STA, 12 March 2022 - The Slovenian ski resort of Kranjska Gora will host this weekend the 61st Vitranc Cup, which will feature two Alpine Ski World Cup giant slalom events for men. It is the last opportunity for Alpine skiers to position themselves in the rankings ahead of the season finale in Courchevel on 16-20 March.
The host nation expects the most from Žan Kranjec, the runner-up in the giant slalom race at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, who is expected to be greeted by a sizeable fan-base as spectators are allowed this year to attend the event in person.
The 29-year-old has told the STA that that there "are three giant slaloms until the end of the season, and I want to perform as best as I can", adding that the "expectations are accordingly high."
Kranjec, who has two wins in the World Cup from Saalbach in 2018 and from Adelboden in 2020, feels confident on the skis and hopes to "translate the good form from the Olympics to the events at the end of the season."
Aleš Vidic, the representative of the event, said that the weather forecast was "very promising, sun, low temperatures that are ideal for the event" adding that top-level performances were expected on Saturday and Sunday.
The main favourite is Marco Odermatt of Switzerland, who won four giant slalom events in the current World Cup season and the giant slalom event at the Beijing Olympics. He also won last year's Vitranc Cup with more than a one-second margin.
The organisers have announced that all competitors ranked 1-30 would receive monetary awards, with the prize money for an individual race amounting to 120,000 Swiss francs.
STA, 10 March 2022 - Slovenian riders took the lead in two elite stage races that are part of the UCI World Tour on Thursday. Primož Roglič put on the leader's yellow jersey in the 5th stage of the Paris-Nice race as Tadej Pogačar won the 4th stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race to take the overall lead.
Roglič, who rides for the Dutch team Jumbo Visma, finished the 189km stage between Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert and Saint-Sauveur-de-Montagut as 25th, coming in with the first group with a lag of 5:43 minutes behind the winner, Brandon McNulty, the 23-year-old American UAE rider.
The latter broke away 40 kilometres to the finish line, on the climb to the Col de Mure. The tempo proved too hard for Belgian Wout van Aert, who had to concede the lead to Roglič. The Slovenian is now 39 seconds ahead of Briton Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) and 41 ahead of French Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies).
"This jersey is a big honour. I had to try, that's all we had now with the team. I was talking with Brandon [McNulty] this morning and I knew he wanted to make the break [...] He definitely was the strongest today. If I had gone his pace, I would have quickly exploded," said Roglič for the organisers.
McNulty secured the 14th stage win for the UAE Emirates team this season as his teammate Tadej Pogačar went on to clinch the 15th for his 5th this season by winning the fourth stage of the Race of the Two Seas in Italy to climb from third to first overall.
Pogačar attacked on the last kilometre of today's stage, but no other rider responded to the challenge. Roglič's teammate, Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark, came closest, two seconds behind, as much as Victor Lafay of France and Belgian Remco Evenepoel, who is now second overall, nine seconds behind Pogačar.
"A great effort of the team, we pulled all day, and I was thinking that if I did not give it a go it would be a bad day for us," Pogačar said on Eurosport. "We did it right and in the end it was a good day for the victory."
STA, 7 March - Slovenia's Nika Križnar has won the Raw Air ski jumping tour in Norway after placing fourth in the final event on Sunday. Olympic champion Urša Bogataj finished second in the final event, which was enough for third place overall, behind Sara Takanashi of Japan.
"I'm not too pleased with my jumping since I made quite a few mistakes. But winning the tour is something special, I'm really happy about that," said Križnar, the second ever winner of Raw Air after back-to-back wins by Norway's Maren Lundby.
Bogataj jumped 130.5 metres in the final series but botched the landing, which she said was a shame. "I'm happy that everything worked out nevertheless," she said.
The two top Slovenian jumpers are now second and third in the overall World Cup standings, with Križnar 195 points behind the Austrian Marita Kramer and Bogataj another 80 points adrift.
