The Slovenia Times

Chinese preparing for 2022 Winter Olympics with Slovenian help


The Chinese snowboarding team is being coached by Peter Kotnik, the former head coach of the Slovenian team who still works with Slovenian Žan Košir, a double Olympic medallist in parallel slalom.

"Slovenians are very appreciated in China, and demand for Slovenian experts is high. Work conditions are excellent, and there is no austerity," Kotnik has told the STA.

He noted that the national association will organise summer trainings in New Zealand and winter trainings in Europe in a bid to make the team ready to compete for medals in Beijing five years from now.

The Chinese budget for snowboarding in parallel disciplines stands at EUR 2m, while for instance the Austrian team has a EUR 1m budget and the Slovenian team only has EUR 150,000 at disposal.

Kotnik, who moved to China last year, says that the decision was not easy as he had offers from European teams. "China was a challenge because the work will be long-term," he said, adding that snowboarding was very popular in China, specially freestyle.

Pavli Čebulj, who trains the Alpine skiing team, is meanwhile expected to have a more difficult job than Kotnik as the much desired progress of Chinese skiers is lacking.

"Pavli started from scratch with his skiers, it is thus more difficult for him. He certainly feels more pressure than I do," said Kotnik, who has full support from the president of the national association.

"The president listens to our wishes, and realises a majority of them. He is a real gentleman, a business executive who does not interfere in policy," he added.


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