Planica is an alpine valley in northwestern Slovenia, extending south from the border town Rateče, not far from another well known ski resort, Kranjska Gora. Further south the valley is extended into Tamar, a popular hiking destination in the Triglav National Park.
Planica is famous for ski jumping. The first ski jumping hill was constructed before 1930 at the slope of the Ponca mountain. In 1934 Stanko Bloudek constructed a larger hill, sometimes also called the mammoth hill. The first ski jump over 100 metres was achieved here in 1936 by the Austrian Sepp Bradl. This is the biggest jumping hill in the world, sometimes called "the mother of all jumping hills".
In 1969 a new K-185 hill, Letalnica, was constructed by Lado and Janez Gorišek. Since 1986, when Matti Nykänen flew 191 metres, new world records have always been set at Planica rather than any other ski jumping hill (e.g. Kulm in Austria, Harrachov in Czech Republic, Oberstdorf in Germany or Vikersundbakken in Norway).
The ski jumping infrastructure is fairly outdated at the moment (ski jumpers must walk uphill for most of their way to the top of a hill). In 2001 the Bloudek's old K-120 hill collapsed and has not been reconstructed yet due to endless bureaucratic troubles. Regardless, the International Ski Federation still allows competitions at the K-185 hill and many are hopeful that Planica will mature into a modern winter sports centre. In august 2008, Slovenian government accepted plan to renovate Planica into a modern winter sports centre until 2020 (with centre to be able to host 2009 championship).
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