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As prizes, the know-how of local companies

The prizes of the Biathlon World Cup event come from local producers. The awards are utility items, the materials and production of which emphasize responsibility.

The event's local award partners are Tuohi Design from Joensuu, which makes accessories from Finnish birch bark, for ecological Kolo Design from Joensuu, which specializes in gift products, among others, from Kontiolahti, which produces ecological batch containers and toluas Kupilka and Scandinavian Diamonds.

—We get to reward athletes with awards from local companies, which are strongly connected to Finnishness. In one way or another, the tree is included in all the prizes, either in the product itself or in the gift packaging, says marketing and communications manager Heikki Hamunen from Kontiolahti Urheilijat ry.

Sustainable products popular

In addition to locality, the awards are united by responsibility.

─ In the USA, sales of responsible products have increased more than five times compared to other products, says researcher Tero Heinonen from the Finnish Environmental Center.

─The same can be seen in Finland. Based on the results of last spring's climate barometer, almost half of those who took part in the survey say that they have reduced the purchase of unnecessary goods. Saver money buys more sustainable, less burdensome and more ethical alternatives, says Heinonen.

Prizes for the best six

In the individual series, the six best athletes get the local award. In the messages, a personal prize of goods is given to the athletes of the three best teams.

—All awards have an interesting story behind them. Among other things, there are similar bow ties, such as the one that ended up as a Christmas present for the Prince of Wales Charles, says Hamunen.

In addition to the prizes, all team members receive a product package from Kontiolahti's Sinkkonen Marjatila as a welcome gift.