STA, 31 December 2021 - Maribor will not host the Golden Fox event of the women's Alpine Ski World Cup circuit for the third year running due to a lack of snow amid mild weather. The two-day event featuring slalom and giant slalom races has again been moved west to Kranjska Gora.
The organisers of the 58th Golden Fox told the press in Maribor on Friday that the World Cup races would be held on 8 and 9 January in the Kranjska Gora resort, which annually host the men's Alpine Ski World Cup races as part of the Vitranc Cup.
The decision of the International Ski Federation (FIS) comes after it was announced on Thursday that the Golden Fox will not be held on the slopes of Pohorje above Slovenia's second largest city due to insufficient snow cover.
FIS snow controller Markus Mayr expectedly said that the "situation is such that I cannot confirm the competition in Maribor ... due to the whole package of snow conditions, temperature, weather and forecast. This is why I have to cancel it."
Mayr, the director for technical events of the women's Alpine Ski World Cup, said that the "organisers have really put up an effort and gave their best in the given weather situation", adding that "this does not mean we are giving up hope in Maribor."
The event moves for the third time in a row to Kranjska Gora in north-western Slovenia, where it was held this January and in February 2020.
As for future Golden Fox events in Maribor, there is perhaps a silver lining as an alternative piste is being built at a higher altitude. "This will be an excellent new piste, which will add a new quality to recreational and competitive skiing," Mayr said.
Srečko Vilar, the secretary general of the Golden Fox organising committee, said that "this is not easy for us, the weather has not given us a break. We needed a few cold nights more, but we didn't get them. We accept this decision with sadness."
The Podkoren piste in Kranjska Gora will also host on 12 and 13 March two giant slalom events of the World Cup ahead of the 2021/2022 season finale in France's Courchevel/Meribel on 16-20 March.
STA, 14 December 2021 - Sport climber Janja Garnbret, cyclist Tadej Pogačar and the national men's basketball team have fetched the main accolades at the 2021 Athlete of the Year ceremony on Monday evening.
In the women's category, Garnbret convincingly won the poll conducted by the Association of Sport Journalists among 115 reporters for her third accolade as the woman's athlete of the year, after 2018 and 2019.
The Tokyo Olympic gold medal winner collected 333 points to be followed by judoka Tina Trstenjak (129), the silver medallist in the women's 63kg category in Tokyo, and ski jumper Nika Križnar (77), the overall World Cup winner last season.
"Janja Garnbret is barely 22 years old and she is already the most successful sport climber in history. She also moves milestones in climbing in natural climbing sites. She is the best sport climber in the world," the association said.
Garnbret said that it was "really not the first time, but I always feel great when I receive the title of the athlete of the year. It's nice that people recognise and see this, get you recognised. This is why this title means a lot to me."
Pogačar, who won his second consecutive Tour de France this year and grabbed bronze in the road race at the Summer Olympics, topped the vote in the men's category with 262 points for his first Athlete of the Year title.
He was followed by the fellow cyclist Primož Roglič (218), who won the gold medal in Tokyo in time trial, and defended his 2020 victory in the race around Spain this year, and NBA superstar Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks (97).
It was Dončić who led the Slovenian team to the fourth place in Tokyo, a result that earned it the accolade of the team of the year in this year's Athlete of the Year campaign. They got 66 votes ahead of the men's volleyball team (37).
"Tadej Pogačar is so important a figure in the cycling world that he has earned contract with the UAE team until 2027. We can understand his bosses. Without a sliver of doubt, he is currently the best cyclist in the world," the association said.
Pogačar told the press conference ahead of the ceremony that it was "really a prestigious award, in particular in such a year as this year. When you receive such an award in your own country, then it's icing on the cake."
As for the basketball team, the association said that the "semi-finals of the Olympic tournament is an achievement that could be compared to the European champions title. We are convinced that this team will brings us many a joy in the future."