Two end-of-season events in Russia having been cancelled, the jumpers only have two more events in Oberhof, Germany next weekend, which narrows Križnar's chances of retaining last year's title of overall World Cup winner.
STA, 20 February 2022 - Slovenian athletes won seven medals at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which puts the country second only to Norway in medals per capita. Overall, Slovenia ranks 15th among all countries on the Olympic medal table.
Team Slovenia won two golds, three silvers and two bronze medals, four of which in ski jumping, two in snowboarding and one in alpine skiing.
Ski jumper Urša Bogataj took gold and Nika Križnar bronze in the women's individual event and they grabbed another gold in the mixed team event along with Peter Prevc and Timi Zajc, who went on to secure silver in the men's team event along with Lovro Kos and Cene Prevc.
Snowboarder Tim Mastnak won silver and his female counterpart Gloria Kotnik won bronze and alpine skier Žan Kranjec won silver in the giant slalom.
Slovenia thus secured a medal per each 296,991 residents.
#TeamSlovenia se iz Pekinga vrača s sedmimi kolajnami, kar je druga najboljša bera v zgodovini slovenskih nastopov na olimpijskih igrah!#imamoto #ifeelslovenia @SloveniaInfo @SloskiSZS pic.twitter.com/mA7N5kdEkE— Team Slovenia (@TeamSlovenia) February 20, 2022
Norway ranks on top of medal-per-capita ranking with 37 medals, or one per 146,520 residents. Team Norway won 16 golds, eight silvers and 13 bronzes.
Austria is ranked third at one medal per 500,355 residents. Its athletes took home 18 medals.
A total of 2,871 athletes from 91 countries took part in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which closed today.
STA, 14 February 2022 - The Slovenian men's ski-jumping team, made up of Lovro Kos, Cene Prevc, Timi Zajc and Peter Prevc, has won the silver medal in the team event in Beijing. This is Slovenia's fourth medal in ski-jumping at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and the seventh overall.
Slovenia were in the lead after the first round of today's ski-jumping team event, then finished second with 934.4 points. The gold was won by Austria (942.7), and Germany finished third (922.9).
"Great! It worked out great," team captain Peter Prevc said in his first reaction for the national TV after winning his fourth career Olympic medal. "It was tight right to the end, and we really deserved second place. I am very happy," he added.
The last ski-jumping competition of the 2022 Winter Olympics was marked by demanding weather conditions, as strong winds howled over the Olympic centre in Zhangjiakou. The jumpers also had to cope with bitter cold.
"The conditions were very difficult, and it was hard for me to wait at the top, especially in the first round. I was also a bit nervous in the final, but I still managed a solid jump. I'm very happy," said Olympic debutant Lovro Kos.
"It was a tough competition, the wind was really bad. I couldn't do much more today, but I have to say that we all gave our best, and we should be proud of the silver medal," added Timi Zajc.
Coach Robert Hrgota was happy as well, but added in the same breath that with a bit more luck with the wind, his team could have won the gold medal. "Congratulations to the boys for eight great jumps. This achievement means a lot to all of us," he told the national TV.
Slovenia has already won the gold medal in the mixed team event with Urša Bogataj, Nika Križnar, Peter Prevc and Timi Zajc. In addition, Bogataj won gold and Križnar bronze in the women's individual competition.
Therefore, the silver medal won today by the men's team is Slovenia's fourth ski-jumping medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics and the seventh overall. It is also Slovenia's third Olympic medal in men's ski-jumping team events after silver in Calgary in 1988 and bronze in Salt Lake City in 2002.
Matjaž Debelak, Miran Tepeš, Primož Ulaga and Matjaž Zupan won the silver medal for Yugoslavia in Calgary, and the team made up of Damjan Fras, Primož Peterka, Robert Kranjec and Peter Žonta won bronze 20 years ago at the Olympics in Salt Lake City.
