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
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.