New Mascot of IBU WCH 2021 Pokljuka

For more than 20 years, Pokljuka has been hosting the top biathletes of the world at international top-level competitions: world championships. Pokljuka lies in the heart of nature; from the very beginnings, its connection with nature and the idea of coexistence with nature has been symbolized by the chamois, the mascot of the Pokljuka competitions. As the upcoming IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 Pokljuka represent the biggest winter sporting event in Slovenia so far, the organizer, the Pokljuka Organizing Committee, has decided to use this occasion to present the new mascot – the Pixie of Pokljuka. The Pixie of Pokljuka, who is friends with the chamois, is the hero of a story that conveys to young generations the importance of protecting nature, of movement, and of practising sports.

Jurček, the Pixie of Pokljuka, is the hero of a new, very special picture book entitled The Treasure of the Pixies of Pokljuka. The picture book The Treasure of the Pixies of Pokljuka was created in anticipation of the extraordinary sporting event which will be hosted by Pokljuka in February 2021: the aforementioned IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 Pokljuka. The story about the pixies of Pokljuka was inspired not only by the prospect of a new sporting fairy tale, but also by the fairy-tale landscape and the rich natural and cultural heritage of Pokljuka.

The picture book is the work of two first-class Slovenian creators, the young adult writer Žiga X Gombač, and the illustrator Gorazd Vahen. The Treasure of the Pixies of Pokljuka tells the story of how the pixies broke a spell that was destroying nature by working in harmony. It encourages us to protect nature and to explore its secrets, including the fairy-tale world of the pixies of Pokljuka, who are the guardians of the treasure of Pokljuka and eager gymnasts.

“Every true pixie loves pixie-cise. We train by running through underground passages; we do squats and somersaults; we climb down ropes into caves and then climb back up. In winter, we put on skis, run along forest trails, and descend down mountain slopes.” (an excerpt from the picture book)

Žiga X Gombač, writer: “The pixies of Pokljuka are very special pixies. They are mischievous, wise, protective of nature, and very, very enthusiastic about pixie-cise. I am glad that they let me spend time with them, that they confided their story to me, and allowed me to share it with you.”

Gorazd Vahen, illustrator: “It was nice to take a peek at the hidden world of mountain pixies. I hope that this picture book will help you to better understand Pokljuka and its secrets.”

The picture book is the result of collaboration between the Sports Centre Triglav Pokljuka, the Pokljuka Organizing Committee for the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 Pokljuka and the Škrateljc institute. The Škrateljc institute creates stories that connect fantasy worlds with nature, culture and sport.

Thus, the picture book will introduce a new mascot to Pokljuka Jurček, the Pixie of Pokljuka, who will promote the excellence and cosmopolitanism of biathlon. In February, when keeping our fingers crossed for our biathletes, we must not forget that the pixies of Pokljuka are cheering for them, too. The next time your path takes you to Pokljuka, explore its hidden corners. Who knows, maybe the pixies of Pokljuka will still be up there, doing their pixie-cise!