STA, 29 November 2021 - The Slovenian men's basketball team opened the qualifiers for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup last week with wins against Croatia on the road and against Sweden at home to sit atop the qualifying Group C. The qualifying campaign continues in February 2022.
Slovenia, the fourth-placed team from the Tokyo Summer Olympics, first defeated Croatia in Zagreb 76:74 in a tough encounter that saw sharpshooter Klemen Prepelič as the top scorer for Slovenia with 16 points.
Prepelič followed this up with a 30-point effort against Sweden in front the home crowd in Bonifika Arena in Koper last evening to propel Slovenia to a 94:89 victory, with Jaka Blažič adding 23 points.
Slovenia's head coach Aleksander Sekulić said after the win against Sweden that it was a "good start of the qualifiers, and a great incentive for the future matches."
Prepelič said that it had been agreed with the teammates that "we must not miss the next major competition", referring to Slovenia missing out on the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup after winning the 2017 EuroBasket.
"We have a golden generation with Luka Dončić as the leader and we want to play with him again. We have a cohesive team in which each role is clearly defined," added the Valencia Basket player.
The next two-game slot will be played on in February 2022 as Finland host Slovenia on 25 February and Slovenia host Finland on 28 February.
The next FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place between 25 August and 10 September 2023, hosted by Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines and featuring 32 national teams, with Slovenia competing for the 12 slots reserved for European teams.
STA, 28 November 2021 - After fishing second at the men's Ski Jumping World Cup event in Ruka on Saturday, Slovenian ski jumper Anže Lanišek won on Sunday the second such event at Finland's ski resort this season in what is his first World Cup individual event victory.
Today was another brilliant day for Slovenian ski jumpers, as three of them made it to the top six, apart from Lanišek also brothers Cene and Peter Prevc, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
The 25-year-old Lanišek maintained his lead from the first series after scoring 311.9 points with a jump of 135 metres in the second series. Second place went to Germany's Karl Geiger (310.3 points), whereas his compatriot Markus Eisenbichler (305.2 points) finished third.
Slovenia's Timi Zajc meanwhile fell from eight place to 20th after the second series, having taken the brunt of poor conditions in the finals.
Lanišek now ranks second in the overall World Cup rankings, having bagged 252 points. Geiger, 305 points, is in the lead.
Next weekend, the Slovenian men's ski jumping team is looking at both the individual and team events in Poland's Wisla.
STA, 27 November 2021 - Slovenian women ski jumpers secured their first ever double victory in the individual World Cup event in Nizhny Tagil, Russia, on Saturday. Ema Klinec won the second event of the season after finishing as the runner-up at the same venue yesterday. Her compatriot Urša Bogataj placed second.
"I was calmer than yesterday. I was also better on the inrun and my jumps were pretty nice," Klinc told FIS TV after her first World Cup win. She is now in the lead in the overall World Cup rankings.
"I'm very happy for this first win. I try to keep the focus and enjoy jumps in every event," said the 23-year-old, for whom this is the 12 career World Cup podium.
With jumps of 92 and 97 metres Klinec scored 235.1 points. Bogataj scored 227 in second and Germany's Katharina Althaus won 225.9 points to finish third.
Lanišek second in Ruka
STA, 27 November 2021 - Anže Lanišek finished second in the men's Ski Jumping World Cup event in Ruka in Finland to round off a perfect day for Slovenian jumpers after his female counterparts chalked up a double win in the event in Nizhny Tagil, Russia.
Lanišek was in the lead after the first series, but was bested by Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi in the second. The latter clinched his 20th World Cup victory with jumps of 138.5 and 143 metres for 324.5 points as Lainšek scored 318.9 with 141 and 140 metres.
Another Slovenian jumper, Timi Zajc, finished 9th after placing third in the first series.
Lanišek's feat comes after Ema Klinec won her first World Cup event in Nizhny Tagil ahead of fellow teammate Urša Bogataj in second.
