Planica to Host the 2028 Ski Flying World Championship

In Reykjavik, Iceland, Planica was officially announced as the host of the FIS Ski Flying World Championship in 2028 by the International Ski Federation (FIS). This will be the eighth Ski Flying World Championship to be held in the Valley under Ponce.


Planica hosted its first World Championship in 1972, when Swiss athlete Walter Steiner became the first world champion in ski flying, a discipline that evolved from ski jumping. The next championship in Planica took place seven years later, in 1979, with Armin Kogler taking the title to Austria. In 1985, the legendary Finnish jumper Matti Nykänen won, and the 13th World Championship in 1994 became historic due to a medal exchange. Czech Jaroslav Sakala won gold, with Norwegian Espen Bredesen taking silver and Italian Roberto Cecon bronze. However, Sakala and Cecon later exchanged their medals because Cecon had flown farther, adhering to the infamous FIS 191-meter rule.

At the 18th World Championship in the Valley under Ponce in 2004, Scandinavians dominated, with Norwegian Roar Ljøkelsøy winning ahead of Finns Janne Ahonen and Tami Kiuru. For the first time, teams also competed for the title, with Norway winning gold, Finland silver, and Austria bronze. Planica hosted the championship again six years later, on the HS215 hill, with Simon Ammann from Switzerland winning the title, Gregor Schlierenzauer from Austria taking silver, and Norwegian Anders Jacobsen bronze. Austria won the team title, with Norway in second and Finland in third.

The next World Championship, and the most recent one, was hosted by Planica in 2020 amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Initially scheduled for March, the championship at the Gorišek Brothers Flying Hill was postponed to December and, for the first time, took place under floodlights. The championship was notable for the exceptionally calm atmosphere in the Valley under Ponce. German Karl Geiger won gold, followed by Norwegian Halvor Egner Granerud and fellow German Markus Eisenbichler. Norway took the team title, with Germany and Poland completing the podium.

Planica will become the first venue in history to host its eighth World Championship in ski flying, with hopes that female ski jumpers will compete for medals for the first time. The President of the Slovenian Ski Association, Enzo Smrekar, stated during the official announcement: “I would like to thank all members of the commission and President Johan Eliasch. We are always proud to host the World Championships in ski flying in Planica. We look forward to welcoming you all and cheering together under Ponce.”

Tomaž Šušteršič, President of OC Planica, expressed his satisfaction following the announcement in Iceland: "We are, of course, delighted that Planica has been officially announced as the host of the Ski Flying World Championship in 2028. Our candidacy focused on two significant aspects we anticipate. The first is the announced rule changes that will allow the enlargement of ski flying hills, enabling longer ski flights. The second is our desire for Planica to, for the first time, combine both men's and women's ski flying at one championship. This would demonstrate that women in ski flying have become equal to men and deserve to compete on the world's largest hills."

Before the 2028 championship in Planica, the next World Championship in ski flying will be hosted by Oberstdorf in 2026 for the seventh time. Following that will be Kulm, with six championships, Vikersund, which has hosted five times, and Czech Harrachov, which has hosted four times. Therefore, Planica will host the 30th World Championship in ski flying in March 2028.

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