The story behind the opening spectacle

21. 02. 2023

The story behind the opening spectacle

The slogan of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Planica 2023 "Welcome Home, Welcome to Planica" suggests from the very beginning that the organisers will present the best that Slovenia has to offer to the participants, visitors, and spectators of the World Championships Planica 2023. This is also reflected in the opening of the 43rd FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Planica 2023, which symbolically starts at 20:23.

All events promoting Planica 2023 started at this time, as will the medal ceremonies on the Medal Plaza (list at the end of the text).

The organisers have invited internationally renowned Slovenian music artists to participate in today's opening ceremony.

On the stage we see the backdrop of Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia, that Slovenians consider as a very powerful symbol of unity. It has three peaks and through dramaturgy and music we will get to know the "tenderness, strength and unity" of the Slovenian nation. Triglav will therefore open three times. The first to take the stage will be the zither player Irena Anžič, with her tenderness and whiteness, while Boris Benko (Laibach) will enrich the song with his elegant vocals, entering the stage from the right side under the glare of the spotlight. Secondly, when the doors open, Milan Fras (Laibach - lead singer) comes "out of Triglav", representing power. Attention then turns to Severa Gjurin. The big surprise comes at the end of the first music and art spectacle, when Tomi Meglič (Siddharta), who embodies folkness, takes the stage third. The adaptation of "O, Triglav, moj dom" ends symbolically with all the performers gathering around Tomi and demonstrate the different faces of the Slovenian nation. At the end all three singers - the main performers - come together, symbolising the three heads of Triglav and the essence of Slovenia, tenderness, strength, folkness. Musical performers who are still present on stage are the brass players of RTV Slovenia and the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir.

The musical and artistic part of the Saša Avsenika Ensemble starts with a ballet performed by the ballet ensemble of the SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana. The ballet represents tradition, although not in Slovenia, and then, with the performance of the children's choir, it flows into a display of Slovenian tradition, the performance of the folklore group Emona. The main theme is a piece of Slovenian folk music, Na Golici (On the Golice), and it ends, of course, with a song familiar to every visitor to the most beautiful valley in the world, “Planica, Planica”.

The 27-minute ceremonial performance is accompanied by the dancers of Miha Krušič, who escort the flag- bearers of the 66 countries participating in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Planica 2023 onto the stage by waving the flags of Planica. As a curiosity - it is a very intense flag-waving, so the dancers have two, two- minute, pauses.

Miha Krušič, the director of the opening ceremony, brought together the most interesting, insightful, and internationally renowned performers on stage to demonstrate how generations come together. On the one hand, the founders of the retro avant-garde art movement, Laibach, whose style is completely different from the tradition of the Saša Avsenika Ensemble, and the link between them is the world-famous producer of electronic music and DJ, DJ Umek, who is close to the hearts of all young people.

The hardest thing about the opening ceremony? To perform the entire programme with the dancers, who are on stage for 47 out of the 112 minutes. This spectacular event is the result of two months of intensive preparation. All the performers have responded very positively and happily to the organiser's invitation because Planica is and will always be in the DNA of Slovenians.


Medal Ceremonies will take place at the Medal Plaza in Kranjska Gora. The Medal Plaza is about 9 km or a 10-minute drive away from the Planica Nordic Centre and is located in Kranjska Gora, next to the Kompas Hotel. The Planica Medal plaza will be completely dedicated to entertain the spectators during the championships. With six highlights Ceremony Nights there will be a daily program with music and cultural events.

Schedule of medal ceremonies

24 World Champions will be crowned at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championship Planica 2023. A total of 12 sets of medals will be awarded in cross-country skiing, seven in ski jumping and five in Nordic combined. The medal ceremonies for the top three will take place on the main stage, in the Medal Plaza in Kranjska Gora, each ceremony will start at symbolic time of 20:23.

The awards presentations will be carried out in the spirit of sustainability and winning sportsmanship.

The first five sets of medals will be presented to their new owners on Friday 24 February. The last three will be distributed at the Planica Cross-Country Stadium, after the last race of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championship PLanica 2023.

As an interesting fact, the top three winners will receive a sustainable product, a young spruce seedling, instead of the traditional bouquet of flowers. The product is fully sustainable and recyclable, as the pot in which the plant grows is also bio-degradable.
The Organiser will take an extra step towards preserving nature by planting a spruce sapling in the Winners' Park in Mojstrana on behalf of the 24 winner of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Planica 2023. Winning sustainability for a better world.

Medal Ceremonies are foreseen at 20:23 local time:

  • Friday, February 24, 2022 (CC, Sprint C, Women, Men / CC Skiathlon, Men / SJ, HS100 Women / NC, Individual Gund. HS100/5 km, Women)

  • Saturday, February 25, 2022 (CC, Skiathlon, Women / SJ, Team HS102, Women / NC, Individial Gund. HS100/10 km, Men)

  • Sunday, February 26, 2022 (SJ, HS100, Men / CC Team Sprint, Women, Men / NC, Mixed Team HS100/4x5 km / SJ, Mixed team HS100

  • Wednesday, March 1, 2022 (CC, 10 km F, Women / CC, 15 km F, Men / NC, Team HS138/4,5 km, Men / SJ, HS138, Women)

  • Friday, March 3, 2022 (CC, Relay, Women, Men)

  • Saturday, March 4, 2022 (SJ, HS138, Men / CC, 30 km C, Women / NC,

    Individual Gund. HS138/10 km, Men / SJ, Team HS138, Men)

The Closing Ceremony will be held on 5. 3. 2023 in the Cross-Country venue – start of the ceremony after the final competition.

Welcome home, welcome to Planica.