STA, 25 November - Slovenian Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar has received the 2021 Velo d'Or, a prestigious cycling prize awarded by the French sports publisher l'Equipe. Last year's laureate Primož Roglič came in second.
The Velo d'Or has been awarded since 1992 by Velo Magazine for outstanding achievements in the sport and Pogačar really did have an outstanding season.
The 23-year-old ended the year at the top of the World Cycling Union (UCI) rankings, having become the 13th rider to defend the Tour de France title.
He also won two major one-day races, the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia, and finished third in the Olympic road race.
He notched up a total of 13 individual victories in the season.
Roglič also won 13 times this year, but had to end the Tour prematurely due to injury. He made up for that by winning his third consecutive La Vuelta and the Olympic time trial.
STA, 25 November - The Slovenian men's basketball team will start the qualifying cycle for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Thursday as the second-ranked team in Europe and fourth in the FIBA world rankings is hosted by Croatia in Zagreb.
The Slovenian team will play up to 12 qualifying games in the next 15 months, starting with games against Croatia and against Sweden in Koper on Sunday.
The next FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place between 25 August and 10 September 2023, hosted by Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines, where 32 national teams will compete for the championship, including 12 from Europe.
The European qualifiers feature 32 teams, divided into eight groups, with each team will playing six games in the first group stage, from where the top three teams from each group qualify for the next stage.
The same process will be repeated in the next stage, but with only four groups, and the top three teams from each group will qualify for the World Cup, amounting to a total of 12 European national teams.
Slovenia begins the first group stage in group C, competing with Croatia, Finland and Sweden. Should they qualify for the next stage, potential opponents include Germany, Israel, Estonia and Poland.
Slovenia enter the qualifiers as the fourth best team in the world in FIBA rankings, behind the US, Spain and Australia.
The team will start the qualifiers without several prominent members of the Tokyo Olympics team, which won the fourth place, including Luka Dončić, Vlatko Čančar, Mike Tobey, Zoran Dragić and Gregor Hrovat.
Featured in the roster for the first two games are Jaka Blažič, Jakob Čebašek, Žiga Dimec, Blaž Habot, Alen Hodžić, Jan Kosi, Luka Lapornik, Miha Lapornik, Jurij Macura, Edo Murić, Aleksej Nikolić, Klemen Prepelič, Matic Rebec and Luka Rupnik.
After this week's games, the qualifying cycle will continue in February 2022, with the first group stage concluding in the early summer of 2022. The second group stage starts in August 2022 and will be completed by February 2023.
Should Slovenia qualify for the World Cup, it will be their fourth appearance after coming ninth in Japan in 2006, eighth in Turkey in 2010, and seventh in Spain in 2014.
STA, 24 November 2021 - Marko Grilc, one of the most accomplished Slovenian snowboarders, has been killed in a snowboarding accident in the Austrian ski resort of Sölden. Media reports say he was part of a film crew inspecting a site for filming as fell and hit his head on a snow-covered rock in a closed section of the resort.
While the Austrian police reported on Tuesday only that a Slovenian snowboarder was killed near Sölden, the 24ur web portal of the Slovenian commercial broadcaster POP TV said it was Grilc.
According to the Austrian press agency APA, the snowboarder fell while descending a slope in deep snow as the film crew was preparing to shoot a scene, suffering a fatal head injury.
The police said that the 38-year-old from Ljubljana was not wearing a helmet. He lost his balance and hit a snow-covered rock either with his face or his head.
The accompanying crew tried to resuscitate him, but the first responding medical team could only determine death as they arrived at the scene, the APA said on Tuesday.
According to 24ur.com, the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported that the unfortunate snowboarder and the film crew were on tour skiing in Sölden to inspect the terrain for the shoot.
Grilc is considered one of the most accomplished Slovenian freestyle snowboarders. He has four podium finishes in the World Cup, with the sole victory coming in London in 2010 in acrobatic jumps.
In recent years, he shot snowboarding videos and promoted the sport among the youth, while also advertising several commercial brands, 24ur says.
