Over 40 athletes to represent Slovenia in Beijing

Ljubljana – Slovenia will be fielding a total of 41 athletes at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, a group featuring a number of established Olympians as well as some potential dark horses. Based on the season so far, the women’s and men’s ski jumping teams are seen as having the best chance of winning an Olympic medal.

The athletes had been picked out of the 53 candidates by the Slovenian Ski Association, and the decision was then cleared on Tuesday by the executive board of the Slovenian Olympic Committee.

The only remaining open question is the cross-country skiing team, whose eight competitors will be picked after the last races before the Winter Olympics this weekend.

The skiing team is the largest, numbering more than ten skiers, including Ana Bucik, currently the highest-ranking Slovenian in women’s FIS Alpine Ski World Cup overall ratings, and two-time downhill World Champion Ilka Štuhec.

Slovenia boasts successful women’s and men’s ski jumping teams that will be eyeing top places in Beijing. The latter recently won a team event, which augurs well for their Olympics appearance. Being on form, cross-country skier Anamarija Lampič or snowboarder Tim Mastnak might also rise to the challenge and clinch a medal.

This is the smallest Slovenian team at the Winter Olympics since 2006. The total of the athletes has been almost halved compared to the previous Winter Olympics, the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018, which saw the record number of Slovenian athletes, 71.

The Slovenian men’s hockey team competed in 2018 in what was its second Olympic appearance after it participated in the Games for the first time in 2014. This time around, the national hockey side has not made it to the Olympics, which has translated into a smaller team overall.

Four years ago, Slovenia bagged two Olympic medals, as biathlete Jakov Fak donned the silver medal after the 20km race and snowboarder Žan Košir won bronze in the parallel giant slalom. Both of them will compete in this year’s Games as well.

The 2014 Sochi Winter Games were the most successful Olympics for Slovenia with the country winning eight medals.

The Beijing Olympics will be held between 4 and 20 February in what will be the first Winter Olympics and the second overall Olympics in China. Beijing will therefore become the first city to have hosted both the winter and summer games.