The Shopping Gallery of the Crystal Palace in BTC City Ljubljana hosted a press conference of the Slovenian national women’s ski jumping team just before the start of the first ski jumping competitions in the new season next week in Lillehammer, Norway. The coach of the Slovenian national women’s team, Matjaž Triplat, has decided to take a team of six girls to the start of the season in Scandinavia: Urša Bogataj, Maja Vtič, Špela Rogelj, Katja Požun, Anja Tepeš, and Eva Logar, who is returning after her injury. The coaches still have to decide on which two girls will take part in the mixed team event, which will be the first ever such event organized as part of the World Cup.
The highlight of this year’s season will be the Nordic World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy. The women’s team also has high expectations from the Junior World Championships and the home World Cup event in Ljubno ob Savinji, which will take place on the 16th and 17th February 2013.
Jože Mermal, president of BTC Management Board: “You can see right away what kind of progress we have made in just one year and how many new sponsors we have acquired. I must admit that upon accepting the sponsorship of the World Cup competitions in Ljubno, I was quite worried about how we would present and prove ourselves as organizers. Not only in the traditional sense of event organization, but also to employ all the strengths of our modern and well-organized company, which is renown throughout Europe. Our goal was to do more for women ski jumpers in the broader marketing sense. With our innovative strategic marketing we were able to bring a relatively unknown winter sport discipline of women’s ski jumping to the foreground, even on the international level. Comparing women’s ski jumping in Ljubno with men’s ski jumping in Planica, there was no considerable difference in the number of TV viewers. All this can be seen as a result of strategic and good marketing. The motto of our company is to finish what we started and do the best we can on our way to achieving the goals set. The sponsorship of this event was a huge project, which we could not have realized without the help of the people of Ljubno, which took both events (WC and CC) as their own. We have all together shown that we can do even more, of course with the help of the Slovenian Ski Association and the jumpers from our national ski jumping team, who have achieved really great results. On December 1st, 2012, we will shine the spotlight on the set-up “ski jumping hill” in BTC Ljubljana near the Crystal Palace. The project (its budget set at €150.000) will include attractive daily events. Due to great lighting, the “ski jumping hill” will be seen from all parts of Ljubljana. This is truly an innovative story. We must thank Publicis, who helped us enormously with this project, which is a result of mutual cooperation – among businessmen, athletes and agencies which are able to compose majestic stories. Another goal of the project is to show just how innovative and creative Slovenians can be, since we can achieve amazing results if we just cooperate. Results cannot be achieved with mere words, we need actions. I am really happy to see our women’s ski jumping national team among us once again. With their approach and hard training, I am sure we will all achieve great results. For the amazing organization of the event in Ljubno I would like to give praise to the president of the organizing committee Rajko Pintar and the vice-president of the organizing committee Mojca Hrženjak, who is in charge of all the sponsorship agreements. I would like to invite you all to Ljubno, where you will be able to enjoy long jumps. I wish all our girls long jumps and great results throughout the entire season. With good marketing we are able to achieve even more.”
Primož Ulaga, president of the Slovenian Ski Association: “Today’s press conference is a great introduction to the new season of Women’s Ski Jumping World Cup. The Slovenian Ski Association has, with the help of management, our sponsors and others, provided great training conditions in the summer. These preparations should bring great results in the winter, which should be an upgrade of the amazing results achieved in the past season. My personal wish is also to secure the first win of a Slovenian female ski jumper in a World Cup event. Ljubno hosted the first World Cup event in Slovenia for female ski jumpers and already made itself a name among other World Cup organizers. A big thank you goes to the BTC Company and all those who contributed to this project greatly in just little over a year. If you ask the athletes and the coaches, Ljubno hosted the best World cup competition of the past season. My biggest wish is for all the athletes to achieve great results during the season, which will all contribute to a magnificent event in Ljubno to be held in February 2013.”
Matjaž Triplat, head coach: “It is nice to see so many journalists being interested in our beautiful sport. Our team has always had high goals, which we always strive to reach in the best possible manner. Our primary objective is a successful participation in the World Championships in Val di Fiemme, where our goal is at least one athlete among the first six, another athlete among the first ten, and two more athletes among the first thirty. Especially interesting will be the first ever mixed team event, where Goran Janus (Slovenian men national team coach) and I will be working together on our tactics for putting together a team to achieve the best possible result. The second goal is the Junior World Championships, where we want to continue with our successful streak of amazing results and winning medals. Our World Cup goals include three podium positions throughout the entire season. Personally speaking, I’m striving towards our team being one of the top three most successful teams at the end of the season, which would be a true indicator of our team spirit and good work. I do not know any athlete who does not want to win, but I am more interested in the girls making really great technically superb jumps, which will undoubtedly also bring great results. The period between summer and winter is an extremely challenging one, especially for all the coaches, since we are trying to give the girls the best possible training conditions. We were happy with the training conditions in Ramsau, but on our way there we received a notice that the ski jumping hill wasn’t prepared for ski jumping. We nevertheless went to Ramsau, where all the coaches of all the teams joined in to start preparing the ski jumping hill so that the girls would be able to put in some training jumps for the upcoming season. The girls made great progress with their technique. This Sunday, the coaches and the rest of the crew are taking a van to Lillehammer, while the jumpers are heading there by plane on Monday. Once there, we expect to realize four parts of the technical training. I think the girls are in great form.”
Primož Peterka, assistant to the coach: “I’m full of optimism since I saw not only one but several extremely good jumps from all the girls during our training in Ramsau. I want to see those kind of jumps when the season starts as well.”
Maja Vtič: “Regarding my motor skills, I’m in an extremely good form. I’m really satisfied with it. During the summer I trained a lot, but it was well worth it, because my results are really good. My technique has improved as well, which showed during our training in Ramsau. We also tested our gear quite a lot. I believe my form will be even better after some more training.”
Eva Logar: “Overall I am prepared well. My form is on the rise and I am eagerly waiting for the start of the season. My goals shall, at least for now, remain a secret. Let me surprise you with my results.”
Špela Rogelj: “As with the other girls on the team, my form is good. I still have some reserves, which I will try to take advantage of. In this season I expect the best ski jumps in my career.”
Urša Bogataj: “I think I am in good form. All I want are good jumps and as few mistakes as possible.”
Katja Požun: “I am not yet thinking about winning the World Cup, since high expectations can quickly set you back, therefore I will focus only on doing technically perfect jumps in order to improve the small mistakes which crept into my jumps in the past season.”
Photo: Klemen Zibelnik