The 3rd Annual Nissan Outdoor Games kick off today in Interlaken, Switzerland. The Outdoor Games aren’t like your average action sports competition; they have what we might call an 'artistic side'. In addition to the grit and grind of extreme competition, the Outdoor Games also play host to a Filmmaking and Photography competition, making the games a mix somewhere between the X-Games and the Oscars.
If you’re wondering what in the world I’m talking about, here’s how it goes down:
The athletes are invited to Interlaken five days before the competition is set to begin where they are broken into six teams. Each team is composed of 1-2 athletes from each of the five disciplines (kayaking, mountain biking, BASE jumping, paragliding and rock climbing) as well as, a professional camera man, photographer and editor of their choosing. These teams are then stranded in the woods of Switzerland where they are expected to create a five-minute movie, highlighting each of the five disciplines, and twenty still photographs of the same nature. On Friday June 29th at 18:00 the teams must hand over the fruits of their labour and the film competition ensues. Each of the 5-minute shorts are then projected on a large screen in the town of Interlaken for the public’s amusement and the jury’s scrutiny.
After the screening of the films, the jury is faced with the difficult decision of choosing the winning team. This year, in order to determine that the best team wins, the responsibility has been entrusted to the following upstanding individuals:
2007 Nissan Outdoor Games Jury
Jean Phillipe Rapp – TV journalist, will serve as the chair of the committee
Ueli Gegenschatz – Skydiving and BASE jumping pro, will offer a critical sporting eye to the jury
Ueli Steck – Alpinist, will also help to offer a critical sporting eye
Stephen Otz – Representative of the Interlaken Tourist Office, will provide local insight
Yves Ryncki – President of the Swiss Professional Photographers, will offer photography expertise
And last but not least - the final juror, who received her seat on the jury after winning an online competition
After the winning team is awarded and the artistic stuff is all sorted – the real fun can begin.
The organizers of the competition realized they would be stupid not to capitalize on the presence of such talented athletes in the same place at the same time – so naturally, the concept of competition was born and tacked on to the schedule.
On Saturday June 30th and Sunday July 1st athletes will be competing in each of the five disciplines either in organized competitions or against the clock in personal time trials. Among the events already scheduled for that weekend are the Swiss Climbing Championships, the Boulder Master IFSC Finals, European Kayaking Championships, and the International ‘Dirt’ Scene. The ‘Dirt’ Scene is a new addition to the line-up and features a track with plenty of jumps and dirt for mountain bikers to abuse.
For more information on the Nissan Outdoor Games check out their website.