The opening ceremony of the World Nordic Ski Championships took place at Strbske Pleso in Czechoslovakia on Saturday (14 February).
STRBSKE PLESO: SIGNS: POLICEMAN AND COACHES: SPECTATORS AND COMPETITORS ARRIVING: SKI-JUMP AND CROWD: GIRLS AND DANCERS IN COSTUME AUSTRALIAN TEAM: CANADIAN TEAM: FINNISH TEAM: JAPANESE TEAM: SVOBODA, HUSAK, AND HOLDER: CONTESTANTS: SVOBODA SPEAKS: HUSAK WATCHING: HOLDER SPEAKS: CONTESTANTS.
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Background: The opening ceremony of the World Nordic Ski Championships took place at Strbske Pleso in Czechoslovakia on Saturday (14 February).
Present at the ceremony was President Svoboda of Czechoslovakia; the Czech Communist leader, Gustav Husak; and the International Skiing Federation Chairman, Mr. Holder.
Crowds of up to 40,000 spectators are expected to attend the championships which cover a wide range of events from cross-country races to ski-jumping.
The Championships will be spread over nine-days ending on February 22 and teams from as far afield as Canada, Australia, and Japan are competing.
Present at the opening ceremony were traditional Czechoslovak folk dancers. A large crowd heard speeches from President Svoboda and Mr. Holder.
Early results included wins for the Soviet Union in both the men's 70 metre ski jump and the 70 metre combination ski jump. Japanese skiers were second in both events.
The Soviet Union took top spot in the early cross-country race holding off strong challenges from East Germany and Norway.