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Norway ski jumping team needs air lift to Planica to beat traffic

Planica, 18 March - Thousands of people heading to Planica to watch Slovenia's World Cup champion compete at a home meet in perfect weather on a Friday afternoon is a recipe for massive gridlock on the roads. The Norwegian ski jumping team got a taste of this first hand, when they needed help from a helicopter to get to the venue in time.

Planica
Slovenian champion Peter Prevc flies on the Planica giant hill with the crowd below.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

Using the free time in the morning for an impromptu excursion, the Norwegians found themselves facing a tailback of around 20 kilometres on their route back to the Planica ski jumping facility, according to a report.

With traffic moving at a snail's pace as thousands of fans jammed the local road to get to Planica, the Norwegians needed the help of a helicopter to make it back in time for today's individual meet, the tabloid Slovenske novice reports on its website.

The Norwegian team had left their camp in Planica for an excursion to the town of Jesenice to visit a local cemetery where they paid respects to Slovenian ski jumping legend Ludvik Zajc. Zajc coached Norway from 1998 to 2002.

Faced with the blocked local road, representatives of the team called the Planica organisers, who arranged helicopter transport back to the site, the paper reports.

The experience was also a chance for the Norwegians to get a glimpse of the picturesque valley - and to to get a shot of the massive tailback on the road.

Team director Arne Abraten posted a video of the flight on social media showing a long line of cars crawling along on the road to the hallowed valley which hosts the World Cup finale every year.

"A quick visit to the grave of Ludvik Zajc wasn't the best idea given the traffic," Abraten wrote.

gj/sm
© STA, 2016