The Slovenia Times

Tina Maze Gets Hero's Welcome in Home Village


A glowing Maze, whose two gold medals catapulted her to second on the list of all-time Slovenian Olympic medallists, said she was beside herself to see such a turnout, including that of silver medallist from the 1984 Sarajevo Games Franko and her first coach.

The reception in Črna na Koroškem, which symbolically renamed itself to "Zlata na Koroškem" (literal translation: Gold in Koroško) to honour Maze, also attracted many ski fans from around the country whose presence nearly doubled the population count in the village.

President Borut Pahor, who was invited but excused himself so as not to steal any attention from Maze, sent a message in which he joked that the village now owns more gold than the central bank.

Asked about what was more emotional, winning the medals or being treated to a hero's welcome upon returning home, Maze said that her emotions ran highest just before a competition. "But the most special feeling was during the medal ceremony, when I caught sight of my mother and father as I stepped on the highest podium spot," said Maze.

Two days after announcing that she was retiring from Olympic competitions, the 30-year-old Maze repeated that an Olympic comeback in four years time was not an option.

The main goal, she said, was to successfully finish the current World Cup season. "I have a fairly large deficit, but the door has not been closed yet and I intend to fight to the last race," said Maze, who currently stands fifth in the overall World Cup standings and trails the leader, Maria Höfl-Riesch of Germany, by over 300 points.

The celebration in Črna na Koroškem was one of two receptions held for Olympic medallists today in Slovenia, as the town of Tržič also organised festivities to welcome home snowboarder Žan Košir, a winner of silver and bronze medals in Sochi.


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