A long and fearless tradition of Planica flag bearers

Planica would simply not be Planica without its fearless flag bearers skiing down the mighty ski flying hill right before the competition. Did you know how special our flag bearers are? Let us tell you: They are the only ones in the world.


foto: Bobo

The steep landing point of the ski flying hill is mostly flown over by professional ski jumpers, however our flag bearers ski it. Their primary role is to open the Planica spectatle by respectfully introducing the countries which are competing. A little less than an hour before the competition the skiers gather at the top of the ski flying hill, holding the flags of the competing countries. Driving on a dangerously steep slope is not their only role. Between the two rounds they also make sure that the hill is ready for the next jumpers.

Being a flag bearer is an honor. You cannot become it, you are born into it because only a few people have the courage to go down the ''Letalnica''. One of the fearless Planica flag bearers in charge of the Canadian flag is Urban Nagode.

»I have been a flag bearer for approximately six years now. Despite many years of practice, I am still very nervous at the top. For the first 90 metres I usually don't have a clue where I am skiing, but once I get through the radius, I calm down. The speed depends on snow. When it is a bit more wet than usual, we ski about 100 km/h but if the slope is icy, we can reach up to 120 or even 130 km/h.«

The greatest honor which can befall the Planica flag bearer is the honor of skiing with the Slovenian flag. This year, as for many before, it belonged to the father of our eagle Bor Pavlovčič – Martin Pavlovčič.

»I've been a flag bearer for 25 years. At first I carried the Swiss flag, but now they have entrusted me wit the Slovenian. I am very proud of my status, especially when I come skiing down the hill and all I can hear are the cheers of ski jumping fans. Despite my long career as a flag bearer, I have never had an accident, although I have seen how severe the fall can be.«

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