On February 16-17, the Mountain Resort Development Company at the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Georgian Ski Federation will organize Ski Cross in Bakuriani.
A ski tournament under the aegis of the International Ski Federation (FIS), with eight Georgian skiers scheduled to participate, along with athletes from Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia, and Kazakhstan.
Points earned in Bakuriani will facilitate their participation in various phases of the World Cup.
Importantly, world-class ski run designers and builders from Ski Cross are in Bakuriani to prepare the Didveli Ski Run for the tournament. The fact that the tournament is being held here in itself is Georgia’s significant success. It is a preparatory stage for the 2023 World Skiing and Snowboarding Freestyle Championship in Georgia. As you know, this championship will be held in Georgia in 2023, which will prove a great success and a step forward.
This tournament has yet another significant aspect. As you know, Ski Cross is now included in Winter Olympics, so it is very important that Georgia, as a country bidding to host the 26th Winter Olympic Games in 2030, is hosting an international tournament in Olympic-level sports.
In addition, I would like to comment on the local population’s engagement, commitment, and very positive attitude toward the aerial lift initiative introduced by the Mountain Resort Development Company. As you know, we started installing aerial lifts in different villages so that every child in Georgia’s mountainous areas may not only enjoy our international winter destinations, but also have an opportunity to pursue winter sports in their own villages, without having to go through the trouble of ascending steep slopes on their own and carrying skis. As you know, we have already installed German-manufactured mini aerial lifts in several villages of Svaneti, and we are continuing this initiative. We have very positive feedback from all over Georgia, and I can assure you that we are paying due attention to every comment.
What we can say is that, as early as next year, we will install aerial lifts in Javakheti in Barisakho, Khevsureti, and this process will surely continue. Installing such aerial lifts is quite affordable, and it is not a luxury, unlike installing some international winter destination-level aerial lifts. We are talking about 20-25 thousand euro here for a ski run in a village, which is a great thing for our children.
Every child in our country, with 70 percent of its territories made up by mountains, should be able to enjoy this benefit called the mountain, despite the economic situation of their families, and to engage in winter sports in their own villages. This is why we are continuing this crucially important program.