Olympic medallists Garnbret and Savšek receive presidential decorations

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor has conferred the Golden Order of Merit on two outstanding Slovenian athletes, climber Janja Garnbret and whitewater canoeist Benjamin Savšek, both of whom won gold at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.

The pair were honoured for “outstanding sports achievements, promotion of Slovenia in the global sports arena, and for inspiring people”, Pahor’s office said on Tuesday.

Garnbret reached the apex of her career with gold in the women’s combined sport climbing at the Tokyo Games after winning six world champion titles and becoming the overall World Cup winner four times.

The president’s office labelled her “an unbeatable and undisputable queen of her sport”.

Savšek crowned his career in Tokyo by winning the men’s C-1 slalom, which made him only the fourth canoeist in the world to win Olympic gold as well as the European and world champion titles.

He has won 18 medals at major competitions, winning three European champion titles and one world champion title, and was praised as “one of the greatest Slovenian athletes”.

Both Garnbret and Savšek were also hailed as inspiration for younger generations of athletes.