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Slovenia - surely the pioneer of ski-jumping?

18.12.2014 | Slovenia Estates

Planica Nordic Center is a large ski-jumping, ski-flying and cross-country skiing sport complex located in Planica, an alpine valley in north-western Slovenia.

It all started back in the 1930s, when a group of promising young men travelled to ski jumping competitions abroad. Among them were the General Secretary of the Yugoslav Winter-Sport Association Joso Gorec and the engineer Stanko Bloudek. Thanks to these men Slovenians now consider themselves as pioneers of ski-jumping and ski-flying and it is in Planica where it all began.

Thanks to Bloudek and Gorec, Planica received its first ski jump in 1934, allowing jumps of up to 90 metres. At that time, there were only two jumpers in the world to have jumped over 80 metres. Bloudek however believed that ski jumpers would soon be able to safely reach 100m - and beyond. And he was right. The first ski jump over 100m was achieved in 1936 by the Austrian jumper Sepp Bradl. Being the biggest jumping hill in the world at that time Planica was sometimes called "the mother of all jumping hills".

In 1969 the Slovenian engineer brothers Lado and Janez Gorišek constructed the ski-flying hill "Letalnica bratov Gorišek" (or Flying hill by brothers Gorišek). This hill is responsible for the most world records (28) and for the first jump over 200 meters in 1994, by the Finnish ski-jumper Toni Nieminen.

At the moment the whole complex (including the "Letalnica bratov Gorišek" ski-flying hill) is under major renovations, most of them expected to finish until March 2015, when Planica will host the FIS World Cup Ski-Jumping Final.

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