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There is power in sports, there is knowledge in books

The Communication Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (UKOM) organised a panel discussion under the title »There is power in sport, there is knowledge in books« as part of the promotional events it organised during the FIS World Championships at Planica. The theme of the event was the connection between sport and literature. The event was organised by UKOM in cooperation with the Slovenian Book Agency (JAK).

Writer, alpinist, columnist and journalist Tadej Golob, biathlete Klemen Bauer, and swimmer and Olympic silver medal-winner Sara Isaković spoke about their reading habits, their perception of the link between sports and literature, the linking values, and the impact of literary fiction on athletes. Katja Stergar, acting director of the Slovenian Book Agency, presented the project entitled »Slovenia – Guest of Honour at the 2023 Frankfurt International Book Fair«. In addition to the roundtable, journalists could also visit an exhibition of books in English, German and Slovenian on athletes, sports and sports-related matters at the media centre. Journalists also had the opportunity to leaf through books in three literary corners. 

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Sara Isaković, who, after finishing her sporting career, completed her neuropsychology studies at Berkley University in California and took a master’s degree in performance psychology in San Diego, now, as a psychologist, devotes herself to working with athletes, pilots and musicians and gives lectures on business performance at company-organised training courses. As an athlete and psychologist, drawing on her personal experience, she stressed that every sports career was associated with passion, persistence, psychological balance and visualisation. An important feature of visualisation is having a clear goal ahead, and it is in this sense that stories, particularly biographical ones, can serve as a great inspiration to any athlete, particularly when under stress. Books, Isakovič emphasised, are calming, inspiring and important for concentration and promote personal growth. The latter is essential for sports endurance and perseverance in achieving top results.

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The writer Tadej Golob, who is also an athlete, a mountain climber who enjoys the challenge of climbing the highest peaks, who described his skiing adventures on Mount Everest in his book Z Everesta (From Mount Everest), and who often writes in his books about athletes and sports, highlighted endurance as an important value that is also important in sports. Other such important values include the capacity of observation, research and imagination. Writing is creative, and so is sport.

Klemen Bauer, biathlete and Olympic medallist, said that he loves to read and that he read a lot even when he was a professional athlete. He also pointed out that books are very important for education within the family and that it is important to encourage children to start reading from an early age.

Katja Stergar, acting director of the Slovenian Book Agency, described the Frankfurt Book Fair as an exceptional opportunity for Slovenia’s promotion. She invited the journalists present to leaf through the exhibited books and get to know Slovenia as a country of top literary authors.

Author: Tanja Glogovčan Belančić

Date: 2. March 2023

Time to read: 2 min