The Slovenia Times

Planica Returns to the World Elite



On landing they broke a ribbon, presenting it to the three ministers responsible for sport since the renovation project started. Milan Zver was in office when the project was launched, followed by Igor Lukšič and now Žiga Turk, who in his address noted that Planica was one of those bonding elements that the opposition and coalition never argued about, while he also described it as a national symbol.

The event included the national championships for male and female jumpers, which opened with a training and a test series. Peterka, who bagged two Crystal Globes for overall World Cup wins before retiring last year at the age of 32, was happy with the opening: "The facilities are great...I enjoyed it, remembering all those feelings from 14 years ago when I was in top form." Also thrilled was Jože Šlibar who held the world ski flying record in 1961. "This centre with its plastic surface, is crucial for the progress of ski jumping in Slovenia. So far we have been training abroad but now we'll be able to do it at home and we'll not only save money but make money too". The twin hill is the first step toward a modern nordic centre to be completed in the Planica valley by 2014.

The centre will feature nine jumping hills and a cross-country skiing centre with one kilometre of covered track that will be open throughout the year. Bloudek's giant hill, the construction of which was begun by engineer Stane Rožman but was completed by Bloudek in 1934, went down in history as the place where Austrian jumper, Sepp Bradl, became the first man in history to exceed the 100-metre mark when he jumped 101 metres on 19 March 1936.


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