Andorra has long since become a reference in mountain sports. In fact, both the public and private sectors are trying to highlight the unquestionable advantages that Andorra has for hosting sport-related initiatives at all levels. As an example, it is worth mentioning the work that Actua started years ago and that ended up becoming the Andorra Esports Cluster association, whose main objective is to connect companies, institutions, and athletes to promote innovation, digitization, internationalization, and networking, guiding economic and social agents so that sport becomes a key driver of the Andorran economy in the coming years.
Another example is the initiative promoted by Andorra Tourism known as Andorra Sports Training Country, a platform to promote Andorra as a sports tourism destination, emphasizing that our country has modern sports facilities, a wide range of accommodation suitable for all levels of sport, as well as the possibility of having hiking, trekking, mountain biking or cycling routes to complement the training sessions. However, the real differential value that stands out is the fact of training at altitude. But what are the real advantages of training at altitude? Well, the main one is that your body produces more red blood cells and increases your endurance when you return to sea level. However, you optimize your time, because being at altitude, your body trains even at rest. It also improves muscle capillarization and, consequently, muscle performance. It improves muscle enzymatic machinery and buffering capacity, which brings great benefits for anaerobic work, increasing the stimulus of the ventilatory muscles, among other multiple advantages.
In this sense, Andorra has the possibility of training from an altitude of 900 meters above sea level, up to 2,000 meters of altitude, which is considered the optimum level for a great majority of sports and even everything is working on facilities at 2,600 meters of altitude, such as the project promoted by BOMOSA and known as CRAMEA. Precisely this project is the first to allocate a significant investment to create a differential centre to attract specific high-altitude training for cyclists and athletes of the specialties of high mountain and skiing. The spring of 2024 seems to be a reality and will put Andorra as an international reference in high performance at altitude.
Let’s imagine but another infrastructure that comes to complement those mentioned, and that is located at the optimum altitude for most Olympic sports disciplines, i.e., at 2,000 meters altitude, although it may end up complementing it with activities at 1,600 and 900 meters, options that Andorra offers. Imagine a centre for the cult of sport and medicine in a natural environment with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Let’s imagine being the reference in southern Europe for elite athletes and D.A.N. (high level athletes) and for amateur athletes. Let’s imagine facilities that are unique in the world, replicating with precision the environmental, movement, atmospheric and visual conditions, reproducing the same efforts as in a real environment. Imagine a hydrodynamic channel for swimming and rowing, a snow channel for cross-country and alpine skiing, or a channel with rigid pavement for cycling or running. Imagine a centre equipped with sensors and cameras to generate in real time a complete report of your condition, as well as a 3D detailed view of your workouts. Let’s imagine all this complemented by a wellness and preventive diagnosis centre, a multidisciplinary research and investigation centre, as well as a university centre specialized in sports-related studies. Well, all this can become a reality if private initiatives are aligned with public institutions, and all for the benefit of Andorra, which can end up being one of the main references of high-altitude sports performance worldwide.