Luis on Tour: Cortina d'Ampezzo
The last episode of the first season of our column "Luis on Tour" stops at the former Olympic ski jumping hill at Italian Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Luis on Tour: A ski jumping hill fan on the roadBy Ski Jumping Hill Archive author and photographer Luis Holuch
This episode of my column „Luis on tour“ is a very special one. It is not a report of my visit, but more a comment and it is the last one of the first season. Cortina was the last Ski Jump I visited in year 2011. Of course, my column will continue with the visits of year 2012. You will get more information about that in a future info-text. But first of all, I wish you fun at reading with this episode!
Trampolino Olimpico Italia (K90, K55, K32, K20) in Cortina d'Ampezzo (Zuel)
Cortina d’Ampezzo is a well-known place in whole Europe. Most people know it because of its famous ski area at Tofana. Only a few people know, that the Olympic Games took place here in 1956 and that Cortina has a connection to Ski Jumping. Directly, Cortina has no connection to Ski Jumping, because the Ski Jumping Hill stands in Zuel, near to the main village. From north direction, you reach it by using the “Allemagna”, a street which was built by Benito Mussolini and who originally should be the direct line from Munich to Venice.
In the village Zuel di Sotto you have to turn left and then take the 2nd or 3rd street on the left side. If you take the first option, you’ll end at the outrun and stadium. The other option is a private street, which brings you to the inrun tower. This tower is a fantastic monument for itself. It must have been a great job by the architects from Bolzano-Bozen, which built it in 1956 and replaced the old timber inrun. Today, the colour of the tower, which was originally a strong white, turned to a dirty grey.
It is kind of a symbol for this facility. He is completely closed, so you do not have any access. This massive monument stands in the woods of the Ladino villages and is dying. Not a long time ago, it was said, that it should be destroyed, because the hill should be more vivid. But not in form of Ski Jumpers, but in form of more woods.
And also the stands are in a horrible shape. The timber is rotten and if one stays in front of the stands, he/she is afraid to walk up there, because everything seems very fragile. It looks like there exploded a bomb. Because of this, our visitation becomes quite short: We looked up the tower from both sides and also the stadium and the outrun, where, nowadays, football goals stand. In addition to all that, we visited the two smaller hills, which, actually, consist of the jump-offs. The rest is made by nature.
For me, it was a very shocking experience. I saw the Olympic Ski Jumping Hill of 1956, where the first world cup ever took place and where also James Bond 007 made a jump, runs to seed anywhere in Italy. The people in Cortina do not care about Ski Jumping and – following from that – about this patriarchal facility. They really focus on their noble ski area and forget the Olympic Hills.
It is remarkable, that most Italians do not really care about Ski Jumping. Of course, Ski Alpine Skiing is much popular, but – like here in Germany – the Italians had an Idol with Roberto Cecon, but there came up no youth jumpers, which continued the status of Italy in Ski Jumping. The recent jumpers are solid, but not more. It would be surely worthwile to have another facility in order; Maybe not in Cortina, because the infrastructure is not that good, but maybe another in the Dolomites or anywhere in North Italy.
In my opinion, the hill should be renovated, to make sure, that the world cup comes back. It will not be a big work to do, because the slope is still in a good shape. You “only” have to renovate the tower and the stands. Probably, one can enlarge the hill by destroying the small hills. So there could maybe built a Large Hill.
That would be suitable and not a utopia. There are other places, where only stands a large hill, but there are big competitions. But unfortunately, this whish will be only a wish, because one can not expect an initiative by an investor or the Italian Ski Federation.
So, that’s it for that time and also for the first season. I hope you enjoyed reading, although the article had an other style. From this point, I would like to thank those people, who posted some comments concerning Cortina. By you guys, I had the idea to write the article in the way I did.
I wish all the best for you and I hope to publish soon the first parts of the 2nd season. But you will soon have an information text, where I will explain some things for the future. So, see you soon!
Ski Jumps:Cortina d'Ampezzo