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Tina Maze: I’ve always wanted to make people happy

Author: Tanja Glogovčan Belančić

Date: 4. January 2023

Time to read: 5 min

The best Slovenian skier of all times and a sportswoman was among those pushing the boundaries. And simply just Tina, who was never an unreachable celebrity, but has always respected her fans. In her career, she has won in all five skiing disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, downhill and the alpine combined. She has won all three classes of Olympic medals and was selected the Best Slovenian Sportswoman of the Year six times. Tina was breaking records in the 2012/2013 season. She retired in 2017.

It’s a delight to be a woman and a mother

New challenges awaited her. She says that it was often difficult to be a woman in sports, as top sport requires a great deal of explosiveness, aggression, dominance and leaves little space for the gentle way of life. She can be more feminine now and enjoy her family life while being a mother and a partner to her once top sportsman and coach Andrea Massi. "I’ve always thought that motherhood was the greatest thing."

After ending her sports career, she had a daughter with her partner. "When we go on holiday, we play all sports: badminton, ball games etc." Sport is her way of life and the family spends their time actively outdoors. In addition to skiing, Tina also loved volleyball, which she still enjoys playing and was even considering it professionally after the end of her skiing career.

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She successfully utilises sports knowledge in her career

As an athlete, she fostered strong working habits that help in her business career. She cooperates with various Slovenian and foreign companies. She tried being a writer, a singer, and an event hostess, but she is particularly happy if she can share her knowledge as a sports commentator.

 

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Country’s ambassador

Although Tina is no longer a professional athlete, that which brought her into sport remains. As a primary school pupil, she watched numerous professional athletes in the Koroška region where she was born and grew up. Her village, Črna na Koroškem, was also the home of the Alpine skiers Katjuša Pušnik and Mitja Kunc, ski jumpers Drago and Danilo Pudgar, and others.

"When I saw how much joy, enthusiasm and fun these athletes brought into our village, I wished that I could also make people happy." And she did. Tina was close to people, and they were close to her. As she stood on the winner’s podium, she showed pride, but also vulnerability, happiness, relief and excitement when the Slovenian flag was raised at the sound of the Slovenian anthem.

"We are lucky in Slovenia that there is plenty of investment in young people and that we have an excellent sport infrastructure. There are also many recreational athletes in Slovenia, and our homeland offers the ideal conditions for all types of sports, including mountain climbing, cycling, diving in rivers and the sea, sailing, jogging, skiing and more. As a former top athlete, I practically travelled around the entire world and I can safely say that Slovenians can be proud of our sport education card (systematic monitoring of physical activity and endurance in primary schools) and the school syllabus that enables young people to try themselves in various sports, many of which are free, or their fees are minimal. To be involved in sports is part of our identity in Slovenia."

The Slovenian sports ambassador has a message for young people, "Enjoy sports, engage in sports, as sports make us happy. In general, I always say that everyone has to do what enriches them spiritually. I’m proud that I’ve been able to present our country to the world during my career and I continue to do so. We have a wonderful country and exceptional people and we should be proud of that."