Kvarner newsletter / no 26

Mrkopalj
Jakov Fak wins bronze!

Mrkopalj is celebrating! Apart from being noted for its idyllic natural landscape, this area of Gorski kotar now boasts an additional attraction: a bronze medal from the Winter Olympics. The winner of this medal is the young Croatian biathlete Jakov Fak, who took third place in Vancouver in the 10-km cross-country race

Jakov Fak attracted public attention one year ago by winning bronze medal in the 20-kilometre individual race at the World Biathlon Championship. Following this extraordinary success, Fak was chosen to carry the Croatian flag at the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 opening ceremony. And he justified this confidence with yet another success: the first ever Croatian medal in Nordic skiing at the Winter Olympics. It is therefore no wonder that the people of Mrkopalj gave him such a warm welcome home after returning from Vancouver. Mrkopalj is now a key place when talking about winter sports – especially biathlon.

Mrkopalj is located in the central part of Gorski kotar, Kvarner's wooded hinterland. Surrounded by the mountains of Bjelolasica and Bitoraj, and the rocks of Bijele stijene and Samarske stijene, this area is ideal for winter tourism.

Jakov Fak's bronze medal will probably speed up the completion of the Zagmajna Croatian Biathlon Centre in Mrkopalj. The facility is already suitable for training, but it is still far from what it should be according to the idea of its designers – the national biathlon centre. It should be however pointed out that Jakov Fak's success partly came from training on the nearby Delnice – Drgomalj biathlon venue. Therefore, there is no doubt that from now on, many people will visit Gorski kotar – especially Mrkopalj and Delnice – inspired by biathlon. Who knows – after the Vancouver Winter Olympics, such a visit could be called "in the footsteps of the Croatian biathlon Olympian"…

But even without biathlon and winter sports, this area is extraordinarily beautiful and attractive for visiting at any time of the year. Thanks to the beautiful landscape and a variety of recreational facilities, you can rest assured that here you will always find good relaxation.