Croatian Skiers Optimistic Ahead of New Season, Boast 4 Slalom Skiers for First Time

Daniela Rogulj

Vedran Pavlek announced the new ski season in which Croatia will have the right to four slalom skiers for the first time in history.

For the first time in history, Croatia will have the right to four skiers in all slalom racing thanks to the results of the slalom and the overall victory of Matej Vidović in the European Cup, reports on November 5, 2018. 

Pavlek expects significant progress with the slalom skiers this season

“Because of that quota in the slalom I expect significant progress, and in two weeks the first slalom in Levi, Finland is scheduled. We are preparing for the peak of the season – for the World Championship in Åre, Sweden, where we expect a dozen or so Croatian representatives to participate. With our skiers, Ivica Kostelić will again be a mentor, who will be of invaluable help as he has been skiing for 20 years on all trails, and has been victorious on most of them,” Pavlek said, adding:

“Of the news, we have to mention that the alpine combination has been dissolved, which will be on the World Cup calendar for the last time this season, and will no longer be in the World Championships and the Olympic Games. We think this is the wrong decision, and even Ivica Kostelić launched an initiative for it to stay, but we quickly gave up because the great majority of skiers were for it to be removed. Unfortunately, the combination will be replaced by the parallel slalom and giant slalom races, the format of which will be agreed upon by the Executive Committee of the International Ski Federation (FIS), which will be hosted in Cavtat in May next year,” Pavlek said.

At the conference were members of the A-team, including Zubčić, Matej Vidović, Elias Kolega, Istok Rodeš and Leona Popović, and the legendary Ivica Kostelić, who will train Croatia’s coaches and advisors to help our skiers.

“My role is the same as last season when I was a coach and advisor and mentor in all the World Championship races, and this season I will be at the Åre World Championship. I’m glad that they benefit from my advice and this season I expect a lot of the slalom team. I think some of them are ready not only for points but also for placement in the top ten,” said Ivica.

Croatia’s slalom skiers are prepared for the new season

The most experienced member of the national team, Zubčić claims he has progressed in the giant slalom, but also in the slalom and fast-paced disciplines, and hopes to take on the super giant slalom race. Vidović also claims to have progressed and said that the ultimate goal is a slalom victory in the World Cup, which hasn’t come for seven years. Istok Rodeš feels more prepared than last year, while Elias Kolega is focused on the slalom and can’t wait for his first race in Levi.

Croatia’s only female skier on the A-team, Leona Popović, severely hurt her knee at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and after surgery and rehabilitation, she has recently suffered a new injury, meaning her season will not start until January.

The Croatian Ski Federation also received the new sponsor, Generali osiguranje, and the contract was signed by Pavlek and CEO of General osiguranje, Georg Engl.


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