Zagreb hosting Ski Events
Zagreb is currently, for the sixth time in a row hosting the best female slalom skiers and for the third time the best male slalom skiers of the world.
This year, the female slalom was held on January 3rd, while the male slalom will be held three days later during night. Both events at the Audi FIS World Cup “VIP Snow Queen Trophy 2010” will be held on Sljeme, the tallest peak of the Medvednica mountain overlooking Zagreb.
Since the first year of the World Cup visiting Zagreb, the Sljeme race has provided an excellent trail and superior organisation and has been one of the most generous when it comes to the awards, but it is best known for the unique atmosphere, created before during and after the events, by the great number of the audience, ski-enthusiasts from Zagreb and other parts of Croatia, cheering for all skiers with the same enthusiasm.
The Sljeme races are also special as they are held in close proximity to a city. Zagreb is the only European metropolis hosting the “world ski circus” in its back yard. It should be pointed out that that the Zagreb race had the highest TV viewership out of all the FIS world cup races. This was in Germany, with 4.72 million viewers of the women’s race on the ZDF TV broadcaster and 4.67 million viewers of the men’s race on the ARD TV broadcaster.
Brother and sister Ivica and Janica Kostelic, have made their first ski steps on Sljeme. In her career, Janica has won a total of 30 FIS World Cup races, three Crystal globes and three small globes as the slalom winner. She is a five-time world-champion, and is one of the rare athletes who have won as many as four Olympic gold medals at the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Torino in 2006. Her brother Ivica is still successfully participating in the World Cup, in which he has won one of the medals nine times. He has also won the small crystal globe as the overall slalom winner, but his biggest success is the title of the slalom world champion in St Moritz in 2003 and winning the silver medal at the Winter Olympics in Torino in 2006.
Medvednica is a nature park, that is, with its highest peak Sljeme (1,033 m), the favourite excursion destination of Zagreb locals, who use it to run away to nature, relaxation and recreation. In the winter, Medvednica offers its visitors opportunities to ski, sledge and enjoy the fresh air and winter idyll. In the summer, it attracts many visitors on account of its much more pleasant climate, with temperatures several degrees lower than in the city. Medvednica offers 11 mountaineers’ lodge huts, two hotels and 8 hospitality facilities, 15 bicycle trails with a total of 110 km in length and four educational paths. Here is also the cave Veternica which was proclaimed a protected geomorphological monument of nature in 1979. The entry into the cave is located at 320 m above sea-level. The overall length of the until-now explored canals is 7,218 m. The first 380 meters have been adapted for visitors. Visitors can get to know the mysterious underground of Medvednica through a tour of the mine Zrinski.
Mining on Medvednica, in the area of the “Rudarski vrt” (“the mining garden”) dates back to 1463 when king Matija Korvin granted the royal mining benefits to count Petar Zrinski. These benefits allowed Zrinski and his heirs to open gold, silver and other mines on their estates. This benefit enabled the Zrinski to mine on Medvednica.