The Slovenia Times

Discus thrower and ski jumpers declared best athletes of 2022

Winners of the athlete of the year award.
Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

World champion discus thrower Kristijan Čeh, double Olympic gold medal winner in ski jumps Urša Bogataj, and the mixed ski-jumping team, which likewise won gold in Beijing, have been declared Slovenia's athletes of the year for 2022.

Given out by the Association of Slovenian Sports Journalists based on votes by journalists, the awards honour the best sports achievements of the year.

Discus thrower Čeh received the recognition after winning gold at the World Athletics Championship and the Diamond League, having received more votes than runners-up, cyclist Tadej Pogačar and skier Žan Kranjec.

"There were not many bad days, and even coming in second at the European Championship was not that bad," Čeh said as he received the accolade.

Bogataj won gold in the individual and mixed events at the Beijing Winter Olympics and placed third in the overall World Cup standings. She beat climber Janja Garnbret, and fellow ski jumper Nika Križnar, for the top athlete title.

Despite coming ahead of her teammate Križnar, Bogataj stressed how close the two athletes are. "Nika and I support each other even when we have a bad day. We somehow click," she said.

Križnar and Bogataj, together with fellow ski jumpers Peter Prevc and Timi Zajc, were also named the best sports team.

"Thank you for the award ... I was in a bad mood seven times so that I was in a very good mood once," said Prevc, who had a mixed last season and has struggled to return to his old champion glory.

The award ceremony also saw awards given out for the up-and-coming athlete and fair play. The former went to golfer Pia Babnik and the latter to biathletes Polona Klemenčič and Ula Hafner.

The Athlete of the Year award has been conferred for almost 50 years in cooperation with the Slovenian Olympic Committee and public broadcaster RTV Slovenija.


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