Slovenia’s Best Rower Wins Farewell Exhibition Event


The winner of four Olympic and 12 world championships medals, Čop rowed smoothly into the "Čop Challenger" final where he was joined in the scull by his long-time rowing partner Luka Špik. The London bronze medallists then went on to defeat the long-time rivals Czech Vaclav Chalupa and Olaf Tufte of Norway.

In the end, the old rivals shook hands saying they might see each other again soon. "He [Čop] already said goodbye three times before; never say never," said Tufte, Čop's friend and best man. "Thank you for making me a better rower. I always looked up to you," the Norewegian rower said.

Čop also thanked Špik, with whom he won the titles of Olympic and World champion, handing him the wooden oar in a symbolic gesture showing that he is now Slovenia's top rower. This was followed by another round of thanks from Špik to the enthusiastic cheers from the crowd, which included some of Slovenia's former top athletes.

Čop will now dedicate his time to his family and business. His ambition is to popularise rowing, while he also wants to catch up on his work as a student. He will also be kept busy at his company Sport Olympus and as a member of different sports committees. "I have new challenges ahead of me, but I think will yet fully realise this farewell," the 40-year-old Čop said.

His one last time in a competition will be in a double scull event on his hometown Bled Lake on Saturday where he will bid his final farewell to fans.