Ski Jumping season kicks off in Wisla (POL)

For the world's best ski jumpers the winter season starts this weekend in Wisla (POL).

Here are the all the facts at a glance:

All the facts and figures about last year's winners and statistics about the World Cup opening can be found here >>

The venue:

Traditional winter sports resort in the Beskidy mountains. A two-hour drive west of Krakow. Situated on the river of the same name, which rises ten kilometers north-east of the city. The Ski Jumping stadium is sold out for weeks, the interest of the media is huge. The organizers secured their spot in the calendar with the installation of a modern ice-track and a snow guarantee already mid-November. In addition, they convince with sold-out stands and a new, super fast (glass fiber) internet connection in the whole area at the hill. The Poles are setting standards.

The favorites

We already took a closer look at the favorites earlier this week; read the report here >>.

Not competing

Due to injuries, three of the top athletes will not be able to compete in the season opener. While the start of the season is just shortly delayed for Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria due to a slight injury, the season is already over for Severin Freund of Germany and Norway's Kenneth Gangnes, who both suffered ACL tears.

The highlights

We already took a closer look at the highlights earlier this week; read the report here >>.

The innovations

After a successful test period during this summer's FIS Grand Prix, there will be no pre-qualified athletes anymore. Every competitor has to finish in the Top 50 of the qualification in order to start in the competition. If one fails to make the cut of the Top 50, he will not be able to compete. So far the Top 10 of the current overall World Cup standing were pre-qualified and so top athletes often decided to skip the qualification.

In short: In order to start in the competition, the athlete has to finish in the Top 50 of the qualification for the particular event.