Get to know: Wisla

It will be a historical beginning of the season for Wisła – a Polish town located in the south. For the first time ever, Malinka is opening the competition season in ski jumping.

How did it all start?

The World Cup has been in Wisła since 2013 but the hill is much older. The first hill in the Malinka valley was established in 1933 and the longest distance jumped was 41 meters. In the following years the hill was modernized. The biggest changes were made at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. At that time a referee tower appeared, the run was made of steel and the construction point was moved to 105 meters. Then, the former president decided to rebuild the whole hill. The construction of the new facility started in the winter of 2004. Because of some difficulties like landslide, the building of the hill  took 4 long years.

Wislahill

Basic info

What exactly does „Malinka” mean? Actually it isn’t connected to any historical moment of ski jumping or to any athlete. „Malinka” in polish means „raspberry”. It is named like that because the district where the hill lies is called „Malinka”.

The K-Point can be found at 120 meters. The length of the hill is 134 meters. The winter record belongs to Stefan Kraft (139.0 meters) and the summer one belongs to Anders Fannemel (137.5 meters).

The hill is named after a whiskered Polish legend – Adam Małysz – who was the first ski jumper that unofficially jumped on the new ski jumping hill in 2008.

The capacity of the stands is estimated at 8,000 people but in fact, it can accomodate 15,000 people.

The uniqueness of the hill lies in an unusual out-run. The main stand which hosts 2,500 spectators, official buildings and the unique out-run are placed above a street where the traffic normally goes. As a result, the out-run is steep and it usually causes problems for  the athletes to stop after their jumps.

Wislahill2

Sister of Wielka Krokiew

Till 2013, the most famous and the most important hill in Poland was Wielka Krokiew in Zakopane. In the season 2012/2013, FIS let Malinka organize an individual World Cup competition for the first time in history. The victory was taken by Anders Bardal but the Polish ski jumpers came out well too (Piotr Żyła was 6th and Kamil Stoch was 7th).

Since that season, Wisła Malinka has hosted World Cup competitions. Has it come out better than the legendary hill in the Tatras? Wielka Krokiew has had a lot of problems associated with adapting to jump. At one point, it was impossible to give a safe jump without the fear for the life of the athletes. Even though several reconstructions had occurred before, only the final renovation which started in 2016 would allow to jump safely.

Malinka, on the other hand, is not so prestigious and can’t boast of such a long and great history as Wielka Krokiew has. The atmosphere during the competition can be compared with the atmosphere in Zakopane, the hill amazes each season of the year and it is one of the few hills with an unique out-run. Nations like Czech Republic or Slovenia organize their preparation for the season on Malinka. WSS Wisła’s ski jumpers train there normally.

Summer Grand Prix

Malinka has had the opportunity to organize Summer Grand Prix competitions since 2010. From year to year, these three days of competition attract more and more ski jumping fans from all over the world. Not only is it the chance to watch the contests live, but also it is a moment when fans and athletes meet personally. Ski jumpers are not someone seen on TV and unreachable anymore. During Summer Grand Prix, the athletes may feel like celebrities for a second because they pose for photos and they give autographs with pleasure. Sometimes it takes a while to give an autograph to every fan around the ski jumpers, but usually, they are really patient. The fact that you can see your favorite athletes live and have a few minutes to talk to them makes Wisła more and more popular.

Name Malinka
Patron Adam Małysz
Point K 120m
Hill size 134m
Built 1933
Capacity 8,000 (15,000)
Record holder Stefan Kraft (139m)

The inauguration of the season 2017/18 is about to start in a few days. Wisła is a big event that will definitely attract lots of fans and tourists. Will it manage to give its best? Will the weather be merciful for the ski jumpers? We will get to know about it on 17th of November when the qualification is the start of a new, exciting season.

Picture: Newsskijumping

Justyna Mis

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