our financial plan assumes that this year’s reservations will be moved to the event next year, says the president of the Swedish Orienteering Federation Maria Krafft Helgesson.
This far a total of 9 000 registrations have been made and those who have registered will retain their start place till summer 2022.
- It is obviously a bit out of the ordinary for those who applied for the competitions in 2020 that they will not get to experience the fantastic terrain of Uppsala until 2022. But we assume that the great majority of the already registered participants are prepared to wait another year. Most who register early are faithful O-Ringen participants who wants to participate in and experience O-Ringen every year, says Maria Krafft Helgesson.