End of an era - Hill in Braunlage is dismantled
It's the end of an era - and nobody knows what the future will bring. But one thing is for sure, dismantling the "Wurmbergschanze" in Braunlage will literally leave a hole.
Not only for the WSV Braunlage, the local winter sports club, and the city of Braunlage, that owns the inrun but not the tower of the hill, but also for the sport of ski jumping itself. Braunlage hosted FIS Continental Cup events regularly until 2009 (men) and 2011 (ladies)
When the hill was renovated in June 2014 it became apparent that the tower has to be taken down immediately due to the rusting of load bearing parts. This means that in 2002 the new inrun of the hill was built on a rotten tower. The people in charge around Eckart Friedrich were shocked.
"A new tower shall now be built, but whether the inrun of the hill together with a new certificate for the whole facility will be financed by the community and can be connected to the new tower is not sure yet. The winter sports club Braunlage definitely wants to preserve the hill. The tower is owned by a private individual and the inrun by the city of Braunlage. The "Wurmbergschanze" is a landmark for the whole Harz-region. It is a popular observation point and with a height of 1000 m it is also the highest point in Lower Saxony. We hope that one day we will be able to host a ski jumping event there again", said the president of the winter sports club.
FIS COC coordinator Horst Tielmann has special memories about the "Wurmbergschanze": "I made my own experiences at this hill and it was great to jump there, resp. go there. Back then the close border to the GDR with the armed NPA soldiers was special. The hill was located right in the middle of a ski resort. It was an adventure. Right on top of the "Wurmberg"-mountain and opposite the mighty and legendary Brocken.
We, of the FIS, carried out COC and FIS Cup competitions there. They were very well organized and there was always a huge crowd of 4000 to 6500 people at these events. They came from Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Magdeburg and so on. Getting up to the hill was a big effort, there was a shuttle to the ski resort and then you had to walk for about 45 minutes to an hour."