On Friday 20th March, the steepest and highest located slope in Slovakia – Lomnické sedlo witnessed the official speed skiing record of 160.79 kph, which was made on 2.17 metre-long downhill skis. The multiple champion of the Downhill in the First Lane and Redbull Home Run races, which were held in Tatranská Lomnica and Jasná in previous years, was enjoying his steep “shooting down” on skis to the fullest: “I like the adrenaline and the feeling that I can enjoy the speed as much as possible. The higher is the extreme, the more I push and overcome the limits. And maybe one day, I will get above 200 kph. The slope was perfect and the conditions better than ideal,“ said Michal Bekeš.
He went on saying that he had been preparing himself for the record since last summer with special fitness training. “I have been doing the speed skiing since 2009. I was motivated by my friends from Poland, where this sport is one of official disciplines. Extreme skiing downhill requires excellent skiing skills. However, it is as safe as alpine skiing. The risk of injuries is low if the course is flat, without bumps or unevenness. Lomnické sedlo offers great conditions and parameters. There is only natural snow, it has a vertical drop of 439 metres, an average inclination of 47% and one can ski there even in early May,“ added Bekeš.
Speed skiing is an official sports discipline approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Speed downhill from steep slopes has two basic categories: S-1 (speed one) – top category with special aerodynamic equipment; and SDH (speed downhill) – with standard ski equipment. The current SDH world record is on 210.770 kph. World Cup races are organised every year and World Speed Skiing Championships are held every two years. Besides these, there are various competitions and attempts to break world speed records. Simone Origone from Italy holds the S-1 Speed skiing world record with 252.454 kph (March 2014).
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. (TMR) is a top subject in the field of tourism in Central and Eastern Europe, which owns and operates attractive ski resorts and hotels. These include the resort Jasná Low Tatras and the following hotels in the Low Tatras: Wellness hotel Grand Jasná, Boutique Hotel Tri studničky, Chalets Jasná De Luxe, Mountain Hotel Srdiečko and Rotunda Hotel. TMR also owns Aquapark Tatralandia, the largest Slovak water park with all-year operation, which offers a lot of water and other entertainment, a Tropical Paradise – a special tropical hall with sea water, a Fun Park and accommodation in bungalows and suites of Holiday Village Tatralandia. In the High Tatras, TMR owns and operates resorts of Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec and cooperates the resort of Štrbské Pleso. It also owns the following hotels: Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica, Grandhotel Starý Smokovec and Hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso. TMR owns 19% of the Melida, a.s. company, which leases and operates the mountain resort Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic. In Poland, TMR owns the resort of Szczyrk. The company also owns and rents hotels Slovakia, Kosodrevina, Liptov and Ski&Fun Záhradky and Bungalows. Almost 200 million Euros were invested by the end of 2014 in the above mentioned resorts, to support development and modernisation. The TMR shares are traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague and Warsaw.