STA, 13 February 2022 - Slovenia's Žan Kranjec won silver in the Olympic men's giant slalom on Sunday, in what is his first Olympic medal and the sixth for Slovenia at the Beijing Olympics. Swiss Marco Odermatt won gold 19 hundredths of a second ahead of Kranjec, with France's Mathieu Faivre finishing third.
After placing 8th in the first run, Kranjec, 29, put on a superb second run to improve on his 4th place from the Pyeongchang Olympics four years ago.
He has won Slovenia the tenth Olympic medal in Alpine skiing, or the eight under Slovenia's flag.
The first Slovenian to win a medal at winter Olympics was Jure Franko in 1984 when he placed second in giant slalom at the Olympics in Sarajevo, competing for Yugoslavia.
Kranjec was the only Slovenian to compete in today's race, and will also compete in the slalom and parallel mixed team events.
The 29-year-old Slovenian placed 6th at last year's World Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo while managing to clinch eight World Cup podium results in his career, of which two golds. Kranjec placed third in this year's World Cup giant slalom season opener in Austria's Soelden, his only World Cup podium result this season.
STA, 7 February 2022 - Slovenian ski jumpers Nika Križnar, Urša Bogataj, Timi Zajc and Peter Prevc won the gold medal in the mixed team normal hill event at the Winter Olympics on Monday to make history as the first nation to win the event in its Olympic premiere in Beijing.
Slovenia finished a whopping 111.2 points ahead of the silver medal-winning Russia, while Canada (156.9 points behind Slovenia), whose ski jumpers are coached by Slovenia's Bine Norčič, surprisingly won the bronze medal in an event that saw four disqualifications due to outfit irregularities.
In the first series, when the favoured teams of Japan, Austria and Germany were disqualified, Slovenia led the pack with a 49-point advantage ahead of Norway, which was later disqualified in the final round.
This is the third medal for Slovenia in Beijing in ski jumping and in general, after Bogataj won the gold medal and Križnar grabbed bronze in the women's normal hill individual event on Saturday.
Prevc won his third Winter Olympic medal after silver in Sochi in 2014 on the normal hill and bronze on the large hill in the same competition, while this is the first Winter Olympic medal for Zajc.
Križnar, who is returning to Slovenia with two medals, said the atmosphere was nervous, also due to the disqualifications, adding that the Slovenian team tried not to think about that and to focus on their jumps.
"Despite all the fuss around us, we remained calm and performed well. I'm very proud of the whole team," she told reporters of the public broadcaster TV Slovenija.
Zajc added that it was "really a great day! All four of us had great jumps today and I can say that we deserved to win."
The double gold medallist Bogataj said that it was important that the Slovenian jumpers performed well despite "the weird competition, as disqualifications kept piling up."
Peter Prevc, to whom the medal comes as a consolation of sorts after the 4th place in the men's normal hill individual event, added that "it was difficult, but we made it" for the first time in the Olympic team event after Slovenia had been among the favourites there since 2013.
The mixed team event was the last competition on the normal hill at the Zhangjiakou Olympic venue. While female ski jumpers finished their performances at the Beijing Games today, their male counterparts are now moving to the large hill for the individual and team events.
STA, 5 February 2022 - Slovenian ski jumpers Urša Bogataj and Nika Križnar made history at the Winter Olympics in Zhangjiakou on Saturday, as Bogataj has won the gold and Križnar won the bronze medal. It is the first time that more than one Slovenian athlete has made the Olympic podium in the same event.
The other ski jumpers representing Slovenia were Ema Klinec, who finished fifth, and Špela Rogelj, who ended the final series in ninth place, which means all Slovenian ski jumpers finished the competition inside the top ten.
After finishing the first series as the leader, Germany's Katharina Althaus (236.8 points) won the silver medal, ranking between Križnar (232 points) and Bogataj (239 points), who set the new hill record with 108 metres in the first round.
"I haven't realised it yet, I don't know how this is possible. I am very happy," said 26-year-old Urša Bogataj in her first statement after winning the gold.
