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What and who is behind the success of the biggest skiing event of this winter?
The World Cup in Jasná ended a while ago. Now it’s time to take you behind the scenes and show you what wasn’t visible at first sight.
Despite the unfortunate fall and injury of Slovak skier Petra Vlhová, whose season ended prematurely at the World Cup unfortunately, the atmosphere of the “F1 on the snow” was fantastic. This was largely thanks to the 12,000 fans who came to watch the event live and the 900 people involved in organising the World Cup in Jasná 2024.
Igor Rattaj, the chairman of the board at TMR, which operates the ski resort in Jasná, said:
“It was really great, the weather helped us a lot, people had fun. I would like to thank everyone for the successful presentation of Slovakia.”
Jana Palovičová, the race director, was happy that the absence of Petra Vlhová on the course on Sunday did not deter the fans and the attendance in the stands was truly outstanding.
”It was really the biggest sports festival in Slovakia. People missed this before,” she added.
If you weren’t there or you were but want to remind yourself of it, this video is for you.
Grand Prix of Demänovské Caves
What is it and why do we mention it here?
On 18th March 1938, the first ski race called the Challenge Cup of Demänovské Caves took place in Jasná. It was organised by the Sokol Physical Education Association. The race was successful, so it was repeated on 26th March 1939, but named the Grand Prix of Demänovské Caves. And this is the name that became a tradition. 47 skiers participated in the race. The winners were given a challenge prize – a dripstone on a wooden stand for the first place and a dripstone cast in epoxy for the second place. This ski race can be considered the oldest regularly organised race in Slovakia and one of the oldest races in Europe.
The Grand Prix of Demänovské Caves reached a higher level at the turn of 1949 – 1950 when a chairlift started to operate in Jasná. The Jasná ski resort was gradually modernised, the infrastructure in Demänovská dolina (valley) improved and accommodation facilities were built. This is how Jasná became a leader among ski resorts in Slovakia. It was ready to compete for FIS international competitions and so it happened. In 1966, the 27th edition of the Grand Prix of Demänovské Caves was held as an international FIS race. In 1973, with the 34th edition of the Grand Prix of Demänovské Caves, World Cup races began in Jasná.
And this year marks a beautiful era of 83 years of this amazing ski race event in Jasná.Images source: www.slovakiana.sk
World Cup in Jasná 2024 in numbers
- 120 – number of shuttle buses used
- 600 – length of the slalom course
- 1,220 – length of the giant slalom course
- 2,824 – number of eaten hot dogs
- 914 – number of goulash portions eaten by spectators
- 5,880 – number of drunk non-alcoholic punch glasses (the top-selling item of the event)
- 14 hundredths of a second – difference between the slalom winner and the second fastest skier
- 1,144 – number of stones on the crown for the winner made by Petra Toth
- 3,8 million – budget
World Cup in Jasná – ski piste preparation
Organisers had been preparing the pistes for the January slalom and giant slalom since November. When asked how the ideal piste looked like, Maroš Kupčo, the chief of the race course, replied: “If the first and the last racer have similar conditions, then the course is ideal. It must be hard and compact, but skiers don’t like ice like on a skating rink.” The weather was favourable while the courses were prepared. The organisers managed to create a layer resistant to temperatures up to 15 degrees Celsius. In the giant slalom race, skiers covered a 400-metre vertical drop and in the slalom race, it was half as much. The organisers paid maximum attention to the quality of the course also for another reason. They hope that World Cup races will be held regularly in Jasná.
The story of the crown for the World Cup winner in Jasná
Petra Toth, an outstanding Slovak jewel maker and designer, had been asked to make jewels and crowns for the World Cup winners in Jasná. When creating them, she drew inspiration from Slovak folklore, and thus, the production of unique products for the World Cup was not left to chance. She personally visited the villages of Liptovská Osada, Liptovská Lúžna and Liptovské Revúce, where the spirit of folklore still lives.
She was inspired by the Liptov pattern but especially Liptov folk costumes, which are her favourites. The colourfulness of the original costumes, the composition of embroidery, and the details of the patterns on the costumes from these distinctive villages were transformed into the form of her crown. It tooks 7 months to create the crown and Petra Toth used Czech crystal and stones specially made for this piece. The crown for the winners of the World Cup in Jasná represents the beauty of folklore, Slovak costumes and the beauty of Slovakia.
How were the trophies for the World Cup in Jasná created?
The trophies for the winners of the World Cup in Jasná were created by artist Gordana Glass. She lets glass, precious metals, gold and platinum present their beauty. She created the trophies using new materials, which she aligned with the new visual of the event. Each trophy is unique and has a different colour. The visual of the trophy is a golden, platinum flower with various shades of rose gold.
Safety above all
20,000 people were expected by the organisers in Demänovská dolina (valley) during the event. So ensuring smooth transportation and people’s safety was a matter of course. The coordination of all security and rescue forces is usually planned several months in advance. Especially when dealing with such a demanding mountainous terrain, as in this case.
The police force, the organising service, the Rescue Medical Service, the Mountain Rescue Service, the 5th Special Purpose Regiment from Žilina and the Air Rescue and Medical Service were important partners in organising the skiing weekend. The entire valley and the race course were monitored by a special logistics centre. It had been set up just for this event. Martin Paška, the President of the Ski Association of Slovakia, praised the work of rescuers: “They really did a great job here. I would also like to thank all the fans who helped us create a great atmosphere.”
World Cup in Jasná – winners 2024
Giant slalom, Saturday 20.1.2024
- 1. HECTOR Sara, total time 2:17.80
- 2. SHIFFRIN Mikaela, total time 2:19.32
- 3. ROBINSON Alice, total time 2:20.51
Slalom, Sunday, 21.1.2024
- 1. SHIFFRIN Mikaela, total time 1:48.21
- 2. LJUTIC Zrinka, total time 1:48.35
- 3. SWENN LARSSON Anna, total time 1:49.02