Grilc got injured in 2016 while snowboarding in Austria. He was taken to hospital in Schladming by helicopter after suffering a back injury. He said at the time that "he was snowboarding with angels."
He has been survived by his wife Nina, who is pregnant with their third child, and two small children, the N1 web portal said.
STA, 14 November 2021 - Andreja Slokar won the parallel giant slalom event in Lech/Zürs in Austria on Saturday as part of the Alpine Ski World Cup to take the overall lead in the competition. This is the fist career win for Slokar and also the first win ever for Slovenia in parallel giant slalom.
The 24-year-old from Ajdovščina beat Thea Louise Stjernesund on Norway in the finals by 0.05 seconds, while Norway's Kristin Lysdahl beat Marta Bassino of Italy in the third-place race.
Slokar now stands on top of the women's Alpine Ski World Cup standings as the winner of the first event of the season in Sölden, Mikaela Shiffrin of the US, was absent, as was Petra Vlhova, the winner of last year's parallel giant slalom race.
The Slovenian secured her best career result ever in what was her 19th appearance in the World Cup, after she finished fifth in the slalom race at the world championship in February.
The previous best for Slokar, who became the eleventh Slovenian woman skier in history with a World Cup win, was the 6th place in the finale of the last season in Lenzerheide in the team slalom race.
"The race was fun. It is a little bit specific, as there is only one such event in the season and you never know what will happen. But you could tell that I enjoyed it very much. It's great for the first win," she said after the win.
Slovenian team head coach Sergej Poljšak was excited with the win. "It's a great day for Andreja. It was very tight in the quarter-finals, after which she skied better in each run and was deservedly victorious."
STA, 9 November 2021 - Slovenian climber Janja Garnbret, who won a gold medal in sport climbing at the Tokyo Olympics, has set a new milestone by becoming the first woman to climb an 8c-rated route onsight, according to the Slovenian Mountaineering Association.
After the end of competition this season, she took a rock-climbing holiday in Oliana in Spain, where she achieved her latest feat. In the beginning of November, she managed to climb two different 8c-rated climbing routes in the span of two days.
Both of her ascents were achieved onsight, which means that she made them on her first attempt on an unknown route, without prior information.
The 8c is currently the highest route difficulty rating ever successfully climbed onsight by a female climber.
"I had never actually thought of trying to climb an 8c, but later I decided to give it a go anyway. No pressure, just climbing, it just happened." the 22-year-old Slovenian climber told planetmountain.com.
"This was my first trip to Oliana. On the first day, I tried some different, slightly easier routes, before trying the harder ones," she added.
"I didn't panic, I was very calm. I think I was climbing quite fast and resting where it felt appropriate. I felt super good, very relaxed and focused," concluded Garnbret.
STA, 28 October 2021 - After a two-year break due to Covid, the Vipava Valley Ultra-Trail race will be back in Slovenia's picturesque wine growing region this weekend to feature a record number of runners. A total of 1,300 participants from 36 countries have registered for the event, including from as far as Singapore, Peru, Canada and Australia.
Taking place from Friday to Sunday, the event will offer a choice of five trails in distances of between 13 and 160 kilometres.
Seventy-five runners have registered to take part in the longest run where they will have to negotiate 7,000 metres of climbing and as much of descents, organisers told reporters earlier this week.
Both the runners and visitors will be required to meet the recovered-vaccinated-tested mandate. Those who do, will get a bracelet which will allow them to move freely in the venues.
A team of 300 organisers and volunteers will be on hand at 16 refreshment points to make sure the runners are safe.
This year the event is being expanded with a non-competitive hike through the vineyards, which the local tourism official Barbara Repovš said is intended for families. It will conclude with wine tasting.
The trail has been marked so hikers can enjoy it throughout the year.
Another similar event will be held next weekend in the hills above the seaside towns of Koper and Izola. The Coastal Ultra-Trail (5-7 November) will feature four routes of between 11 and 87 kilometres.