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Not just any, though. This tunnel of decision plays an important role for the athletes of the FIS Nordic Ski World Championship. They have to pass through it rather briefly – but these moments are crucial ones.

The first time is for attaching the chip for time measurement. This is the moment when every athlete switches his mental set fully on “emergency”. Who steps through the tunnel the day after tomorrow knows: just a few minutes and it means “to do or die now”. Today, only staff testers pass through, ensuring good organization of the whole competition. A proverbial tunnel vision seems to be echoed by the rocks of the sidewalls. Emotions only known and felt by the athletes themselves are not carried outside this roughly 35 meters long tunnel. Each competitive athlete lives alone with them in this moment.

Right after each competition they have to come through here again – this time for doping control. Taken during an act of daily routine which is usually accompanied by feelings of relief, it will not influence the athletes’ mood this time. Or will it after all?

A World Championship is pure emotion. This tunnel – small and unimpressive as it might appear in the Tyrolean mountain side – is a tunnel of decision for all the athletes here.