Presque Isle and Fort Kent to host world class events in February
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine, Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Maine Winter Sports Center (MWSC) and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine (Anthem) announced today that the health insurer will serve as the gold sponsor for the upcoming E On IBU Biathlon World Cup to be held in Presque Isle (February 3-6) and Fort Kent (February 10-13) next month.
"As the state's largest health insurer and major local employer, we strongly view this sponsorship as a healthy investment in Maine," said Dan Corcoran, president and general manager, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. "In addition to providing a venue for world class athletes at the very top of their sport, the Word Cup events represent a real economic boost for Aroostook County."
For those unfamiliar with the sport, biathlon combines the endurance requirements of cross-country skiing with the precision of rifle marksmanship, and is the most popular televised winter sport throughout most of the world. According to Andy Shepard, president and chief executive officer of the Maine Winter Sports Center, the events to be held in Maine represent the only North American stop for the World Cup. "These two events will draw the attention of 120 million TV viewers to northern Maine," he noted. "This creates a unique opportunity for us to attract new visitors to the region."
Formed in 1999, the MWSC works to promote skiing and other outdoor sports as part of a healthier lifestyle for Maine's children, adults, and seniors. In addition to the wellness impact, MWSC also seeks to create a new economic and cultural model for Maine's rural communities -- one that keeps young families together and attracts businesses looking for a high quality of life for their employees. The MWSC's 10th Mountain Center in Fort Kent also hosted a Biathlon World Cup in 2004.
"We're thrilled to have been chosen once again to host these events," Shepard added. "It is a clear vote of confidence in the skill, dedication and ability of our volunteers, by the international biathlon community. We are also very grateful to Anthem for stepping up in a big way as a primary sponsor."
The Presque Isle's Nordic Heritage Center will host World Cup 7, while Fort Kent's 10th Mountain Center will host World Cup 8. Both female and male competitors will participate in the 2011 E On IBU Biathlon World Cup, which is expected to attract over 200 athletes from 30 countries.
"Hosting an event like this is a real feather in Maine's cap," said Governor Paul LePage. "Not only does it serve to bring a prestigious athletic event to our state, it also promotes the broad range of winter activities the county has to offer."
For event details and ticket information, please call (207) 232-3304 or visit www.discovernorthernmaine.com.
"We are excited to serve as the major sponsor of the 2011 E On Biathlon World Cup competition in Maine," concluded Corcoran. "This is an elite sporting event which will shine a world-wide spotlight on our state."
About the Maine Winter Sports Center
The Maine Winter Sports Center was formed in 1999 as a non profit, economic development company, and exists with annual grants from the Portland-based Libra Foundation. To learn more visit www.mainewsc.org
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.
SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine