Slovenian Olympic athletes honoured with reception

Kranjska Gora – The Slovenian Olympic Committee (OKS) has hosted a reception for Slovenian athletes who have already returned from China, including medal-winning ski jumpers Urša Bogataj and Nika Križnar, and snowboarders Gloria Kotnik and Tim Mastnak.

The reception was held on Saturday afternoon at the Olympic village in Slovenia’s Kranjska Gora. The OKS had invited sport fans to follow it online due to the epidemic, but several dozen nevertheless gathered in the centre of this Alpine ski resort.

Ski jumper Bogataj, who won gold in the women’s individual and mixed team events, said it felt “great” to be an Olympic champion, while she admitted she did not yet fully realise what feat she had managed to achieve.

Ski jumper Križnar said she was happier with the bronze medal in women’s individual event than the gold as it had been somewhat expected Slovenia would win a medal in the team event. “I was really very motivated, so I did it,” said the 21-year-old.

Kotnik, who won bronze in the women’s parallel giant slalom event, said this was “the race of my life”. Before the Olympic medal, her best result was a World Cup 4th place.

Snowboarder Mastnak, who won silver in men’s parallel giant slalom, said “you are aware you can win a medal if you are fourth overall in World Cup standings just before the Olympics and if you place fourth at the last race before the Games”.

OKS president Bogdan Gabrovec and Slovenian Ski Association president Enzo Smrekar thanked the athletes for their achievements, and the medallists and their coach teams also received checks from sponsors and the OKS ranging from EUR 15,000 to EUR 30,000.

Slovenian athletes have so far won six medals at the Beijing Olympics, the last one today when Žan Kranjec won silver in men’s giant slalom race.