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Tina Maze at the Sporto conference in Planica: »I am proud to be an I feel Slovenia brand ambassador«

The Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica, where the competition kicked off on 22 February, also hosted the Sporto conference. The main sports guest was Tina Maze, a former Slovenian ski champion.

The Sporto sports and marketing conference, this time called the Winter edition, was held at the venue of the World Cup in Planica. Johan Eliasch, President of the umbrella International Ski and Snowboard Federation FIS, who officially opened the championships in Planica on Tuesday, presented some ideas or guidelines at the Sporto conference on how the major sports federation will be managed in the future and how he sees the position of sport in society.

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In the afternoon, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) presented a panel discussion entitled Athletes as Ambassadors. With their help, Slovenia is presenting itself as a country where sport and a healthy and active lifestyle in general are high on the value scale, emphasised Karmen Novarlič from the Slovenian Tourist Board.

This was followed by an interview with Tina Maze, the most successful Slovenian alpine skier in history, who is now an ambassador of the I feel Slovenia brand of the Government Communication Office of the Republic of Slovenia. In a lively and uplifting discussion about her life journey, she pointed out, among other things: »Being a flag bearer (in Vancouver) is a special honour; I felt a great responsibility at that time. It was perhaps the most important day of the Olympics for me; I was representing my country and that motivated me even more when competing. Then I won two silver medals, which was absolutely unique.«

»Hosting a world event like the Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica is really something special, it is a huge responsibility. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of people involved. For Slovenia, such an event is an exceptional opportunity to prove itself as an excellent host. I am proud to be an I feel Slovenia brand ambassador; with this, we encourage other athletes to prove themselves in sport, it's a great honour and I'm extremely proud of this role.«

Below is a special video statement by Tina Maze for our contribution.

She underlined the importance of children playing sport, but competition should not be the first priority.

»Professional sport is healthy if it is managed in the right way. The problem occurs if those around you don't follow your development. At 12 years, children need to develop, grow, and play; competition should not be the most important thing in their life. Not for the children, not for the coaches or the parents. The time will come for this later,« said Tina Maze.

Tina Maze ended her career as a professional athlete six years ago, but she stresses that she is still an athlete and will remain one for as long as she can. She is excited about Planica 2023, not least because of the opportunity for Slovenia to present itself: »We are a young country. In a short time, we have changed a lot. We have become a strong sporting nation, which is amazing. Everyone around the world asks me what we do in Slovenia to be so successful,« said the I feel Slovenia brand ambassador at the Sporto conference, who will eagerly follow the competitions under the Ponce Mountains and be an enthusiastic cheerleader for the Slovenian athletes.

Here are some highlights from Tina Maze's talk show.

Author: Danila Golob

Date: 23. February 2023

Time to read: 2 min