26 March 2017
Sergey Bubka with ski jumping Team Slovenia in Planica
Sergey Bubka, IOC Executive Board member, visited Slovenia following the invitation of local sport authorities to attend FIS Ski jumping World cup Final race in Planica.
Bubka joined Eruopean Olympic Committees’ acting president Janez Kocijancic, Slovenian Prime Minister dr Miro Cerar, sport minister Maja Makovec Brenčič, as well as international stars of the sport and 27-thousands' strong crowd to enjoy the climax of ski jumping season.
With (left to right) sport minister Maja Makovec Brenčič, 1964&1968 gymnastics Olympic gold medalist Miroslav Cerar, his son, Slovenian Prime Minister dr Miro Cerar and advisor Sergei Gontcharov
Stefan Kraft of Austria won two individual races and hi inaugural Big Crystal Globe, whil Norway dominated in the team event.
Bubka was amazed by the organization and atmosphera in Planica, saying,’I’ve never never seen ski jumping Word Cup Final event before and could not even imagine how exciting it could be. I jumped 6+ meters high with 80+ thousands of fans supporting me – so I can understand what an astonishing job these athletes are doing jumping 250 meters long looking down at 27 thousands of fans'.
With European Olympic Committees acting president Janez Kocijancic, legendary Prevc brothers, EAA Council member Gregor Benčina, and Slovenia Ski Association president Enzo Smreka
Bubka added, 'The success of the local athletes is surely important for the promotion of ski jumping, but professional organization of the event and love for sport in the country is crucial. World Cup Final is a central stage and most awaited event in Slovenia these days, so media support is also huge’.
Fantastic scenery of Planica ski jumping event. Left above - with Franci Petek, Slovenia's 1991 World Champion
Bubka, who is also IAAF Senior Vice President, inspected the venue and the trails of European Mountain Running championships scheduled for July 2017 in Kamnik, Slovenia. The country will host the event for the second time in its history and first since 2001.
Bubka who is a huge supporter of involvement of amateurs into pro running circle said mountain running events are instrumental for promotion of active lifestyle all over the world.
He commented, ‘Kamnik is ready for the championships – both in terms of venue preparation and media interest. Kamnik provides great backdrop for the sport of athletics and running as well as for touristic sightseeing. Hopefully many amateur runners will join elite groups – this is key important for our sport to involve more people of all ages with the help of road running and mountain running events.
What amazed me here and in Slovenia in general is love for sports – both winter and summer ones. For me Slovenia is an example for many countries and governments of promoting sports and encouraging local and international events across the country’
'The shephard is here but look also at the nice houses behind us - accomodation for the participants of European Mountain Running championships in July 2017'