When asked what has changed since Friday, she said it was perhaps the first jump today. "I broke the hill record and I really enjoyed it, so I said to myself, I will just do it, and I don't care what happens," said the new Olympic champion.
Meanwhile, current world champion Ema Klinec (215.4) was fourth after the first series, but switched places with Japan's Sara Takanashi (224.1) in the end to finish fifth.
Špela Rogelj (184.2) was eighth after the first series, and although she did not manage to improve on her result in the final, she did not lose much, finishing ninth in the end.
Slovenia's ski jumping team, led by head coach Zoran Zupančič, has been excellent in all training sessions and also in today's trial series, when Križnar was first, Bogataj second and Klinec fourth.
"I just enjoyed today. I knew I had to smile and be happy, whatever happens. I sang a song to myself all day, and then I heard Urša singing it too. I'm so happy and I can't wait to go home and hug my loved ones," Nika Križnar said after the final.
"I am so happy for Urša, and I am really glad that she has done it. When you are standing next to your best friend like this, on an Olympic podium, it is even more special. We're going to have a hard time falling asleep tonight," she added.
"We both cried with happiness because we are good friends and roommates, we always have a good time together. I don't know how it is possible that we did it, but we just did," said Olympic champion Urša Bogataj.
"I liked this hill ever since the first jump I made here. I hope it can continue like this, because the team event will be very important as well, and I hope we can win some medals there too," she added.
The medals won by Bogataj and Križnar are the first ones for Slovenia at this year's Winter Olympics, and Bogataj became the first Slovenian after Tina Maze to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. Slovenia now also has 13 bronze medals thanks to Križnar, and the total number of medals in ski jumping has risen to five.
This was the only individual competition for female ski jumpers at this year's Winter Olympics, with the mixed team event to follow on Monday.
STA, 15 January 2022 - Slovenia won the ski jumping World Cup meet in Zakopane on Saturday, beating second-placed Germany and third-placed Japan by almost seventy points in what was the last team event before the Beijing Olympics.
Lovro Kos, Peter Prevc, Timi Zajc in Anže Lanišek finished the first round almost thirty points ahead of Germany after Prevc landed at 133.5 metres and Lanišek added a 129-metre jump.
In the second series, Prevc wowed with a 140.5-metre jump, only for Lanišek to finish the job as the last jumper with the same distance.
The result bodes well for the Beijing Olympics, which are less than a month away. The win places Slovenia squarely among he medal favourites.
In Bischofshofen last week, Slovenia finished the team event in fourth place.
STA, 10 January 2022 - The organising committee for the FIS Cross-Country World Cup events scheduled to take place in the Planica Nordic Centre in Slovenia on 22 and 23 January has cancelled the competition, citing the steep rise in coronavirus infections in the country as the reason.
The venue in north-western Slovenia was scheduled to host the men's and women's classical sprint on 22 January and the men's 30km and women's 15km skiathlon on 23 January.
The Planica organising committee said on Monday that the decision to cancel the events had been made in cooperation with all partners as the number of infections with Covid-19 continues to rise steeply.
The decision comes as the snow conditions in the Planica Centre are ideal and the venue and accompanying infrastructure is undergoing final preparations.
With the dates for the events being close to the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, some of the foreign teams said that their appearance in Planica was questionable or decided to register members of their B teams for the events.
The organising committee noted the "critical epidemiological situation in Slovenia and Europe" and the "sharp rise in Covid-19 infections and projections of an additional increase in the coming days".
It added that this made it even more difficult to provide a safe environment for the competitors and staff and that, according to experts, it was not possible to provide sufficient protection at such a large event.
"The epidemiological situation is bad and we are trying to maintain the functioning of critical infrastructure, so we advise against events that pose additional risk," said epidemiologist Irena Grmek Košnik, the Covid-19 coordinator in the committee.
