WORLD CUP RETURNS TO SLOVAKIAJasná
Flowers will welcome the elite of women’s skiing in Jasná
Perfectly groomed slopes, thousands of fans in the stands, great atmosphere and fantastic performances of the best skiers in the world. The World Cup race in Jasná five years ago was a memorable event for lovers of the white sport. The best Slovak ski resort could soon see another memorable race. In early March, it will once again be a place where female beauty is wedded with great sports performances.
There was a huge wave of euphoria in Jasná thanks to two Slovak skiers, Veronika Ve-lez-Zuzulová and Petra Vlhová in March 2016, and we have a chance to experience it again. This time, however, we have to cook from ingredients with a slightly bitter taste. Veronika’s retirement from skiing could be expected, but less so the events caused by the spread of the coronavirus. As expected, it also had an impact on the women’s edition of the World Cup. The organisers in Slovakia are in an unenviable situation. After months of uncertainty about whether the race will take place on 6 and 7 March 2021, the Internation-al Ski Federation (FIS) gave Jasná a definite green light in October.
With or Without Spectators
To prepare for such an event is to consider all the alternatives. There are many at the moment. This article was written in late October, just a few days after the partial lockdown in Slovakia, when all officials, not only in sports, had more questions than answers. The number of spectators has long been a great unknown. “We cannot count on a scenario similar to five years ago. However, there is a difference whether you have five thousand people in the stands, a thousand or none at all,” said Matej Hulej, chairman of the Organising Committee. However, the World Cup without spectators would be a wound that heals slowly. You can race without them, but skiers know very well where the best atmosphere and audience is.
The resort offers more than 50 km of perfectly groomed slopes of varying difficulty. On both sides of Chopok, there are 23 cable cars and lifts, which transport almost 28 500 skiers per hour.
Regardless of the number of spectators, the priority of the organisers will be safety. Compliance with all the regulations of the Government and FIS is difficult and it will have to be addressed by hundreds of people, including a special Covid manager. “This person will constantly monitor all restrictions and ensure compliance in the individual commissions so that we do not neglect any of them, whether it’s accommodation, meals but also the movement in the resort,” he introduces a position that will probably be necessary for all major sports events, not only in the near future. Meetings and touches will be replaced by distance and an effort to avoid everyone. Strict measures will also affect accommodation for racers: their hotel will be hermetically sealed for the unauthorised people.
Flowers and beauty
Flowers and BeautyIn Jasná, they have been preparing for the World Cup for several months and the die-hard visitors of the resort will notice changes right from the start of the skiing season. “We have shown many times that we can organise a great event, and it’s no different this time. Once again, we have several surprises in store. They are not only for the racers but also for regular clients,” Matej Hulej revealed. They include themed decorations in restaurants, which will take on the colours of the countries of the world’s best skiers. Attractive souvenirs with the event logo will be available in the shops. The traditional hats, headbands and T-shirts will be complemented by face masks. “We have prepared this offer in co-operation with local makers. We want to help them survive difficult times. However, the main theme of the event will be flowers and women’s beauty, so our resort will be decorated in this spirit for several months,” he adds. The “beauty programme” where make-up artists took care of skiers and their beauty was immortalised in professional photographs, was one of the remarkable experiences on the circuit. So there is something to build on.
As the number of people that the ski stars will be able to meet in Jasná is considerably limited, the organisers had to cut down on surprises. The presentation of the resort with our gold medallist Petra Vlhová was worth it. “We focused on our traditions and beauty, which, thanks to Peťa Vlhová, flew around the world. She had no idea that the original flower headdress from our region, which she wore during the photo shoot, is worth around one hundred thousand euro. If conditions are right, we would like to repeat this feat with other world’s top skiers,” the head of the organisers said with cautious optimism. Slovak folklore, headdresses and folk costumes should ac-company the event.
With Fans on Skis
The operators believe that the slopes will be open to skiers with more or fewer restrictions. Even if they don’t make it to the stands, they should not miss the art of the world’s best racers between the gates. “We want to prepare information screens for them in different places so they know what is going on and do not gather in one place. Most screens will appear at the valley and exit stations of the cable cars, where skiers will be able to stand for a while and see the ride of their favourite racer,” adds Matej Hulej, the chairman of the Organising Committee. We just have to believe that the spectators will be able to fill the stands and, together with millions of TV fans around the world, they will help the exceptional skier born in Liptov to win on the domestic stage. After all, every athlete knows that home victories are the sweetest.
Jasná is the best ski resort in Slovakia, with excellent conditions for winter sports and a wide range of opportunities for fun and active recreation.
- The resort offers more than 50 km of perfectly groomed slopes of varying difficulty.
- On both sides of Chopok, there are 23 cable cars and lifts, which transport almost 28 500 skiers per hour.
- The connection of the northern and southern sides of Chopok, the second-highest peak of the Low Tatras, allowed skiers to enjoy many more pistes than before.
- There are 41 slopes and fans of freeriding will enjoy themselves in 12 freeriding zones.
- The ski season in Jasná usually lasts 5 months, mainly thanks to a state-of-the-art fully-automated snowmaking system with 617 points.
Eighteen Pisten Bully snow groomers take care of the runs and the popular “corduroy” every day. The advantage of Jasná is also the convenient transport by ski buses from several corners of Liptov, which is free for gopass card hold-ers. Clients can safely buy ski passes online in advance, avoiding last-minute purchases in the ticket office. A wide range of accommodation, restaurant and other services ranks Jasná among the top resorts in Central Europe.