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The story behind the lost ski jumping hills in Poland

on 2020-06-26

How many ski jumping hills are there in Poland? Operating ones: Only 15. But the skijumpinghills.com team has already gathered over 200 profiles of Polish hills! Where did they all hide?

The average ski jumping fan can name a few of the most important places: Zakopane, Wisła, Szczyrk; those who are slightly more interested often still associate Karpacz and Lubawka, which have not been used for at least a few years, although quite large (formally: normal) hills.

Ski Jumping in Poland is more than just Zakopane, Wisła and Szczyrk

But the history of Polish hills is not only the largest, popular centers. For decades, mainly in mountainous areas (Tatras, Beskids, Karkonosze), young people were eager to ski jumping. There was a response to this interest. The jumps were massively built both on the initiative of sports clubs and local authorities as well as from below, by the young jumpers themselves, with the help of their parents, friends and neighbors. This happened mainly in the years when jumping was not yet such an expensive and elite sport.

The origins of our research results

It should be noted that in our archive we try to collect ski jumps that are or were at least close to professional. If we had to take into account all the take-offs made of snow, after years of "Małyszmania", Poland could have more hills here than Norway and Germany combined...

But, where do we get the data and information about all these hills? Part of our team are Polish jumping fans who have been researching the subject for many years. It is difficult to count how many hours we have spent collecting and organizing information. Nights over searching sources: The Internet, books, maps, old photos...

Certainly it would be even more harder without invaluable help of various people: former jumpers, coaches, activists, ski jumping fans, local history enthusiasts and finally the owners of the jumping hills. Our research was not limited to just gathering information. We visited the vast majority of places personally, bringing photos that can now be viewed in the Ski Jumping Hill Archive. They were often the first photographs of a given hill in the whole Web.

What's next?

A lot of information is still waiting to be processed, which is why the Polish counter will not stop at 200. And the 200th Polish place in our database is Wisła-Jonidło. A strange story, because they are two twin plastic covered hills, which were built... for just one show event in 2001. And not just anyone jumped on them, but Adam Małysz himself! In addition, he was wearing traditional regional dress. The event was called "Jump to Europe" (Poland joined the European Union in 2004) and one of its goals was to raise money for the reconstruction of the nearby large hill in Wisła-Malinka.

At that time, no one thought that several seasons would pass, and the World Cup inauguration would be organized next door...

Ski Jumps:

POL Wisła (Jonidło)


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