• Slovenian Magic Week

    I usually don't follow sport so eagerly except those teams and sportsmen and sportswomen I'm fan of, but when it comes to bigger events like World Championships, Olympics or World Cups finales and similar things, then I'm a bit more careful observer then I would regularly be. I admit, my regular updater on when and where something will occur is my husband, who regularly reads sport portal Sportal (www.siol.net) where you can get all updates from almost all over the World – in Slovene of course (switching to English is also possible I think). I also admit I don't visit such events, because I don't like too crowdy places, but I always find the way to follow them somehow let it be TV or live streams, blogs or other live updates on Internet.

    But this week it was all different. It begun with kind of (for me) cheering situation in Ski Flights last Saturday and Sunday when jury directly before our champion Kranjec jumped, lowered the jumping point and the situation was really unfair for our champion and for many others like Aman and similar to him. Points which were added due to lower jumping point to those who didn't fly so far, created the leaderboard and at the end – I will be honest – I didn't even care who won. That was the moment which turned me away from disappointing happenings in ski flights and made me looking forward toward really big sports events of just passed week.

    Ahead of us still was skiing World Championship happening in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Basketball match Union Olimpija VS Maccabi and the biggest boxing event the fight of Dejan Zavec VS Paul Delgado in which Zavec had to defend his last year's champions belt for the third time.

    If I say honestly, this last was the main expectation for me, wondering if Zavec will be able to gain the title for the third time or not. I knew Arena Stožice in Ljubljana, which was built and opened just recently (however recently is about a year ago actually) is magical place for each and every event happening there and I hoped it will be a place of success for both, Union Olimpija basketball team and boxer Dejan Zavec, too.

    Our, at the moment the best skier Tina Maze already won one medal – silver - in super combination of World skiing Championship and it was actually quite enough for me. I didn't expect more from her.

    Looking forward to basketball game in-between Union Olimpija and Maccabi I hoped Union Olimpija will be able to fly on the wings of crowds support at home and win the game. Arena Stožice is magical place and Union Olimpija was beaten there (speaking of Basketball Euroleague) only once before (if I'm correct). I wished Union Olimpija would win the game which would lead the team among the best 8 teams of Euroleague championship; however I knew the task is hard. I also knew when crowd is gathered in Arena Stožice, it makes magical atmosphere and what is more important … the place is always filled to the last seat. When 20,000 people gives loud support to either team, this just should be magical … Well unfortunately the players, regardless basketball or those of other sports, are not the magicians, they're just people who are playing their game some more and some less of the heart and magic of the crowd and place didn't come to much aid though. Union Olimpija has lost for 21 points regardless it was better team in all first 3 quarters, what leads Union Olimpija out of top 8.

    Well, I was sad, but I wasn't disappointed at all, because the last quarter was in which Union Olimpija lost the game and the fact that the team of Union Olimpija dominated over Maccabi the whole 3 quarters was what surely can drive disappointment away.

    It often happens that our teams are loosing their matches in last minutes or in second halftime of the games, what I actually call Slovenian Syndrome so even this was nothing new to me. It happens all the time …

    I was still thrilled with the giant slalom of the Ski World Championship in Garmisch-Partenkirchen where Tina Maze showed to the whole World once again she is capable of getting one more medal. It was not any adrenalin or expectation in me before the second run despite I knew Tina was first after the first one. I didn't even follow the event at all, because I think I bring bad luck to our athletes sometimes. So I was even more pleased to see the results of the run and headlines on sport portal when this all was over. Tina won – GOLD!

    This golden medal which Tina added to her silver from super combination reminded me of the good old days of Slovene skiing when we had many skiers – women and men – who were always at the top of this sport. Who doesn't remember Bojan Križaj, Rok Petrovič, Mateja Svet, Jure Košir and more of them who brought cheer to us at every single competition regardless was it World Cup, World Championship or Olympics. Petra Majdič last year at the Olympics and Tina Maze just now are giving me hope that those times are slowly but surely coming back.

    Now I was prepared for main event of the week (at least for me). Boxing match of our champion Dejan Zavec against Paul Delgado from USA was that event. Magical place of Arena Stožice was the place where this fight was performed and I hoped this time it will be really magical again. For the difference of Basketball match Union Olimpija VS Maccabi, this fight was streamed live on our TV so the expectation was even bigger and the air was kind of tense. However, not knowing our TV was so kind this time and broadcasted the whole thing I searched Internet for the live stream, partly for me and partly for one of my twitter followers, great writer about sports events Paul Harper, and missed the first round. Well, coming to see second round it was nothing lost yet. The »Arena« was full to the last sit, crowd was magical again and what you could hear was crowd shouting »Dejan, Dejan« and commentator’s voice on the TV. It was magical atmosphere and Zavec fought really well, providing quite some surprises to Delgado who was so sure he would win just some days before the fight was performed. Knowledge of boxing Zavec possesses, crowd which was magnificent, the presence of Zavec's wife who also was there (of course) and quite nervous actions of Paul Delgado, all this probably was the reason Zavec just couldn't loose. Already in second round Delgado was kneeling on the floor and referee counted down, however Delgado stood up determined to fight further. Two more rounds Delgado somehow held standing up, defending most and bending down to somehow persuade referee Zavec is performing prohibited blows. Zavec was calm, determined to win and he steadily fought his fight to 5th round in which Delgado, after really hard Zavec's blow on the face practically admitted Zavec is better and stronger. Kneeling on the floor in the 5th round again Delgado (at least it seamed so to me) left the referee counting to 10 and the fight was over. It was magical; it was what I wanted to see – the champion's belt defended by Zavec for the third time.

    Despite the basketball loss of Union Olimpija against Maccabi this week was really successful for Slovenian Sport. In the shadow of Dejan Zavec one more boxer defended his own champion title and that was Denis Simčič. He's much younger and only on the way to success of Dejan Zavec, but some experts already say he could be his follower. This surely adds even more to success of Slovenian sport of this just passed week. If we count in two more 5th places of Tina Maze in skiing on World Championship – what also isn't bad – and just gained win of our handball team Celje Pivovarna Laško against Kielce from Poland In Handball European Champions League with 30 to 29, this week we really can call »Slovenian Week of success«

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For some time Delgado still managed to defend and even make some attacks.

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However, in round 5 it was all over. ...