The Slovenia Times

Olympic Skier Franko Honoured by Japan


Franko, who became the first Slovenian with an Olympic medal when he finished second in the men's giant slalom at the 1984 games in Sarajevo, said he was very flattered and honoured as he received the recognition on Friday.

"This recognition means a lot to me. I would not be able to get it without numerous friends in Japan and Slovenia, who helped me in my work in Japan between 1986 and 2005 in strengthening the links between Slovenia and Japan in sport, culture and economy," he said at the ceremony at the Japanese embassy in Ljubljana.

The 52-year-old Franko finished his skiing career after the 1984/85 season at the age of 32 because of hip problems. He was selected the Yugoslav athlete of the year in 1984 and is also a recipient of the Bloudek Award, Slovenia's top honour in sports.

A native of Nova Gorica, Franko spent most of the past 30 years of his life abroad, working as a skiing coach and also running business ventures in Japan and the US. He currently lives in Slovenia.


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