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Bansko ski season officially underway

Date: 01.12.2008

Ski stars, including Olympic champions Hanni Wenzel and Gustavo Thoeni as well as legends such as Andreas Wenzel and Marc Girardelli gave the official start of the ski season in Bulgaria's winter resort of Bansko on Saturday.

They all made demonstration ski runs on the Alberto Tomba slope, accompanied by ski students and competitors from the "Yulen" ski club in the town.

After the demonstration, the ski legends gave a special press conference and praised the conditions and the hospitality of the Bulgarian winter resort. Andreas Wenzel compared Bansko to the best Alpine resorts.

Famous Norwegian polar explorer Borge Ouslan, who is in Bansko to present his film at the eight mountain movie festival held from November 27 to the 30th, stated that he was pleasantly surprised by Bansko's beautiful nature and promised to tell people in Norway about Bulgaria's pictorial sites.

Gustavo Thoeni is also a guest of the film festival.

The Bansko Mayor Alexander Kravarov bestowed the ski legends with the municipality's badge of honor.

Many pop stars and Bulgarian Music Idol finalists took part in the concert marking the season's opening.

On Sunday morning the stars lead a workshop titled "World Ski Cup - benefits for the resort".

This year, the Bansko ski season began a month earlier then usual. The mayor explained that the idea behind the early start has been to include more Holidays and events in order to attract more visitors.

Kravarov further pointed out that despite the global financial crisis, he did not expect the number of tourists to go down and predicted an increase due to the most significant event of the season - The Women World Ski Cup in Alpine Skiing.

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