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Georgia

   


History
As recent discoveries show, the first settlements on Georgian territory occurred 1 million 750 thousand years ago. Thus, it could be argued that the Homo sapiens originated on Georgian territory too.

According to the ancient tradition, discovery of iron which brought about change of the Bronze Era into the Iron Era is related to a Georgian tribe the Khalibes. Georgia is one of the oldest states as well. On the verge of the millennia, Georgia widely celebrated the 3000th anniversary of its statehood.

Georgia is known as one of the homelands to wine making. The culture of winemaking has been a familiar occupation here for centuries. Out of 2000 species of grapes known to the world so far, more than 500 are Georgian and they still grow in Georgia. In addition to that, there are more than 700 endemic brands of wheat widespread in Georgia which indicates that Georgia is an old agricultural country. This is why the ancient Greeks gave the name of Georgians (the people engaged in agriculture) to the Kartvelians and the name of the country became Georgia. Later on, the Christian tradition tied this name to the cult of Saint George, one of the patron Saints of the country; much later, the name given by the Greeks turned for the English speaking community into the modern name Georgia and today it often happens that this country is often called Caucasian Georgia to make a difference with the state of Georgia in the USA.

Borjomi, the oldest resort town in the Caucasus and its suburb Bakuriani, which lies in the river bed of an extinct volcano, is a place that is rich in cultural heritage. The region is also known for its excellent mineral water and a climate favourable for winter sports. The first ski centre was opened in 1932 and in the period of Soviet Union governance became a training centre for athletes preparing for important international competitions. Today, the whole region of Borjomi is being revitalized, slopes and sports facilities are being rebuilt and modernized and Borjomi is becoming a centre of (winter) sports and tourism again.

In antiquity, in the golden cultural era of the Caucasus region, sports and sporting events were an integral part of socio-cultural life in Georgia. Sport was regarded as a philosophy, and according to historic documents people of this region took part in the Delphic, Olympic and Isthmian Games. Wars and conflicts in the ancient world were stopped during these days of international competition and cultural exchange; the peace and harmony that prevailed during the Games and the spirit of the Olympic Movement were alive in Georgia many centuries ago.

In the Georgian village of Tskhratskharo close to Borjomi, a large sporting event similar to the Greek Olympic Games used to be held every four years during the first three centuries AD These Borjomi Games or Borjomiads played an important role in Georgian sports history. Both men and women participated in different sports competitions



The neighborhood of Bakuriani (the suburb of Borjomi) is covered by centuries old fir and pine forests (mostly by fir trees). Here is an alpine botanical garden which was founded in 1910. The snow surface usually reaches 64 cm and the snow lasts from the beginning of December to the end of March. This is the best place for treating various deceases. An important feature of Bakuriani is a great number of sunny days; the length of sunshine amounts to annual 2025 hours. In Soviet times Bakuriani was identified as an important mountain skiing center and hence, the first venue for skiing was opened there in 1932. The cable roads are installed on the Kokhta Gora Mountain (1.3 km) and the Tskratskharo crossing (3.5 km); the skiing tramplings were also built and the new routes for alpine skiing, as well as the new cable roads are already in construction here. Numerous international competitions in different kinds of winter sports have taken place in Bakuriani.

 

At present, the population of Bakuriani as well as of the whole Borjomi region is inspired by the idea of holding the Olympiad 2014 in Georgia. They are firmly convinced that the Olympic Games will turn Borjomi and the whole region into an important center for winter sports in Eurasia.