STA, 9 January STA - Petra Vlhova from Slovakia won the women's Alpine Ski World Cup slalom event in Kranjska Gora on Sunday. Swiss Wendy Holdener, who was in the lead after the first run, was second, 0.23 seconds behind the winner. Anna Swenn Larsson from Sweden was third (+1.06 seconds). Slovenia's Ana Bucik was fifth, in what is her best result in slalom so far.
Vlhova was faster in the second run, beating her main rival Holdener, who was 0.08 seconds ahead of her in the first run.
Swenn Larsson made it to the podium after finishing seventh in the first run.
Mikaela Shiffrin from the US, who tops the overall Word Cup rankings, hit a pole and finished the race, after being third in the first run.
The only Slovenian representative in the finals, Bucik gained three spots in the second run, finishing 1.65 seconds behind the winner, recording her second best result in World Cup so far and her best in slalom.
So far, her best result in slalom was sixth place in Jasna, Slovakia, in March 2021.
"I'm really happy. The first run was quite good ... And in the second run I managed to add exactly what I wanted. I'm really happy; now all that's missing in this season for me is a podium result," the 28-year-old Bucik said.
Her only podium finish in World Cup was a third place in Alpine skiing in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, in January 2018.
Being in top form is also important for the Winter Olympics in China next month. "Definitely. I have been stressing since the start of the season I'm taking it one race at a time. The Olympic Games will be the peak and I hope I get there prepared."
Vlhova is the overall winner of the Golden Fox Cup, Sara Hector from Sweden, who won the giant slalom race on Saturday is second, and Holdener is third. Bucik, who was 12th in giant slalom yesterday, is fourth overall.
Vlhova was also the overall winner of the Golden Fox Cup two years ago, when she also won in slalom but was second in giant slalom.
The next slalom event for women will be held in Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday.
* Results of the Kranjska Gora slalom:
1 Petra Vlhova (SVK) 1:44.29 51.57 52.72
2 Wendy Holdener (SUI) 1:44.52 +0.23 51.49 53.03
3 Anna Swenn Larsson (SWE) 1:45.35 +1.06 52.40 52.95
4 Lenna Dürr (GER) 1:45.58 +1.29 52.02 53.56
5 Ana Bucik (SLO) 1:45.94 +1.65 52.87 53.07
6 Ali Nullmeyer (CAN) 1:46.44 +2.15 52.90 53.54
7 Katharina Truppe (AUT) 1:46.75 +2.46 52.90 53.85
8 Katharina Gallhuber (AUT) 1:46.79 +2.50 53.16 53.63
9 Erin Mielzynski (Can) 1:46.92 +2.63 53.41 53.51
10 Sara Hector (SWE) 1:46.96 +2.67 53.01 53.95
* Overall World Cup standings (19/37):
1 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 866 points
2 Petra Vlhova (SVK) 831
3 Sofia Goggia (ITA) 657
4 Sara Hector (SWE) 568
5 Wendy Holdener (SUI) 408
6 Federica Brignone (ITA) 407
7 Michelle Gisin (SUI) 385
8 Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT) 353
9 Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI) 343
10 Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) 336
19 Andreja Slokar (SLO) 233
20 Ana Bucik (SLO) 228
34 Meta Hrovat (SLO) 116
51 Tina Robnik (SLO) 73
53 Ilka Štuhec (SLO) 71
66 Neja Dvornik (SLO) 46
86 Maruša Ferk Saioni (SLO) 22
- slalom (6/9):
1 Petra Vlhova (SVK) 580
2 Mikaela Shiffrin (US) 340
3 Wendy Holdener (SUI) 321
4 Katharina Liensberger (AUT) 262
5 Lenna Düerr (GER) 252
6 Michele Gisin (SUI) 187
7 Anna Swenn Larsson (SWE) 182
8 Ana Bucik (SLO) 169
9 Sara Hector (ŠWE) 161
10 Katharina Truppe (AUT) 157
14 Andreja Slokar (SLO) 99
28 Neja Dvornik (SLO) 40
35 Meta Hrovat (SLO) 21