The Skiing Museum in Tržič
In the early 1980s, Slovene skiers, then still competing under the Yugoslav flag, were rising stars on the international ski scene. In the meantime, back home in Slovenia they were perceived as heros. Literally everything stopped when there was a Skiing World Cup or World Championship broadcasted on TV.
Furthermore, Slovenes acquired a great deal of their national identity through skiing and the success of their modern heros. Some also believe that skiing in Slovenia had an important state-forming role.
Slovenia has a long tradition of skiing
Skiing is one of Slovenia’s favorite sports. It has a long tradition which began with skiing on the Bloke plateau, in the southwest Slovenia. During the 17th century the baron of Valvasor wrote reports on skiing activities in Slovenia, in which he describes in detail skiing on Bloke.
In Valvasor’s time, the people of Bloke were the only ones in Central Europe to use skis to walk or move downhill in snow. According to this historical facts, the Bloke Plateau was thus the cradle of old folk skiing.
The people of Bloke used skis to transport water, wood, woodenware and cereals, and also coffins on special funeral skis. The second, also very important means of transport, were the snowshoes that the people of Bloke used for lengthy walks on snow and for poaching.
The history of skiing in Slovenia in one place
Let’s jump from the 17th century Bloke plateau to the small city of Tržič, where the largest ski collection of the country is being presented since 2014. Why Tržič? Because it is home to the largest number of Slovene winter athletes who participated in the Winter Olympic Games.
The Skiing Museum in Tržič features over 100 items, of which about a half are various skis, including from the end of the 19th century. The collection also features skies of former representatives of the Slovene skiing team like Bojan Križaj, Mateja Svet, Jure Košir, Veronika Šarec, Andrej Jerman and Jure Franko. Among them is also snowboarder Žan Košir, who brought home a silver and a bronze medal from Winter Olympics in Sochi.