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The History of the Olympic Sports Center Zakopane


COS Olympic Preparation Centre in Zakopane takes advantage of unique situation of the facilities and exceptional geographical and historical factors. Both the situation of the Centre and a land development plan of Zakopane from the twenties of the 20th century, appoints the Central Sport Centre to the role of the continuator of conception of Sport Park from 1923. The Sport Park came into existence as a result of obtaining a status of health-resort by Zakopane. Every health-resort in Poland was obliged to work out the so called regulatory plan, consisting in organizing spatial politics of the city and to outline non-built-up area intended for recreation and sport. Engineer, The Area from Kuźnice, through Bogówka all the way to the Great Krokiew was involved in 1923 in new development project, by engineer Karol Stryjenski, as the tourist and Sport Park which was included to the regulatory plan of Zakopane. Following objects were included in the project: sport fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, amphitheatre, hockey ice rink and ski jump. For the realization of those plans a „Sport Park” partnership was appointed and the realization of those investments began.


“Sport Park” partnership was established in Zakopane, and activists of currently the oldest ski club in Poland, SN PTT-1907, were the initiative group. Among them were: Karol Stryjenski, Władysław Ziętkiewicz, Józef Oppenheim, Ignacy Bujak, Kazimierz Schiele. One of its managers was the architect, Karol Stryjenski – the author of the regulation plan of Zakopane – from the Ministry of Public Works.  In this area – next to the existing bobsleigh run and rinks – the first ski jump in Jaworzynka came into existence. The following object, which was built by the partnership, was the Great Krokiew, built still in the 1926. Many of investments designed by the “Sport Park” have remained up to this day and are one of the main parts of the Central Sport Centre Complex in Zakopane.


 Activity of the institution, from which the Central Sport Centre comes from, has its beginnings in the first months of 1947. The Sport Training Centre was established then, at “Doll” villa in Zakopane on Chałubinski St. The Centre trained the skiers only, and was managed by Julian Zubek.


In 1949, the „Sport Training Centre” was appointed by the Main Committee on Physical Culture. The Centre was situated in Zakopane, at rented boarding house – „Imperial” on Oswald Balzer St. and it was directly responsible to the Sport Department. From the beginning of 1955 till the end of 1969 the Centre was responsible to the National Company of Sport Events, which later had its name changed to Company of Sport Events.

By order of the Chairman of the Main Committee on Physical Culture and Tourism no. 84 from 2nd of December 1969 the Centre had its name changed with the day of 1st January 1970 to „Central Sport, Tourism and Recreation Centre”, broadening at the same time acting field by tourism and recreation. Under the name CSTaRC the Centre acted till the 30th of April 1975, when by order no. 28 of the Chairman of GKKFiT, the name of the Centre was changed to “Central Sport Centre”. Simultaneously, tourism was introduced as an element of Centre’s activity.

The first manager of the CSC in Zakopane was Roman Wagner, and then – since 1953 – its manager was Jerzy Ustupski, under whose direction a fundamental development of the Centre occurred. In 1949, the Centre had no sport objects, merely tennis courts located behind the “Imperial” Sport boarding house. In 1954, so called upper football pitch was built along with athletics running track, which was converted into speed skating rink.


In 1955, a slalom ski slope at Nosal was commissioned. Only in 1967, a general contractor – MOSTOSTAL – built a cableway, and on the slope modernization works were executed. In May 1958, the construction of “Zakopane” Sport boarding house began, which was finished before World Championships FIS, which is in December 1961. A sport hall was commissioned by the end of 1962. In that period, general reconstruction of the ski jump at Wielka Krokiew took place, along with construction of the cableway, stands, referees tower and pavilion. This investment was executed according to the design of the Cracow Design Office of Industrial Architecture, with significant work contribution of the architect Stanisław Karpiel.

In February 1962, World Ski Championships in Zakopane took place. Since that year, a comprehensive construction of sport objects, at sport field complex, begins, according to the design of the crew of architects appointed at Cracow University of Technology. In 1967, lower sport field with athletic running track, asphalt sport field, pavilion with weightlifting gym, naturally frozen speed skating rink and a web of roads and paths were commissioned.

Before the first Friendly Armies Competition in 1961 and World Championships in 1962, in the area of Toporowa Cyrhla the ski running routes of 2x5km were outlined, which were modernized twice, in 1970 and 1978 with the help of army. The army came to help also during the works related with adaptation of ski runs of Kasprowy Wierch in 1970 and 1978, and during reconstruction of the Great Krokiew in 1978 – 1979.

Afforestation of idle land belonging to TPN (with the area of about 2 hectares) was an important and valuable architectural and natural element. Since 1966 until the end of 1969, i.e. to the moment of appointing the Central Sport, Tourism and Recreation Centre, The Olympic Preparation Centre, managed by Marian Woyna Orlewicz, acted at National Company of Sport Events (later CoSP). In 1971, judo hall was commissioned. In 1973, there set about modernization of Middle Krokiew. In 1974, there set about building the „Imperial” Sport boarding house, which ended in 1980.

In November 12th, 1974 – on the strength of the agreement between National Tatra Park and CSTaRC – the Centre took over ski runs in the area of Kasprowy Wierch for winter exploitation, along with the conservation and summer and winter adaptation, including the net of pistes in that area and ski routes in Chochołowska Valley. That agreement imposes serious obligations of ensuring safe use of those objects on the Centre, both by professional sport and mass skiing. Established obligation arisen due to the agreement involved the necessity of ski routes modernization (serious levelling), for their preparation purposes for mechanical maintenance with use of special machinery. By separate agreement between PTaSS and CSTaRC, the Centre took over the winter conservation of ski routes on Gubałówka. Built in 1974, drag lifts on Kotelnica and Galicowa Grapa, were in 1975 made over for the benefit of Zakopane.

In 1978, a construction of indoor pool with two swimming pools and section of biological regeneration and hydrotherapy began. The pool was modernized in 1984 as well as in the last years.

In 1979, a construction of 2.5 km grass ski run was finished. A year later wrestling gym was commissioned. In 1979, a ski jump profile at the Great Krokiew was rebuilt. (In 1978, a profile reconstruction of the Great Krokiew ski jump began. It was finished in 1983).

By reason of granting Zakopane the right to organize competitions in the framework of World Cup and later Grand Prix in ski jumping, CSC Zakopane began phased, thorough modernization of the Great Krokiew. In 2001, a new referees tower was built, in 2003 whole ski jump lighting was installed and a new starting platform was constructed. In 2004, ski matting was laid and partially ground stands were renovated. Later, a coaching platform was modernized and locker rooms for sport teams were built. An undertaking that was carried out is commission of the pavilion at the Great Krokiew as well as modern chairlift, which not only lifts the ski jumpers, but also the tourists. In January 2013, a completely modernized sport boarding house “Zakopane” was commissioned.