Kvarner newsletter / no 14

Jakov Fak – the world's bronze biathlete

Mrkopalj, an increasingly popular holiday resort in Gorski kotar, now has its own biathlon bronze medallist. Jakov Fak from Mrkopalj won bronze medal in the 20-km race at the World Championship in South Korea and became the first Croatian medallist in a Nordic skiing discipline. This event helped raise public interest in the biathlon, but also in the great opportunities for sports and recreation offered by the Mrkopalj area.

I too was very surprised when I won the bronze medal on the World Championship. I couldn't possibly imagine that my dream of a lifetime would come true so quickly – these are the words of Jakov Fak after winning bronze medal at the World Championship.

Jakov Fak undoubtedly showed that despite difficult times, even the most daring dreams can come true if one tries hard enough.
Jakov Fak comes from Mrkopalj, a place in the central part of Gorski kotar located beneath the massif of Velika Kapela. This region, together with the surrounding mountains of Bjelolasica, Bitoraj, the rocks of Bijele and Samarske stijenke (strict nature reserve), has ideal prerequisites for both summer and winter tourism. The area offers excellent skiing opportunities and hosts the Zagmajna Croatian Biathlon Centre, which played an important role in popularising this sport (a combination of Nordic skiing and shooting).

The Mrkopalj area is interesting throughout the year. Visitors to the area can find here accommodation in the Hotel Jastreb in Begovo Razdolje or in private rooms and apartments, excellent gastronomic offer, and beautiful nature, which makes this area ideal for excursions and longer stays. In addition, there are excellent traffic connections: Mrkopalj is only one hour and 15 minutes' drive from Zagreb, or approximately forty minutes from Rijeka.