The Slovenia Times

20 x 10




In Vancouver, Slovene athletes managed 20 top-10 finishes, compared to only eight in Turin four years ago. Klemen Bauer was fourth in biathlon, missing a bronze medal by a mere 3.4 seconds. He was lucky with the weather conditions, though, and he did not lament the missed opportunity too much.

There was a little consolation in the fact that his close friend and training buddy, Jakov Fak of Croatia came third. Fak, who speaks fluent Slovene, is expected to race for Slovenia from next year on, should promises from Croatian ski authorities not be fulfilled. Bauer was also 9th in the pursuit.

In the women's category, Teja Gregorin was among favourites to win a medal. Missing one shot, she finished fifth but didn't take it to heart. "This was one of my best performances. If you start thinking about medals the result can only be worse," she said. She managed another two top tens, finishing 9th in both the pursuit and sprint events.

Ski-jumper Robert Kranjec was also among favourites, but given the fact that he hadn't been in the top three in the World Cup (except ski-flying) this season, his sixth place on the small hill is a reasonable achievement. He was 9th on the large hill, where he complained about poor weather conditions during his first jump. In contrast, his team-mate and the youngest member of the Olympic team, Peter Prevc, 17, was one of the heroes. Against all odds, he finished seventh on the small hill and pulled off reliable jumps throughout the games.

Mitja Valenčič almost became the surprise of the games. Finishing the first slalom run in second place, he had every chance to win a medal. He didn't make any visible mistakes in the second run but was simply too slow and finished sixth. Žan Košir and Rok Flander had been tipped for a medal in snowboarding but lost their quarter finals runs and finished 6th and 8th respectively. Filip Flisar is a rather unknown name outside freestyle ski-cross circles, but made his presence felt with an 8th place.

Aleš Gorza rounded up Slovene top ten finishes after skiing to 10th place in super giant slalom, surprising most observers, fans and probably even himself.


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