The Slovenia Times

Skiing: Maze Coach Hired to Help with National Team


Andrea Massi, 48, was hired by the SZS as a consultant who will advise Alpine skiing teams, the ski body announced following a meeting of its Alpine committee in Ljubljana on Monday.

The appointment comes less than a week after 32-year-old Maze announced she was taking a year off competition to decide on her future.

The SZS hopes the Italian will be able to share his extensive know-how to help revive Slovenia's ski team, which outside of Maze has lacked notable achievements in the past two years.

Under Massi, Maze developed into the most dominant skier on the women's circuit, winning the overall World Cup standings with a record point total in 2012/2013 and grabbing more than ten medals at major competitions (World Championships and Olympic Games), including two Olympic golds in Sochi last year.

All that was achieved as part of a small team that operated independently of the SZS.

Media had been rife with speculation since the end of the ski season in March about Massi joining the Slovenian team. Attending today's meeting, the coach said he first wanted Maze to decide on next season before he could decide on working with the SZS.

While warning against exaggerated hopes stemming from his cooperation with the Slovenia ski team, Massi promised to share his knowledge and help develop talent.

"My experience will stay in your country and will not be shared with other teams. But I also intend to help Tina, as she will continue to work on her conditioning and skiing during her sabbatical. It would be too traumatic for her to completely give up skiing."

Travelling to Austria's Mölltal in recent days to inspect training sessions by the Slovenian team, Massi said: "I got an opportunity to gauge the state of skiing in the past 48 hours...I saw some skiers who can ski and some who can't. From what I saw it is of course impossible to say if there is a Messi on snow in the waiting."

For him, the biggest problem appears to be a lack of cooperation between the national team and clubs. "Everyone seems to be holding the cards to themselves. Only with cooperation will we be able to get the results which Slovenian skiing was known for in the 1980s and onwards.

"My goal is to get all the heads together and not to act as some kind of a know-it-all God."


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