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Kristjan Čeh, Urša Bogataj and the mixed ski jumping team named 2022 Athletes of the Year in Slovenia

Each year, the Association of Slovenian Sports Journalists selects the athletes of the year. In 2022, discus thrower Kristjan Čeh, ski jumper Urša Bogataj and the mixed ski jumping team received the highest number of votes. Golfer Pia Babnik was selected the most promising young sports personality and the Fair Play Award went to biathlete Polona Klemenčič and physiotherapist Ula Hafner.

A total of 109 Slovenian sports journalists cast their votes and selected the successors to sports climber Janja Garnbret, cyclist Tadej Pogačar and the national men’s basketball team who were awarded these titles in 2021.

Kristjan Čeh, the world champion, European runner-up and winner of the Diamond League in the men’s discus, received the most votes and won against Tadej Pogačar, world no. 1 in men’s UCI road racing. Third was Alpine skier Žan Kranjec, a silver medallist at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

  • Ceh Bogataj Bostjan Podlogar STA

    Kristjan Čeh (left) and Urša Bogataj - athletes of the year in Slovenia. Photo: Boštjan Podlogar / STA

Among the women, Urša Bogataj received the most votes. She won two gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games and came third in the overall World Cup. Janja Garnbret, a three-time European champion in sport climbing and an overall winner of the lead climbing world cup, came second. Third was ski jumper Nika Križnar, who won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in the women’s normal hill individual event, a gold Olympic medal in the mixed national team and second place in the overall World Cup.

In addition to Nika Križnar and Urša Bogataj, the mixed ski jumping team at the Olympic Games also consisted of Peter Prevc and Timi Zajc, and the four of them became the Sports Team of the Year.

  • sportniki leta mala bostjan podlogar STA

    From left: Timi Zajc, Kristjan Čeh. Urša Bogataj, Peter Prevc, Zoran Zupančič. Photo: Boštjan Podlogar / STA

The event featured sports giants from the first period of Slovenia’s independence, who presented the awards to their successors. Former top sportspeople who came to the stage were athlete Brigita Bukovec, rower Iztok Čop, kayaker Andraž Vehovar, handball players Tanja Polajnar and Rolando Pušnik, ski jumper Franci Petek, gymnast Lojze Kolman, and basketball players Sabina Felc and Peter Vilfan.

The Association of Slovenian Sports Journalists, which has been organising the selection for almost five and a half decades, thanked Bogdan Gabrovec, the President of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia (OKS), for his work and good cooperation, as his second four-year term is coming to an end on 16 December and the OKS will get a new president.

In 2020, the announcement of the best sportswoman, sportsman and team in the country took place without an audience at the studio of RTV Slovenija for the first time in its history due to the coronavirus epidemic. In December 2021, the event was organised in the half empty Gallus Hall of Cankarjev dom and was not followed by a social gathering due to social distancing measures. This year, the event involved no social distancing measures.

  • pia babnik bostjan podlogar sta

    Pia Babnik. Photo: Boštjan Podlogar / STA

Author: Polona Prešeren

Date: 14. December 2022

Time to read: 2 min