You might not necessarily associate Düsseldorf with winter sports, but North Rhine-Westphalia's regional capital has hosted the FIS Cross-Country Skiing World Cup since 2002. What started out as quite a crazy idea – a skiing world cup in a city far from the usual skiing areas – is now a firmly established event.
This event not only brings top cross-country skiers to the Rhine, including many-time winner and 'Mr Düsseldorf' Peter Larsson from Sweden, but also hundreds of thousands of spectators. The Cross-Country Skiing World Cup in Düsseldorf has become one of the biggest individual skiing events in the winter ski season and it's impossible to imagine the World Cup without it. There is one thing that the city on the Rhine can guarantee – and that is snow. That's because the snow for this event doesn't fall from the skies but is sourced from nearby Neuss: 3,000 to 4,000 cubic metres are produced at Neuss ski centre, transported to Düsseldorf and made ready for the World Cup. And because a large proportion of the spectators travel to the event by tram, the overall environmental impact is less than if visitors were to travel long distances to Alpine locations. Surprising perhaps – but a good reason to go and watch the next Cross-Country Skiing World Cup in Düsseldorf. Another reason is the supporting programme: as well as music, it offers a wide range of family-friendly entertainment including a children's activity tent, chairoplane, kids' railway, play bus, tobogganing, jesters and jugglers.