The Slovenia Times

Torch to spread Olympic spirit around the country

Lendava Mayor Janez Magyar, Slovenian Olympic Committee president Franjo Bobinac and Olympian Jani Klemenčič pictured with children as the Slovenian torch starts its journey around the country. Photo: Vida Toš/STA

A day after the flame for the 2024 Paris Olympics was lit in Olympia, Slovenians have sent their own torch to tour the country with the nation's first Olympic medallist making the first leg.

The Slovenian torch started its journey in Lendava, northeast, near the tri-border with Hungary and Croatia on 17 April.

In the next three months it will visit all Slovenian municipalities as well as Slovenian communities in neighbouring countries. It will be carried by some 10,000 torch-bearers.

It will travel some 8,000 kilometres before finishing its journey on 13 July in Mojstrana in the northwest, near the tri-border with Austria and Italy.

Rower Jani Klemenčič, the first Slovenian to win an Olympic medal in 1992 and ambassador of the Slovenian torch project, said he was honoured to begin the torch's journey.

It is important that the torch also visits small towns to show them they are not forgotten and that everyone can dream their dreams, he said at the ceremony.

Franjo Bobinac, the head of the Slovenian Olympic Committee, noted that Slovenia is a sporting nation. "We have so many success stories in sport that even the biggest countries envy us," he said.

He expressed hope that the Olympic spirit would bring peace to those that need it most at least during the upcoming Olympic Games.

This is the second time the torch is travelling around Slovenia. Made of recycled steel and Slovenian beechwood, the torch, weighing nearly 2kg, was created ahead of the Tokyo Games in 2021, when it travelled more than 7,000 km in the hands of more than 9,000 torch-bearers.

After completing its journey, the torch will be taken to the Slovenian Olympic House in Paris, which will serve as a venue for the promotion of Slovenian businesses, culture and cuisine.


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